Zain-Uber part­ner­ship most in­no­va­tive ser­vice: Ovum

Deal sin­gled out from 82 in­no­va­tive ser­vices

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS - US dol­lar firm vis-a-vis Kuwaiti di­nar at 0.304 KBBO Group hires banks for Cen­tu­rion Lon­don listing King­dom Hold­ing, Alinma plan $2.2bn fund for tallest build­ing

KUWAIT: Zain Group, a lead­ing mo­bile tele­com in­no­va­tor in eight mar­kets across the Mid­dle East and Africa, is pleased to an­nounce that its part­ner­ship with Uber- the tech­nol­ogy com­pany that is evolv­ing the way the world moves, has been rec­og­nized by global renowned re­search com­pany Ovum, as its most in­no­va­tive ser­vice for Novem­ber 2015. Ovum re­viewed 82 in­no­va­tive ser­vices launched by ser­vice providers around the world in its Telco Ser­vices In­no­va­tion Radar monthly sum­mary, and deemed the ZainUber al­liance as the most in­no­va­tive stat­ing, “It is not of­ten that we find a strate­gic part­ner­ship that can bring so many key ben­e­fits for op­er­a­tors.”

An­nounced in Septem­ber 2015, the first of its kind col­lab­o­ra­tion in the re­gion saw Zain be­com­ing Uber’s main mo­bile ser­vice provider for any fu­ture Uber ser­vices in any coun­try where Zain op­er­ates. Ovum iden­ti­fied that for Zain, Uber’s con­tin­ual growth across the re­gion is a bonus hav­ing the po­ten­tial to cre­ate in­cre­men­tal rev­enues, at­tract new cus­tomers, and in­crease cus­tomer loy­alty.

The part­ner­ship is cur­rently op­er­a­tional in Bahrain, Jor­dan and Saudi Ara­bia, offering Zain cus­tomers dis­counted and pref­er­en­tial ser­vices when us­ing the Uber plat­form lo­cally and when trav­el­ling abroad. The part­ner­ship is set to be ex­panded to other Zain mar­kets in due course in­clud­ing Kuwait, which re­cently of­fered trav­el­ling cus­tomers to the USA, UK and UAE a free ride for first time Uber users.

Ovum stated Uber could be look­ing at this part­ner­ship as a way to re­cruit driv­ers in coun­tries where Zain op­er­ates, with ex­clu­sive phone and data deals be­ing an at­trac­tive prospect to po­ten­tial driv­ers, fur­ther sup­port­ing the ex­ten­sion of Uber’s ser­vice to a wider user base as it rapidly ex­pands across the re­gion.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Ovum noted that, “It was im­por­tant for Uber to co­op­er­ate with a tele­com op­er­a­tor that had a pow­er­ful, wide-reach­ing and su­pe­rior net­work qual­ity across the re­gion, ac­knowl­edg­ing Zain’s cus­tomer scale as im­por­tant to the part­ner­ship.

Com­ment­ing on the recog­ni­tion, Zain Group CEO, Scott Ge­gen­heimer said, “As we trans­form Zain into a dig­i­tal ser­vices com­pany, part­ner­ing with lead­ing tech­nol­ogy providers such as Uber is a key com­po­nent of our strat­egy. In­no­va­tion has been cen­tral to Zain Group’s evo­lu­tion, and we are grat­i­fied to see our ini­tia­tives be­ing rec­og­nized by global re­search com­pa­nies of the stature of Ovum.”

Ge­gen­heimer con­tin­ued, “The tele­com ecosys­tem is un­der­go­ing rapid change, and part­ner­ships are go­ing to play a sig­nif­i­cant role in defin­ing the tel­cos that will re­main suc­cess­ful into the fu­ture. We are very proud of our re­la­tion­ship with Uber, and look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to drive the value and ser­vice propo­si­tion for our cus­tomers.”

Hum­bled by the recog­ni­tion, Ma­jed Abukhater, GM for Uber said the com­ing to­gether of two of the lead­ing in­no­va­tion brands in the re­gion is fur­ther tes­ta­ment to Uber’s com­mit­ment to drive in­no­va­tion and bring a pos­i­tive change in the way peo­ple work, live and ride.

“The Mid­dle East and North Africa is one of Uber’s fastest grow­ing re­gions, a sit­u­a­tion that’s likely to con­tinue over the fore­see­able fu­ture. With a mo­bile pen­e­tra­tion rate of al­most 100 per­cent on a re­gional level; and more than 71 mil­lion ac­tive users of so­cial net­work­ing tech­nolo­gies, th­ese num­bers are ex­pected to reach in the vicin­ity of 200 mil­lion by 2017. Against this back­drop of sus­tained tech­no­log­i­cal progress and in­creased broad­band pen­e­tra­tion we are pleased to work with com­pa­nies like Zain to share best prac­tices and lever­age the use of our tech­nol­ogy plat­forms to rec­og­nize the po­ten­tial for in­creased ef­fi­ciency and greater ease of col­lab­o­ra­tion that dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies can present.” Ma­jed con­cluded, “All said, dis­rup­tive tech­nolo­gies like Uber rep­re­sent a sense of op­por­tu­nity in the re­gion to com­ple­ment and aid its growth.” MIAMI: A shop­per car­ries a bag as she walks out of a Guess store at Dol­phin Mall on Satur­day in Miami. Store re­tail­ers saw fewer cus­tomer vis­its on Thanks­giv­ing and Black Fri­day, com­pared with last year, ac­cord­ing to Kevin Kearns, Shop­perTrak’s chief rev­enue of­fi­cer. —AP KUWAIT: The US dol­lar sta­bi­lized vis-a-vis the Kuwaiti di­nar yes­ter­day trad­ing at KD 0.304 whereas the euro plunged to KD 0.322, as com­pared to Thurs­day’s rates, the Cen­tral Bank of Kuwait said. The ster­ling pound dropped to KD 0.457, Swiss franc to KD 0.295 while the Ja­panese yen firmed at KD 0.002. ABU DHABI: United Arab Emi­rates’ in­vest­ment com­pany KBBO Group has hired Gold­man Sachs and Mor­gan Stan­ley among oth­ers for an ex­pected $1 bil­lion-plus Lon­don listing for one its sub­sidiaries, sources close to the mat­ter told Reuters. Pri­vately-owned KBBO plans to sell up to 40 per­cent of Cen­tu­rion Part­ners in an ini­tial pub­lic offering (IPO) planned for the first half of 2016, the sources said on Sun­day, de­clin­ing to be named be­cause the mat­ter was not yet pub­lic. Three other banks-Dubai’s Emi­rates NBD, Abu Dhabi Is­lamic Bank (ADIB) and EFG-Her­mes- have been hired for the sale, the sources added. Of­fi­cials at KBBO de­clined to com­ment. Cen­tu­rion Part­ners was cre­ated through the merg­ing of two KBBO sub­sidiaries, Cen­tu­rion In­vest­ment and In­fi­nite In­vest­ment LLC. DUBAI: Saudi Ara­bia’s King­dom Hold­ing , the in­vest­ment firm of bil­lion­aire Prince Al­waleed bin Talal, said its af­fil­i­ate Jed­dah Eco­nomic Co (JEC) had ar­ranged fi­nanc­ing to com­plete con­struc­tion of the world’s tallest build­ing. JEC agreed with Alinma Bank to es­tab­lish an 8.4 bil­lion riyal ($2.2 bil­lion) real es­tate de­vel­op­ment fund that will fin­ish work on the $1.2 bil­lion King­dom Tower in Jed­dah, King­dom Hold­ing said in a state­ment yes­ter­day, 26 floors of which have been built so far. The Is­lamic fund will also de­velop the 1.5 sq km (0.6 sq miles) first phase of the Jed­dah Eco­nomic City project, an ur­ban de­vel­op­ment scheme sprawl­ing over 5.3 sq km. In ad­di­tion to King­dom Tower, the scheme is to in­clude Saudi Ara­bia’s largest shop­ping mall.

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