Zain Group wins Comm­sMEA’s Best Over­all Op­er­a­tor award

Fo­cus on cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and dig­i­tal in­no­va­tion win praises

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

Zain Group, a lead­ing mo­bile tele­com innovator in eight mar­kets across the Mid­dle East and Africa was awarded the highly cov­eted Best Over­all Op­er­a­tor of the Year award at the 2016 edi­tion of the Comm­sMEA Awards cer­e­mony. Zain Iraq was also awarded the best Mar­ket­ing Cam­paign of the Year ac­co­lade for its ‘Hassa Eliya’ (Now for Me) multi-faceted cam­paign that fo­cused on in­spir­ing and em­pow­er­ing young Iraqi tal­ent.

At a gala event held at the Con­rad ho­tel in Dubai on 9 Novem­ber, 2016, Zain Group was iden­ti­fied as the re­gion’s best per­form­ing mo­bile op­er­a­tor hav­ing de­vised a clear strat­egy that it is im­ple­ment­ing over the next five years, which is based on tak­ing ad­van­tage of the op­er­a­tor’s com­pe­ten­cies in­clud­ing its peo­ple, net­works, lead­ing brand and geo­graphic cov­er­age.

The Comm­sMEA awards judg­ing panel ac­knowl­edged Zain Group’s six strate­gic ini­tia­tives aimed at mak­ing the com­pany future-ready and cap­ture the enor­mous po­ten­tial of the re­gional and global dig­i­tal arena as be­ing par­tic­u­larly in­sight­ful. These plans ex­tend to 1) Cus­tomer Ex­pe­ri­ence; 2) Cost Op­ti­miza­tion; 3) Tal­ent De­vel­op­ment; 4) Zain Dig­i­tal Fron­tier and In­no­va­tion; 5) Cus­tomer Value Man­age­ment and 6) En­ter­prise, all of which are based on sup­port­ing Zain Group’s ef­fort to cap­ture a sig­nif­i­cant mar­ket share of smart city and dig­i­tal revo­lu­tion de­vel­op­ments.

Zain Group is cur­rently plac­ing a great deal of em­pha­sis on im­ple­ment­ing data rev­enue op­ti­miza­tion ini­tia­tives and en­hanc­ing its cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, to pos­i­tive ef­fect. The op­er­a­tor’s ef­forts to place the cus­tomer at the heart of ev­ery­thing it does has suc­cess­fully built brand and loy­alty, which has led it to main­tain mar­ket lead­er­ship by cus­tomer num­bers in the ma­jor­ity of mar­kets in which it op­er­ates.

Com­ment­ing on Zain Group’s honor, Scott Ge­gen­heimer, Group CEO said, “We op­er­ate in a highly com­pet­i­tive in­dus­try, where the mar­gin be­tween success and fail­ure is very thin, and be­ing iden­ti­fied as the Best Over­all Op­er­a­tor for 2016 is some ac­co­lade. We would like to thank the judg­ing panel for also rec­og­niz­ing Zain Iraq’s mar­ket­ing ef­forts, and let our cus­tomers know that we shall con­tinue to in­no­vate and work tire­lessly to give them an ex­cep­tional mo­bile ex­pe­ri­ence.”

In March 2016, Zain’s op­er­a­tion in Iraq launched a multi-faceted mar­ket­ing cam­paign dubbed “Hassa Eliya,” (Now for Me). The ground­break­ing mar­ket­ing ini­tia­tive fo­cused on in­spir­ing and em­pow­er­ing young Iraqi tal­ent by en­cour­ag­ing them to ex­plore their po­ten­tial and skills, and equip­ping them with the nec­es­sary tools to help achieve their goals.

The first ini­tia­tive uti­lized in the pro­gram was a spe­cially cre­ated “Hassa Eliya” Face­book page that served as a plat­form for young Iraqis to voice their am­bi­tions and which show­cased a newly pro­duced tele­vi­sion com­mer­cial, which gar­nered an im­pres­sive five mil­lion views in its first 72 hours of re­lease. Some six months later, this view­er­ship num­ber had in­creased to 16 mil­lion with 70 mil­lion im­pres­sions, with a to­tal en­gage­ment that ex­ceeded 550,000 young Iraqis inside the coun­try and from around the globe.

The pro­gram’s fo­cus was par­tic­u­larly com­pelling given the state of so­cio-economic tur­moil that ex­ists in Iraq, where the youth in par­tic­u­lar may feel as though their future prospects are bleak and that they do not have a great deal to con­trib­ute to so­ci­ety. “Hassa Eliya” man­aged to tran­scend be­ing just an enor­mously suc­cess­ful mar­ket­ing cam­paign for Zain, and ul­ti­mately made a real impact on peo­ple’s lives in the coun­try and through­out Iraqi com­mu­nity at large and de­servedly the ef­fort was rec­og­nized as the best mar­ket­ing cam­paign of 2016.

Zain’s ef­forts to con­stantly ex­pand and im­prove its ser­vices are well-doc­u­mented, with the op­er­a­tor hav­ing tied up with lead­ing tech­nol­ogy and con­tent com­pa­nies in­clud­ing UBER , Book­ing.com and global games de­vel­oper, Zep­to­lab, to bring to mar­ket a num­ber of pop­u­lar ap­pli­ca­tions, in many cases un­der some pretty unique and pi­o­neer­ing cir­cum­stances. Zain also made strate­gic in­vest­ments in smart city con­sult­ing firm, neX­gen and mo­bil­ity so­lu­tions de­vel­oper and con­sul­tancy firm FOO to fast­track its dig­i­tal lifestyle of­fer­ings.

Ad­di­tion­ally, Zain en­tered sev­eral ser­vice agree­ments to en­hance its of­fer­ings for the pro­vi­sion of an end-to-end mo­bile money solution that saw the launch of mo­bile money ser­vices for the un­banked in Jor­dan and Iraq, and which is in the process of be­ing de­ployed across other op­er­a­tions. Zain also in­tro­duced di­rect op­er­a­tor billing (car­rier billing), mak­ing sev­eral Zain op­er­a­tions among the first in the re­gion to en­able cus­tomers to safely and seam­lessly pay for goods from a third-party con­tent or ser­vice provider dig­i­tally, by charg­ing the trans­ac­tion to their monthly mo­bile phone bill or through their pre­paid mo­bile credit.

Sus­tain­abil­ity, trans­parency and thoughtlead­er­ship are at the very core of Zain’s busi­ness and this is re­flected in ev­ery as­pect of the com­pany’s day-to-day op­er­a­tional ac­tiv­i­ties. Zain annual Sus­tain­abil­ity Re­port highlights the com­pany’s con­tin­ued hold of its re­gional lead­er­ship po­si­tion in pur­su­ing its sus­tain­abil­ity agenda and sup­port­ing its com­mu­ni­ties through out­reach ac­tiv­i­ties such as ca­pac­ity-build­ing, ed­u­ca­tion, so­cio-economic de­vel­op­ment, and en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship. In ad­di­tion, with a fo­cus on sup­port­ing the en­tre­pre­neur­ial start-up ecosys­tem, Zain part­nered with the MIT Pan Arab Start Up Com­pe­ti­tion for the past two years and most re­cently sup­ported the global MIT In­no­vate for Refugees com­pe­ti­tion.

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