Customer Comes First
Managing the business around the customer is the biggest rea- son for success,” affirmed Khaled Bichara, CEO of Accelero Capital and a pioneer entrepreneur in Egypt’s telecommunica- tions sector. Bichara shared his success story as the guest speak- er of December’s Inspiring Young Talents session hosted by AmCham’s Marketing Committee.
His customer driven rationale, Bishara explained, provided the motor for business opportunities and the solution to all sorts of challenges. Bichara has been professionally involved in telecommunications development since the age of 12, and his earliest success story is the establishment of Egypt’s first Internet provider, LINKdotNET. Promoting a price-friendly approach and secure internet access, coupled with software technical sim- plicity and market availability, Bichara and his team were able to capitalize on Egypt’s Internet consumers over the course of five years. He elaborated on the evolution of his customer-cen- tric modus operandi, detailing how it created the vision and directed the task force of the company.
As the Internet moved from a could-have to a must-have ser- vice, LINKdotNET met each market change in the needs of cus- tomers. In addition to providing the key drivers of success, Bichara’s vision served his company in addressing its major challenges. LINKdotNET’s sales team had to continually adapt to a changing business environment in the face of government decisions such as the launching of free nationwide Internet. Adjustment, he pointed out, occurred by creating of uniform and temporary bouquets, pending the full operation of the govern- ment’s telecommunication infrastructure; this allowed sales to jump even in the face of reforms that many believed would to bring his business to bankruptcy.
Bichara left his audience with the example of how he helped restructure WIND Italy from a “phenomenally bad” provider to a leading European telecommunications platform. This, he said, was another example proving that profitability is only possible when customers’ needs are identified and catered to. Once you do that, he firmly believes, effective marketing and commercial acclaim follow suit.