Fighting for market share

Compiled by RACHNA LAL Welcome to Hard Talk, where we pose questions to both top executives and budding entrepreneurs on some of the major issues involving business. Digicel Fiji entered
06 Oct 2012 09:34

Digicel Fiji chief operations officer, Maurice McCarthy.

Compiled by RACHNA LAL

Welcome to Hard Talk, where we pose questions to both top executives and budding entrepreneurs on some of the major issues involving business.

Digicel Fiji entered our telecommunications industry four years back – October 1, 2008 – and since then, many would agree, our mobile phone industry has evolved dramatically.
Competition has brought about a new era for the benefit of mobile phone users.
But in Fiji – unlike other Pacific islands markets it entered – Digicel has faced formidable competition from well-regarded Vodafone. Digicel has had to battle for market share, especially in the corporate market. At the other end of the market, it has been up against Inkk. Competition is intense.
Digicel Fiji already knew what they were getting into when they entered the Fijian market – where such a major player as Vodafone had already established a firm clientele.
Yet even today Digicel Fiji remains confident in this market with continuous upgrades to its services, reaching out to people who never before had been connected to mobile network as well as trying best to offer the best possible deals.
Digicel Fiji has also given its support to a number of sporting events with the most important one being the sponsorship of the Digicel Fiji 7s team.
Digicel Fiji chief operations officer, Maurice McCarthy, spoke about Digicel Fiji’s operations and its progress over the last four years.
Mr McCarthy has been very influential in building the corporate business, refining retail structure and footprint and implementing effective distribution channels.
He joined Digicel Fiji in April 2009 as head of sales and distribution.

Questions for the chief operations officer of Digicel Fiji, Maurice McCarthy:

1. It’s been four years since Digicel entered the market in Fiji – a market which had been dominated by a single player.  How would you describe Digicel’s position in the Fijian market?

Stronger than ever and the last 12 months have been fantastic. This has been made possible by our fantastic customers and our incredible staff.
We pride ourselves with excellent customer service, which is the lifeline of any business. In 2011, we successfully welcomed Unwired into the Digicel family. The Unwired Internet Service is now available in Suva, Nausori, Sigatoka, Nadi, Lautoka and Ba.
Because of our affordable rates and superior service, we have managed to secure many customers, both individual and corporate.

2. Four years and still going – what is the formula?  

The lifeline of our business is our customers. Without whom any business would cease to exist. We put our customers first in everything we do. We make sure that we not only satisfy our customers, but delight them.
All of our business units work very hard to make sure that we provide the best customer service. We strive to ensure that the customer is always happy.
Our strength also lies with our incredible and hardworking staff. They have been doing an excellent job for the last four years.

3. What sort of plans does the company have in the pipeline for its customers (1) immediately (2) over a period of time?

All I can say is watch this space!
But the last 12 months should demonstrate our commitment to our customers and what they can expect in the next 12 months; some key highlights:

  • Partnered with Unwired to bring 4G services to Nadi Lautoka, Ba and Sigatoka.
  • Expanded our retail footprint which was highlighted with the opening of our store in MHCC

We want to continue to Dazzle our customers with offers such as free calls all day and don’t forget it is Digicel who lead the market, examples of Digicel being first to Market include our:
–  Day Pass
–  Data Pass
–  SMS Club
In the area of Business Solutions we have seen extraordinary growth and there is a real appetite in Fiji from our business customer to explore technology to understand how this can reduce costs and increase efficiencies which is no real surprise, Fiji is seen as the ICT hub for the Pacific.
We have developed some really exciting products that allow business customers real choice and significant savings. Examples of this include;

  • Bundle minutes to Any Network – Real Value
  • Vehicle Tracking services
  • Dedicated Internet
  • Fixed Voice services without having to pay line rental
  • International Private Lease Circuits across the Pacific – As we are the only true regional player we are the only operator in a position to offer a service like this where the customer only needs to deal with one operator.

We will also look to see where we can expand our network to next and bring mobile & internet to places in Fiji that do not have these services.

4. What are some of your biggest achievements over the past four years?

Rather than achievements a number of things we are most proud of include;
Bringing Mobile communications to people who have never had this. This continues today with coverage at new sites such as Moala, Gau, Naviti Island, Waya Lailai, Natewa Bay, Kadavu, Kiobo, Cicia, Natadola and Wakaya etc.
As importantly ensuring this communication is affordable for all of the people of Fiji to enjoy.

  • Per Second Billing
  • 24/7 customer Care

In addition, being associated with some of the greatest teams, athletes and organisations in the world:

  • From 2006 with Serevi to today with Alivereti Dere and team.
  • Of course Iliesa and the Fiji Paralympic Committee
  • To Grassroots Rugby with the Digicel Cup.

As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility, we have been engaged with the following:

  • Flood relief
  • WOWS- Save it or Shave it Campaign
  • Sugar Festival – 2011 (Major Sponsor)
  • USP Open Day 2011 (Major Sponsor)

5. Where do you want to see Digicel in the future?

As a full service provider that brings true value to all of its customers. Our vision is to ensure we understand our customers’ needs and that we work tirelessly to deliver the right products at incredible value to meet these needs.
This includes our everyday consumer who wants access to the internet to our largest client who needs the world’s most cutting edge technology to ensure they compete in what has now become a global market.

6. General comments?

I personally want to thank all of our fantastic customers for their continued support. Without them Digicel would not continue to flourish.
I also want to take the opportunity to thank my wonderful staff for their commitment and efforts.
They are the face of Digicel and work incredibly hard to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers.

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