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Karim Benkirane, chief commercial officer, du -EITC gave his keynote speech during the 15th Edition of Telecom Review Leaders’ Summit 2021, the largest gathering of ICT industry players, held at the Dubai Intercontinental on December 8.

Stressing on the transformative impact of COVID-19 pandemic that brought about changes in the relationship between du and its customers, Benkirane said that as a telco, the company gained “a lot of trust” from its customers as the company provided efficient communication services for them while they remained indoors. “As a telco, we can be proud that we got more trust from customers. We need to leverage on this,” he stressed. He attributed the excellent performance to the team who made sure that the network kept rolling in an “aggressive manner.”

He pointed out that post-pandemic, the company is focusing on a new greenfield digital factory approach to reinforce the digital transformation journey, building on the brownfield projects that are already established based on the need of segments.

Regarding advancements in technology, he said that new technologies such as 5G should not only be seen as a new access technology but as a chance to reboot legacy systems and embrace new ways of working.

 “5G monetization is a return on investment, it depends on the leadership mindset, a 360 transformation approach, value creation, and a new way of doing business, keeping the customer in the center,” he said.

“We have a very high appetite to invest in 5G. We want to be the number 1 in UAE. We are open for partnerships with those supporting our transition from being waterfall to agile.”

He said that the pandemic-led customer engagement opportunity and the “dynamic goals” of the use of digital technology was a chance for the company to change its agenda and emerge as the leader.

He highlighted the adaptive and dynamic 360 leadership results of du, such as developing OSS and BSS platforms with new partners, being the fastest 5G network in the UAE, and currently developing the greenfield digital factory approach to its operations.

Reiterating the above points, Benkirane said that in a changed pandemic world, telcos must be ready to rewrite not just their business and P&L scenarios, but also change the leadership mindset to use 5G investment as an opportunity to reshape and recraft operations and foster trust in people to deliver long term results.

As leaders, Benkirane said telcos must employ adaptive leadership, self-reflection, and empowerment to drive 360 transformations of the telecom sector.

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