GreenN Shoots Q4 2013


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GreenN Shoots is LAP GreenN's quarterly newsletter to update on the Group as well as its OpCos activities.

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GreenN Shoots Q4 2013

  1. 1. GreenN SHOOTS NEWS FROM THE GROUP NEWS FROM UGANDA NEWS FROM SOUTH SOUDAN NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF LAP GreenN Q4 2013 page | 10 2 7 10 12 NEWS pages page | 3 page | 4 Wafik Al Shater, LAP GreenN’s CEO nominated for CommsMEA Award page | 3 November 2013 semi-annual strategy meeting LAP GreenN's executives attended Huawei ICT Finance Forum ITU conference in Bangkok Thailand NEWS FROM IVORYCOAST
  2. 2. WORD FROM THE GROUP CEO WAFIK SHATER Dear Colleagues, 2013 has been an eventful year. I would describe it as a year of affirmation for LAP GreenN, where we completed our organizational transformation, reestablished ourselves as a credible and responsible partner, and have a clearly defined strategy for going forward. We now have a diverse and experienced team across the Group and the OpCos, which has demonstrated tremendous commitment and delivered tangible results consistently throughout 2013. In the fourth quarter, we successfully negotiated our third settlement agreement with one of our largest suppliers, ZTE, which follows conclusive agreements with Huawei and Tecnotree earlier this year. We have also placed significant emphasis on governance and transparency, instituting best in class practices across the board. Our shareholders reconfirmed their full alignment with our strategy, and we also fortified our relationship with the governments in the countries in which we operate. In October, the South Sudanese Minister of Communication, Her Excellency Rebecca Okwaci, visited LAP GreenN and expressed her willingness to collaborate on issues related to Gemtel and the telecom landscape in South Sudan. Also, there have been multiple ministerial visits to Ivory Coast, and we have also been in continuous dialogue with the Government of Uganda, which has agreed to establish a Steering Committee with LAP GreenN to take UTL initiatives forward. Notably, for the nine-month period ended September 30, 2013 (year-on-year), revenues increased by over 25% in two of our OpCos and likewise, two OpCos recorded notable EBITDA improvements. We also hosted our semi-annual strategic meeting on November 16–18 with the aim of bringing together the Group and the OpCos in one location to review performance against targets, and to discuss budgets and the 2014 strategy. In attendance were the Group management team, senior executives across all LAP GreenN’s operations, as well as special guests including Dr. Saad Al Barrack, former CEO of Zain Group, Tim Harrabin, former Development Director of Vodafone, Gregory Garnier from Bain, and David Tusa from Booz. I would like to thank you all, both at the Group and the OpCos, for the extra efforts you have made this year. Your resilience, cooperation and dedication illustrate the drive and commitment of our people. I am also highly appreciative of our business partners who regained their confidence in LAP GreenN as a preferred strategic partner. This not only demonstrates the solid underlying business of our company, but also strengthens our resolve in taking on the opportunities and challenges ahead. Our targets for 2014 are ambitious, and the conditions before us are challenging. Nevertheless we remain confident that we can meet and exceed our goals. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 1page | 1
  3. 3. The Minister of Telecommunications for South Sudan visits LAP GreenN’s services office The South Sudanese Minister of Communication, Her Excellency Rebecca Okwaci, visited the LAP GreenN services office on Wednesday 23 October while she was in Dubai for the GSMA conference. The LAP GreenN management team, including CEO Wafik Shater, COO Dimitris Lioulias, CTO Kevin McLoughlin and Director Kalid Tarapolsi, met with the Minister and discussed the current situation in Libya and South Sudan, the South Sudanese Government’s plans for establishing the regulator, the current telecom landscape, as well as many other issues. The Minister appreciated the input from the LAP GreenN team, and it was determined that another meeting should take place before the end of the year to follow up on the issues related to the Gemtel operations as well as the regulatory environment in South Sudan. The LAP GreenN team welcomes the opportunity to work with the Minister and provide support for the development of the telecom industry in the country. page | 2 NEWS FROM THE GROUP GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 Libyan Minister of Communications and Informatics visits LAP GreenN During the same week, H.E. Usama Siala, Libyan Minister of Communications and Informatics visited LAP GreenN's services office in Dubai. He did a tour of the office, and also met with the Group CEO Wafik Shater. The Group was pleased to meet and host the Minister in the office as such visits always strengthens the relations.
  4. 4. NEWS FROM THE GROUP Wafik Al Shater, LAP GreenN’s CEO nominated for CommsMEA Award The shortlist for the 8th annual CommsMEA Awards was announced at the end of November and Wafik Al Shater, LAP GreenN’s CEO was nominated for the Telecoms Professional of the Year award. The CommsMEA Awards distinguish operators, vendors, regulators and individuals that have made an outstanding contribution to the region’s fast changing telecoms sector. The prestigious award recognizes an individual who has helped shape and inspire the Middle East and Africa’s telecommunications market. The award was open to all senior director level professionals who have made a discernable impact on the region’s telecoms sector. The judging criteria focused not just on the length of service in the sector, but also the impact that the individual has had on the industry. ‘’It is an honor to be among the top 4 nominated for an award as distinguished as CommsMEA award. It is a recognition of the hard work the team has put in to turn LAP GreenN around’’ said Wafik Al Shater. LAP GreenN's Executives attended Huawei ICT Finance Forum LAP GreenN's Executives attended the Huawei ICT Finance Forum held in London on 20 and 21 November 2013 as VIP guests and met with Huawei Group CTO, CFO and other senior executives at Huawei, where they discussed technology trends and other related topics. Their presence further reconfirms that we are moving forward with our relationship with Huawei post the settlement agreement. The forum was organized with its theme “today’s capital, tomorrow’s connection” aimed at building a platform for ICT customers to interact and strengthen their relationship with Huawei and financial institutions. During the Forum, distinguished speakers from customer and financial institutions shared their views and experiences about the latest economic factors, industry trends and financial products and practices. In the picture, Cathy Meng, Huawei Chief Fiancial Officer and member of the Executive Committee of Huawei's Board of Directors. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 3
  5. 5. NEWS FROM THE GROUP Semi-annual strategy meeting, November 2013 LAP GreenN hosted its semi-annual strategic meeting on November 16–18. In attendance were the Group management team, as well as senior executives across all LAP GreenN’s operations. The aim of hosting a bi-annual event is to bring together the Group and the OpCos in one location to review performance against targets, and to discuss budgets and the strategy for going forward. There are also a number of intangible benefits from such an event: it helps to enhance communication between the Group and the OpCos, and reinforces a sense of team spirit, which is difficult to achieve over email and the phone. The first day of the strategic event was focused on business reviews of each OpCo’s commercial and financial performance . The day concluded with a team-building activity, where members from the Group and the OpCos were assigned to randomly selected teams, and had to work together to complete a series of outdoor challenges. This helped to break the ice, and set the tone for Day 2. The second day was dedicated to the 2014 Group strategy, where the OpCos and Group discussed the strategic themes for 2014. Guest speakers were also invited to share their experiences and discuss topics that were relevant to the Group, specifically small player evolution versus giants by Tim Harrabin from Analysis Mason, commoditization for telcos by David Tusa from Booz & Company, and Group-subsidiary models by Gregory Garnier from Bain & Company. The speakers and topics were particularly engaging and sparked a lot of discussion. The day closed with a dinner in which honorary guest Dr. Saad Al Barrak, former Zain Group CEO, attended and gave the keynote address. Dr. Saad shared his experience in the African telecoms space, and emphasized that there is still tremendous opportunity in Africa. Dr. Saad is a strategic advisor for LAP GreenN, his input and knowledge of telecoms in the African market is in itself a great feat. The last day was dedicated to budget reviews for the OpCos and parallel breakout sessions were held where guest speakers, including Oracle, AT Kearney and Syniverse, shared insights on emerging telecom trends and VAS expansion opportunities. The meeting ended on a very positive note with the team motivated to close 2013 on strong footing, and to enter 2014 with great momentum. We are looking forward to the next such event in April 2014. For more information about the meeting, please read GreenN Shoots Special Edition to Q4 2014. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 4
  6. 6. LAP GreenN Graduate Training Program The graduate training program conducted its first assessments in Tripoli in November 2013. Selected candidates were required to undertake numerical, verbal and inductive reasoning cognitive tests, a British Council English test, a personality questionnaire and a competency-based panel interview. Whether the candidates were successful or not, all candidates will received thorough developmental feedback sessions on all of their results. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013NEWS FROM THE GROUP page | 5 Having been in the industry for 18 years and awarded numerous vendor-based professional accreditations, Kevin McLoughlin, LAP GreenN’s Group CTO, felt that he wanted to set himself a new challenge and so he decided to further his academic accreditation. Kevin attended University College London (UCL), an institution that is ranked 4th best university in the world and is a global leader in the field of Telecommunications Research, with close ties to industry with many of the faculty coming from BT Labs and other UK/EU Institutions – which attracts a strong set of speakers with technical, regulatory, financial and business backgrounds etc. His studies were taken part-time, as part of a special Continued Professional Development (CDP) programme that has been developed in partnership with British Telecom over the past 15 years and is specifically designed for those already working in Industry, comprising a wide range of topics including IP, Network design, Services and Applications, Wireless Technologies, RF and Optical Components and Sub-systems, Finance and Business Management etc. His thesis was on the topic of “OTT – Threat or Opportunity to F/MNOs?”, which he had to finalize in the same weeks as his family were relocating from the UK to UAE – indeed the submission date was the day on which his daughter started her new school in Dubai, he believe that ‘stressful’ is not the word!! But, in the end it all turned out okay, as in November 2013 he was awarded a Masters of Science in Telecommunications, with Distinction. He was additionally awarded “Best Overall Student” prize for his programme. His graduation ceremony will take place later in 2014, which he is very much looking forward to attending! We are proud to have Kevin in our team, congratulate him and wish him more successes. Kevin McLoughlin, Group CTO obtains his Masters degree
  7. 7. NEWS FROM THE GROUP GITEX 2013 Many members from the Group, including the LAP GreenN Executive Team attended the GITEX Technology Week at the World Trade Center in Dubai from 20-24 October 2013 to view and learn about the latest technologies in the telecoms industry. Launched in 1981, GITEX is the ICT business gateway to the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia Region. Now in its 33rd year, the event featured over 25,000 regional C-level executives and over 3,500 international technology companies that, on average, secured business worth US$1.2 million per order in 2012. LAP GreenN is committed to keeping up with the latest trends and it was important to attend GITEX as it ison course to becoming one of the most internationally diverse and influential expos. AfricaCom The 16th Annual AfricaCom was held on 11-13 November in Cape Town. The event brought more than 8,000 telecom professionals together and gave the opportunity to nearly 500 technology and solution providers to showcase their products and services. On the presentations front, a number of hot topics, such as Customer Experience Management (CEM), Mobile Money, Big Data, Cloud and LTE, were covered by different speakers. Can Hurcan, LAP GreenN's Group Marketing Director, participated in the event to represent the company and he delivered a presentation on the Customer Experience Management stream. In his presentation, Can covered the new data components in Customer Analytics and how this initiative can be used to excel in CEM. Africom was also an opportunity to meet with new vendors as well as further publicize the LAP GreenN name in the African telecoms space. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 6
  8. 8. NEWS FROM UGANDA Win with MSENTE «Win with MSENTE» was launched on the 1st October 2013. It enables customers that transact using the MSENTE mobile money service to win prizes ranging from cash, mobile phones, payment of water bills and DSTV bills, to mention but a few. Any customer who transacts using MSENTE is eligible to win. The more the customer uses the service, the higher the chances of winning a prize. Winners are broadcasted on a weekly 15-minute show on NBS television every Sunday at 7:15pm. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 UTL Katale This promotion was launched on the 4th of October 2013 and is open to all Uganda Telecom Mobile Subscribers. The promotion gives customers the opportunity to bid and win a range of Samsung products ranging from fridges, tablets, television sets, phones, and music systems, to mention but a few. To participate, all Uganda Telecom customers are invited to bid for the prize of the week via SMS. Customers then send their unique bid amounts via SMS to 156 after which they receive an automatic response acknowledging the receipt of their bid. Bidding can be done as many times as one may wish during the same day. The lowest and unique bid for the week wins the prize for the same week. This campaign will run until the of 4th January 2014. page | 7
  9. 9. NEWS FROM UGANDA Endobo Extra Endobo was first launched in 2010. The offer was that with UGX 1000 airtime, a customer would make unlimited UTL to UTL calls until midnight that day. After midnight, one would automatically be taken back to their original profile calling other networks at a price as little as UGX 8 per second. Due to the success of the Endobo promotion, this was re-launched on 20 September 2013 with a new promo name dubbed ENDOBO EXTRA. The new offer allows for unlimited UTL to UTL calls and a discount on UTL to UTL SMS rates expiring at midnight for all Mobile subscribers, both existing and new. For UGX 1000 a customer gets unlimited UTL to UTL calls and can SMS at UGX 50 UTL to UTL all day until midnight. A customer can opt for multiple days: for example, for 3 days, UGX 3000; for 4 days, UGX 4000; for 5 days, UGX 5000 etc. Social Media Staff Promotion In a bid to increase the activity and customer engagement on the different Uganda Telecom social media platforms, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Linkedin, the social media staff promotion was developed. This campaign is meant to communicate brand initiative messages and drive conversations with different accounts online, to elevate the awareness of Uganda Telecom’s products and services and to increase the fan base and positive sentiments on these platforms. In three weeks, the Uganda Telecom Facebook followers have increased from 10,320 to 13,373; Twitter followers have also increased from 1,120 to 1,707. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 8
  10. 10. Bonga Forever Ever This new offer on the Uganda Telecom mobile platform was launched on the 5th of November 2013. With Bonga Forever Ever, a Uganda Telecom customer enjoys up to a 100% bonus every time they load airtime. The airtime bonus can be used to call across all networks. Uganda Telecom subscribers have to opt into this profile to enjoy this offer. Corporate Mega Bonus Corporate Mega Bonus was launched on the 4th of October 2013 across the different media platforms. With the use of Anne Kasiime (a popular comedian in Uganda), the TV advertisement for this promotion has received the highest views in Uganda telecom history. With this offer, a subscriber enjoys unlimited talk to all Uganda Telecom mobiles and landlines and a 40% discount on calls to other networks. NEWS FROM UGANDA GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 9
  11. 11. NEWS FROM SOUTH SOUDAN ITU conference in Bangkok - Thailand Gemtel once again was proud to be among the few companies that represented South Sudan in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) conference conducted in Bangkok the 19th to the 22nd of November 2013. The team, led by its Telecommunication and Postal Service Minister, Her Excellency Rebecca Joshua Okwaci, included a two-man team from Gemtel – Marketing & Corporate Manager Iya Koisse & Corporate and Public Relations Coordinator Lazarus Lual Bol – together with other government dignitaries. This was a demonstration of great Corporate Social Responsibility that gave Gemtel international exposure and for which it received recognition from the Government of The Republic of South Sudan. Night connections In this project Gemtel identifies popular hangouts in town, then sponsors popular nights in that particular joint. For example, Mango Star Hotel is popularly known for live entertainment that promotes youths’ talents, live bands and it hosts local artists every Friday and Saturday. Gemtel sponsors these nights with the main objective of brand visibility, awareness and connection, since our products are displayed in the venue. It binds Gemtel to the community and helps to make the youths realize that Gemtel can support their talents. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 10
  12. 12. NEWS FROM SOUTH SOUDAN . Religious community connection Gemtel is aware that different religious denominations exist in the society. They have tried to associate with them by lending a hand to churches and mosques for their daily activities. For instance, Gemtel donates to religious communities based on the connections the members intend to take. The aim of this program is to gain more subscribers and encourage more use of Gemtel products while contributing to their worship places. Already the program is running in nine Mosques and seven churches. In Juba South Sudan, on October 2nd, Gemtel launched South Sudan’s first USSD-based service innovation that will allow its mobile subscribers to update their Facebook status messages, view/comment on/like, post on or add friends, confirm friend requests, view notifications and much more without using the internet or activating GPRS capabilities. “In the South Sudan market, where the penetration of smartphones is relatively low and the use of internet on mobile is primarily limited to a few, many users are excluded from accessing Facebook. We look forward to bringing thousands of Facebook users in South Sudan closer to their love of social networking.'' One can easily access this service by dialing *325# on his or her Gemtel line and following the prompts. The main objective of this VAS was to increase loyalty among the youth segment and gain a competitive advantage. The service mainly targets prepaid users with emphasis on the youth segment who love social networking. We have carried out launches in the different towns across the country since its official launch in Juba. This service has been warmly welcomed in areas like Yei and Nimule, Gemtel will continue to bring awareness of the service to all subscribers in every region through live trade shows, radio shows, etc. Mobile Facebook Launch GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 11
  13. 13. NEWS FROM IVORY COAST GreenN Facebook SMS The mobile market is one of the most dynamic in Ivory Coast. So to avoid losing market share to other competitors, every provider in the market must come up with innovative and easy–to-use services. On the 1st of November, GreenN CI launched a new service that will make subscribers’ lives easier: SMS GreenN Facebook. This service allows the subscriber to have access to Facebook without being connected to the Internet. The service includes updating one’s status, receiving notifications . It is important to mention that GreenN CI allows access to this service via any terminal. That is to say, the subscriber does not need the latest generation mobile telephone to benefit from the offer. It is easy to access this service. The customer simply sends the word ‘Facebook’ by SMS to 615 and by following some instructions, will receive it to their mobile. The SMS costs 200FCFA. Once registered, you can subscribe to various options: daily, weekly or monthly. For this, the syntax and the costs are the following: "F1" by SMS to 616 (100 CFA francs for one (01) days) "F7" by SMS to 616 (500FCFA for seven (07) days) "F30 " by SMS to 616 (1000FCFA for thirty (30) days) Africa Telecom People From 1st to 2nd October, Africa Telecom People (ATP) exhibition took place in Ivory Coast at the famous hotel called Hotel Ivoire. This exhibition gathered together the main players of mobile telephony in Ivory Coast and related sectors. GreenN CI ensured its presence at this event by setting up a conference stall. It was a very exciting meeting and we hope to be there again next year. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 12
  14. 14. NEWS FROM IVORY COAST GREENN UP The end of the year is approaching and to ensure that subscribers have a wonderful holiday season, the marketing division has decided to extend its offer GreenN Eco until Christmas and New Year. As with the previous offer, this offer allows subscribers to easily communicate in intra and off network because the rates challenge those of any competitor. But the cost of access to the kit for existing subscribers have been revised. The kit for Abidjan and its suburbs is 200F CFA and for Up country, for 200FCFA you are entitled to two (2) kits. The changes made to the offer are free for calls to 5 wrong numbers valid for 30 days and 0.2F/sec to GreenN numbers. The subscription in the offer can be made in three different ways, by SMS,USSD,USSD Menu. Below is the summary table of the subscription which costs only 200FCFA. The offer is available from 29 November. OFFER / Syntax Dial #616#, then choose the number corresponding to the GreenN UP offer and validate it. Next, follow the instructions. The Ivory Coast’s mobile telephony market is changing and we need to keep up with its evolution. The marketing division of GreenN CI is aware of this and wants to make sure its subscribers have a happy end to 2013. Since November 11th , 2013, they did a soft launch of the service of CRBT called GreenN Tunes. What is GreenN Tunes? GreenN Tunes is a service that allows any GreenN subscriber to allocate a music file for any selected contact or category of contacts. In other words, this service allows the GreenN subscriber to customize their music. How does it work? GreenN Tunes is a simple and easy service. The access mode is SMS. The subscriber simply sends an SMS “ENR" to 607 to access the service. This service has many features ranging from consultation of the latest music (SMS “nouvo” to 607) and the most downloaded tunes (SMS "top" to 607) through to the establishment of a sound library (SMS “biblio” to 607). The principle is simple: to personalize the music, it is necessary to choose from the various tunes available, download the selected tune to your library and then configure it as the on hold music. Every song has a code which the subscriber sends by SMS to 607, using the syntax “def+code” (for example, def50117). The service costs 100F monthly and any change of tone is subject to invoicing: 200F per download. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 13
  15. 15. A day in the life of David Chetty, Group Network Director David joined LAP Green in October 2012 as Group Network Director, having previous experience within the LAP Group as CTO in Zamtel in 2011/2012. He has worked for MTN, Celtel, Swedtel, Nokia and TNM in Africa and the Middle East, specifically focused on establishing new networks or turn-around strategies. David has a National Telecommunications Diploma, National Higher Diploma in Post School Education and a MBA. As Group Network Director, his main responsibility is to ensure that the network-related deliverables of the individual OpCos are aligned with the Group strategy and priorities.This entails efficient communication, specifically with the CTOs in the various OpCos, on a daily basis to provide the required guidance and support to ensure deliverables are achieved. The success of the daily communication has been beneficial in providing him with the opportunity to better understand the operating environment. This has resulted in problems being identified and the necessary corrective actions and decisions to address them being taken immediately. Being part of the HQ Organisation, David works closely with other departments, specifically with the Legal, Procurement, M&A teams and Internal Audit on strategic initiatives and special projects. These initiatives entail engaging with both internal and external stakeholders as per the tasks on hand to ensure that the network-related requirements are addressed. Over the year that David has been with the company, he has witnessed a number of achievements. However, there are still a number of challenges in the network environment and he believes that with teamwork, communication and a positive attitude, these challenges will be overcome. GreenN SHOOTS Q4 | 2013 page | 14
  16. 16. GreenN Shoots Editorial Committee: Green Shoots has been prepared by Hend Abdulwahed from LAP GreenN, with the collaboration of Iya Koisse Adoum from Gemtel, and Stephane Nuessan from GreenN CI and Regina Busingye from UTL. If you would like to contribute to our newsletter, or have any feedback or comments to share with us, please contact: Hend Abdulwahed Email: For more information about November 2013 semi-annual meeting, please check-out GreenN Shoots Q4 2013 SPECIAL EDITION