| Danial Norjidi |
PROGRESIF Cellular is targeting a 40-50 per cent market share by 2017, following encouraging sustained growth over the last three months.
Speaking in an interview following the signing of an agreement with Huawei Technologies for a network development project, the CEO Paul Hyde talked about his ambition for Progresif Cellular.
“My ambition for Progresif is not modest,” he said. “My ambition for Progresif is that by 2017, we will have between 40-50 per cent market shares.”
He revealed that over the last three months, Progresif has seen sustained growth in its customer base. “We’ve gone from eight per cent market share to approximately 11.5-12 per cent market share. This is in a three-month period.”
“I attribute this to the fact that the 137 Bruneian staff that were here when I took this company over, were just waiting for a little bit of leadership, some direction, someone to bring in some experience to say, ‘do it in this way, it will work for us’. The Bruneian staff has picked this up and ran with it, and I attribute this growth directly to the fact that my marketing team are starting to advertise and our engineers are remedying some of the problems. This is all down to my Bruneian team; 137 people getting excited, getting motivated, bringing some more staff in, a few expatriates to give them advice and experience.”
These same people, he said, have helped drive growth back into the business, even “before we have a brand, before we repair the network and before we launch the market”.
“This makes me and my board very optimistic that my ambition of 40-50 per cent market share by 2017 is achievable, it really is and we’re all excited about it.”
He went on to share that the rest of this financial year for the company is going to be taken up by “normalising” its environment.
“We want to introduce a normalised financial environment at Progresif as part of a larger Darussalam Assets initiative to move towards a standard of financing or finance reporting called IFRS. We’re taking the flag and running with this as flag bearers. So financially, our target is to get an IFRS situation in the company. We’ll also rebuild the network.
“Once we have this done in this financial year and we re-launch at the start of the coming financial year 2015, I would like to see Progresif go from its 11-12 per cent market share up to approximately 25-27 per cent by the end of the next financial year,” he continued.
“We think it’s possible. Some of the things that we’re going to do with the products are way beyond even what we see in Singapore.
“Some of the specialists I’m bringing down to Brunei to work with my Bruneian team, they’re bringing experience from markets that are even more advanced than Singapore’s, and my message to these guys is, ‘you have 12 months to work with my Bruneian team and create an environment and a product set which is in advance of Singapore’,” he added.
He went on to speak on what he called the “somewhat difficult reality” of Brunei, saying, “We only have a 400,000 population, so the economics surrounding mobile phone companies here means that, if we’re to stay in business and provide a good quality of service, our pricing is never going to be rock bottom. We have to pay a slight premium because of the size of the population.”
Progresif’s view on this, he said, is that if a customer has to pay a premium, they should get “absolute bang for their buck”.
“Every dollar that customers spend should be a dollar well spent. It should be world-class services, world-class customer care and world class quality. I think if you’re paying the kind of prices that we have in Brunei, I think that’s an absolute requisite that the operators give this country a bang for their dollar.
“Unfortunate as it is, the prices are never going to go to the point of places like India. It’s just the reality of Brunei. We’re a country of 400,000 people and around 5,000 square kilometres. The volume economics don’t drive the market, so it has to be driven by the operators giving the customer quality in every aspect, and that’s our strategy,” he added.