The telecommunication sector in Bangladesh is the most attractive and booming sector at present. The concept of mobile telephone has become largely familiar and astonishing in our country since the early 90’s with the ongoing technological advancement. Since then the entire mobile phone companies are trying to attract their subscribers through various worthwhile offers. In our developing economy, mobile phone industry is one of the fastest growing areas as we can see that the numbers of subscribers are more than 43.7million against the 3.5 million (approximately) land-phone subscribers, so the rising demand says that it will continue to develop vigorously for the near future.
AKTEL, which has inaugurated its business in 1997 has experienced increasing growth trend from the very inception phase. At present, in the 11th year of its operations AKTEL has achieved a subscriber base of approximately 7.85 million. The company has a number of plans for the forthcoming future years. AKTEL believes in the practice of Market-Oriented Strategic Planning, developing and maintaining a viable fit between the organization’s objectives, skills and resources. The aim of such approach is to shape and reshape the businesses and services so that they yield target profits and growth.
AKTEL is a service providing company where customer satisfaction is both goal and marketing tool. Today’s customers in the telecom industry, where lots of offers are available, are harder to satisfy. They are smarter, more price conscious, more demanding, less forgiving, and they are approached by many more companies with equal or better offers. The challenge is not only to produce satisfied customer but also to produce loyal and delighted customer. AKTEL has adopted a customer centered philosophy placing the customer at the centre of all its decisions and as the basis for designing its marketing strategies, whilst simultaneously delivering superior value to the target consumers because of today’s highly competitive market demand. This study has attempted to describe the satisfaction level of post-paid subscribers of AKTEL. This is a competitive and customer driven market. It is high time for AKTEL to satisfy and retain its existing customers. Since the customer’s are always the driving force for any service-oriented business, AKTEL needs to shape up its customer related philosophy and aim to become the market leader through these customers.
In this era of communication, cell phone undoubtedly has positioned itself in hearts of the consumers. So, consumers are the prime focus of any telecom operator of our country and thus the satisfaction level of consumers regarding the services offered by mobile phone companies and undertaken strategies became the key success factors for them. Accordingly, this is intensely important to know and assess the satisfaction level of the mobile phone consumers and to evaluate strategy of the mobile operators because depending upon the findings, individual operator can outline new sales target as sales is the ultimate factor which drives one company towards profit. Considering all these, this is apparent that the study of satisfaction level of mobile phone subscribers and evaluation of strategy carry a significant meaning.
Origin of the Report
The internship program is an educational requirement of BBA Program under an assigned Business faculty of respective University and BBA is building up the theoretical knowledge about respective areas of business, which is the base of practical knowledge. One semester BBA internship program is an attempt to provide business students a practical orientation to the workplace as well as to a real life business situation where students get exposure to as well as can blend the theoretical knowledge with practical work experience. As per norm this report is the requirement of the fulfillment of the internship program and TM International (Bangladesh) Limited, AKTEL has been the concentrated company for preparing this report. The report on “Determination of Consumer Satisfaction of Aktel Postpaid service and evaluation of Marketing Strategy” is the outcome of 3-month internship at the Corporate Business Division at the Head Office of TM International (Bangladesh) limited (AKTEL). During this period I was assigned with the jobs related to the Customer complain, care and Database management System. I was under the supervision of Mr. Fazle Rabbi, Sr.Asst.Manager, Corporate Business Division. The internship report has been prepared on the mentioned topic, which was instructed by my academic advisor Mohammad Anisur Rahman, Senior lecturer, Department of Business Administration of East West University. One of the main objectives of the BBA program is to create skilled professionals for various sectors. This program is designed to meet the needs of each student who wants to develop their career as executives in the field of different business areas as well as teaching and in research positions in different institutions. But perfection does not come only from theoretical knowledge. To reinforce the theoretical knowledge acquired, practical Internship of three months in private business organizations, government offices, public sector corporations, banks and non-financial institutions is arranged to expose the student to the organizational work situation, certain organizational culture, rules and regulation, team work etc. In spite of limited knowledge and experience. To accomplish the assigned job, due earnestness have been put into work. If any lacking prevails in the report, there is no objection to accept it if being pointed out sincerely.
Objectives of the Study
- To have a clear picture about the Company- TM International (Bangladesh) Limited, AKTEL.
- To determine the consumer satisfaction level of AKTEL Postpaid Service and to evaluate marketing strategy of the company.
- To conduct comparative analysis among telecom operators and to find out position of Aktel.
Scope of the Report
The report is prepared, based on the satisfaction level of postpaid user of AKTEL. The target is to give comprehensive understanding about the customer satisfaction about Aktel in telecommunication industry, the way AKTEL is dealing with the demand of the customer and the approach which is adopted to satisfy and retain its customer as well as the evaluation of marketing strategy the company is following.
Methodology & Data Collection
This report is aimed at presenting experiences gathered in the work place regarding the marketing aspects of the work. With this end of view, data have been collected on the structure and working methods of corporate sales (post-paid) team under the Sales division of AKTEL. The methodology of the internship report is described in the following paragraphs.
Internship coordinator, Mr. Fazle Rabbi has suggested a structure of the report. According to his instruction, detailed table of contents of the report have been prepared to set the orderliness of the report.
For the data collection purpose, several procedures have been undertaken. For the organizational part, basically it was observation and had to take the help of the corporate portal of AKTEL. For the analysis part, had to gone through several annual reports published by the telecom companies as well as the daily telecom news from different newspapers, websites.
Source of Data
The data presented in the report is a combination of both the primary & secondary data as primary data have been collected through conducting a survey and the secondary data about company background and performances from several sources like newspapers, corporate portals, annual reports and websites.
Analysis of Data
After collecting the data from both primary and secondary sources, data are tabulated in the Ms excel Spreadsheet and analyzed through various pie and bar charts too.
Limitation of the Report
- The lack of clarification in many aspects of the industry analysis part has increased the complexities.
- The relevant data were hard to find, so it has complicated the data collection process.
- Survey was conducted in small size of sample which could not represent the entire Aktel Postpaid market.
- It was really hard to complete this report within a very short period of time while doing the internship from 9a.m to 6p.m except Friday.
Background of the Telecommunication Industry in Bangladesh
In this era of globalization, communication has become the most significant factor. Telecom industry is currently playing a major role to change the lives of the people and their businesses. In a densely populated country like Bangladesh, telecommunication can play a vital role to boost the economy and social level of people. This sector is poised for rapid growth in the coming years. Moreover, the efficiency of other businesses has already increased because mobile phone has become easily available in these days due to the government’s decision of deregulating the telecommunications sector, which had been a state monopoly until the late 1980s.
Privatization of the telecommunication sector began in 1989, when Sheba and BRTA were awarded 25-year licenses to install and operate fixed-wire lines and wireless services in rural areas. The same year, Pacific Telecom Bangladesh got the Government’s permission to launch the country’s first cellular phone and paging service sold under the brand name CityCell in collaboration with a Hong Kong based company. The company targeted only the higher class of the society. During that time, price of mobile was above Tk 50,000. Naturally, the growth of the industry was very slow. CityCell had a virtual monopoly until 1996, when the government gave licenses to three more companies to operate cell phones in Bangladesh. So the government decided to bring more companies in the market and break the monopoly.
After a careful evaluation, Bangladesh government decided to provide three licenses to GrameenPhone, TMIB (AKTEL), and Sheba Telecom (today’s Banglalink). CityCell has been using the CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology to provide its services. GrameenPhone, AKTEL, and Banglalink are using GSM technology. GSM is the most popular mobile telecommunication technology in the world. About 70% of the cell phone users of the world use GSM technology.Warid Telecom, another company using the GSM technology, has entered the cell phone industry in Bangladesh.
When GP, AKTEL and Sheba Telecom entered the market, they not only helped to cut back the over-dependence on BTTB’s fixed-line system, but also made mobile phones cheaper and easier to get. A definite development has been observed in the business market with comparatively high expectations. Customer maturity and anticipation regarding technology has increased over time. Rumors regarding new entrants have groomed expectations in the market. Consequently, people are expecting cheaper handsets with lowered airtime.
However, the recent entrances of private fixed land phone companies have increased the concern of the cell phone companies. New companies like RanksTel, OneTel, Bay Phone and Bijoy Phone have became threat for their operations in different districts in Southeast, Northeast and Northwest regions of Bangladesh. In near future, this new segment might be a creeping threat for the existing players of the industry.
AKTEL-at a glance
TM International (Bangladesh) Ltd. (TMIB), established in 1996, is a joint venture company between Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM) and A. K. Khan & Co. Ltd. It operates under the brand name ‘AKTEL’, which is one of the most dynamic end-to-end countrywide GSM solutions brands.
Under the stewardship of TM, AKTEL is one of the fastest growing mobile communication brands offering comprehensive range of solutions to more than seven million subscribers nationwide. Today, AKTEL boasts of the widest International Roaming service in the market, connecting 440 operators across 185 countries. By leveraging on TM’s extensive expertise in the international communications implementation, AKTEL became the first mobile operator to connect Tetulia and Teknaf, which is the northern and southern most points of Bangladesh and first to provide seamless coverage along the Dhaka-Chittagong highway. Since the commencement of its operation, AKTEL has been a force to be reckoned with in the telecommunication industry of Bangladesh, being one of the fastest growing mobile communication companies offering comprehensive GSM to its subscribers. With a network covering all 64 allowable districts of Bangladesh, coupled with the first Intelligent Network (IN) Prepaid Platform in the country, AKTEL is geared to provide a wide range of products and services to customers across the country.
To be a leader as a Telecommunication Service Provider in Bangladesh.
Long-Term Vision of the Company
TM International (Bangladesh) Limited aspire with the state-of-the-art technologies, such as, through 3G technology it would fulfill long-felt needs of Bangladeshi subscribers by offering innumerable innovative products and value-for-money services in coming days.t3G”
According to SMr. Jefri Ahmad Tambi, CEO & Managing Director of AKTEL-‘Providing best possible service to our valued subscribers across the country is the only stairs to success’, so in forthcoming future Aktel will increase workforce as well as will expand its network coverage through network quality and distribution across all 64districts to reach a subscriber base of 10million.
TM International (Bangladesh) Limited has signed a document with NTT DOCOMO for selling 30percent share of A.K Khan & co. As NTT DOCOMO is not only Japan’s premier mobile communications company, but also an influential force in advancing mobile communications technology on a global scale.Such company and alliance with it can complement as well as leverage capabilities and resources of AKTEL
AKTEL aims to achieve its vision through being number ‘one’ not only in terms of market share, but also by being an employer of choice with up-to-date knowledge and products geared to address the ever changing needs of our budding nation.
AKTEL always strives to uphold the dictum ‘Customer First’.
AKTEL is committed to achieving leadership in customer satisfaction by continually improving its processes, products and services to ensure they consistently exceed customers’ requirements. We will develop and implement technology and infrastructure that enable us to be clearly ahead in Bangladesh and to enhance the mobility experience of our customers
AKTEL’s Business Slogan
- Total commitment to the needs of customers.
- To follow the highest ethical standards.
- Continuous improvement of all work processes.
- Permanent improvement of all the employees’ knowledge and skills.
- Securing the quality of the service to match the quality of service offered by the world’s most successful companies in the field
- Preserving the company’s leading position in the national market of mobile telecommunications.
Global Mission of the Company
AKTEL wants to provide its customers the best quality service in terms of,
- Trusted technology around the world
- Wide coverage with digital clarity
- Digital security with peace of mind
- Various choices of value-added features
- Better customer service-not just promised, but delivered
- Competitive rate and better billing system
Shareholders of AKTEL
The company AKTEL, with a full title being: TM International Bangladesh Ltd., was founded as a joint company of the Telekom Malaysia Berhad from Malaysia and the A. K. Khan & Co. of Dhaka, Bangladesh.
It operates as a Limited Liability Company, where a founder and a majority shareholder, the TMIB – member of the Telekom Malaysia, owns 70% shares, while the minority shares of 30% are being controlled by the A. K. Khan & Co. Bangladesh. AKTEL is proud to be associated as part of the Telekom Malaysia Group (TM), which is strong financially and internationally renowned for its successful ventures like MTN, the market leader in the telecommunication industry in Sri Lanka. It has a global presence in 11 countries with staff strength of 30,000 Group wide. TM has recently made a couple of major acquisitions in India and Indonesia in the effort to stamp its presence internationally. In Indonesia, TM has acquired 27.3 per cent interest of PT Excelcomindo Pratama, the third largest mobile operator and in India, 47.7 per cent stake in Idea Cellular. TM hopes to extend its regional and global presence with these new acquisitions.
AKTEL’s Core Values
Aktel’s reputation is based upon the ability to fulfill promises to shareholders, customers and employees. Aktel does so by being honest in the dealings, taking responsibility and being accountable for their actions. It treats everyone the way they would like to be treated. It is proactive in identifying issues and coming up with solutions. It ensures that the highest ethical standards that give guidance in making decisions. We are true to our word.
Total Commitment to Customer
Aktel’s success is based upon the customer focus. It listens to and connects with customers to anticipate their needs and make it easy for them to do business. Aktel keep promises by offering value and quality services to enrich lives and enhance business success. Aktel treats the customers with dignity and respect.
Respect & Care for Others
By working as one team with shared goals Aktel achieves great things. Aktel gives the value to ideas and contributions from everyone. Aktel recognizes respects and value diversity in the team. We develop strong bonds by communicating and sharing knowledge. Aktel encourages open discussion and commit to an agreed position because all have a part to play.
Major Milestones of AKTEL
AKTEL is one of the major players in the mobile telecommunication industry in Bangladesh, which concentrates on offering GSM services for private and corporate customers. The company’s intention is to promote the wireless lifestyle, the complete mobile society. AKTEL is renowned for bringing new service offers in Bangladesh.
Below, some of the first time offers are mentioned,
- First telecom operator to receive ISO 9001-2000 certification
- First to launch mobile+BTTB incoming
- First time introduced the ‘Mobile Plus (PSTN Incoming Connectivity Only) Product Services’ in Bangladesh.
- First time introduced the Tele-ramadan (timing of Iftar and Sehri during Ramadan) under Tele-info Services in Bangladesh.
- First time introduced the full-fledged IVR based Customer Services (Call Center) in telecom market.
- First time introduced cellular services in the most northern part of Bangladesh by launching AKTEL Service in Rangpur and Dinajpur in 2002.
- Introduced the automatic system generated bill amount and payment request for the post-paid subscribers in 2002. The automatic unbarring facility, after necessary payment making by the subscribers, is also a part of this system.
- First time introduced message-greeting system with FunDose in Bangladesh.
- Introduced GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) for the first time in Bangladesh.
- First time introduced 30-second pulse rate in Bangladesh, recently AKTEL has introduced 10-second pulse for the pre-paid users and 1-second pulse for the post-paid users.
- First time introduced club membership offer for the exclusive users of AKTEL. The club is known as Club Magnate, which offers extra services with its Platinum, Gold and Silver cards
- First time introduced the concept of Tele-marketing and Door-to-Door delivery services for the newly launched post-paid package ‘AKTEL Infinity’.
- First time introduced easy electronic refill system by introducing E-fill where customers can easily recharge their pre-paid connections from nearby retail shops
- First to bring the technology/service of call blocking to avoid disturbance from unknown and unwanted numbers.
AKTEL Key Achievements
- TeleLink communication Award 2007 TeleLink Telecommunication Award 2007″ for its excellence in service, corporate social responsibilities and dealership management for the year 2006 in commemoration of WORLD Telecommunication Day 2007.
- TeleLink Telecommunication Award 2005 TeleLink Telecommunication Award 2005 for its excellence in service for the year 2005.
- Arthakantha Business Award Given by the national fortnightly business magazine of Bangladesh for its excellence in service in telecom sector.
- Financial Mirror Businessmen Award Given by the national weekly Tabloid business magazine.
- Deshbandhu C. R. Das Gold Medal For contribution to telecom sector in Bangladesh.
- Beautification Award for exceptional contribution to the Dhaka Metropolitan city from Prime Minister Office on 13th SAARC Summit.
- Standard Chartered – Financial Express Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Awards 2006 For contribution in Education, Primary Health, poverty alleviation and ecological impact.
- Arthokontho Business Award 2006 For better telecom service provider in Bangladesh.
- Financial Mirror & Robintex Business award 2006 For its excellence in service, corporate social responsibilities activities throughout Bangladesh.
- Desher Kagoj Business Award 2006 For Corporate Social Responsibilities activities
Organizational Structure of AKTEL
AKTEL places a high value on human resource development and the contributions made by its employees. They persevere to maintain a productive and harmonious working environment in the whole organization. AKTEL always continues with its efforts to improve the efficiency of its employees and align them to the right positions with well-defined responsibilities.
The organogram indicates that the top-level management consists of the MD, the COO and the CFO. The Chief Operational Officer (COO) monitors the direct operations of the company, whereas the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) monitors the financial matters of the direct operations. At the same time, they co-operate each other and report to the Managing Director (MD). The managing director is the direct supervisor of all the divisions and departments.
Currently, there are four divisions and four departments. The chief of the divisions are called the General Manager (GM). Conversely, the chief of the departments are called the head of department. Every general manager has an Assistant General Manager (AGM) and the heads of the departments are on the equivalent rank of the AGMs. Divisions deal with the core activities of the company, whereas the departments deal with the supporting activities. Every division has precise units and there is a head for every unit. Below, a concise description of every unit is specified:
Because of the rapid expansions of its networks and enormous growth of its subscriber base, the company has increased its workforce. AKTEL has successfully hired some key senior managers who were recruited on the basis of their professional expertise and experience. In order to cope up with the dynamic nature of the company’s business, initiatives are always taken to restructure and recognize the company’s existing set up. It always evolves standardized management systems and procedures across functional divisions, focusing in particular, on the effective integration and assimilation of all the organizational units. AKTEL has 7departments. They are:
- Marketing Division.
- Information Technology Division.
- Finance Division.
- Technical Division.
- Human Resource Division.
- Corporate Strategy Department.
- Coordination Department.
Marketing division constitutes seven units. A brief description of each unit is given below:
Brand and A&P
Brand and A&P denotes to brand and advertising & promotion. This unit deals with the overall brand management and promotion activities of the company. The unit covers both outdoor (billboards, road-overhead etc) media and indoor (print & electronic) media. This unit is also responsible for communicating with the advertising agencies, since AKTEL does not have any in-house agency. Each unit has a unit-head who reports to the AGM of Marketing.
Product development unit is like the R&D unit of a company, which is responsible for developing new products and services. This unit is closely related to the marketing research unit and together the units come up with new service concepts and ideas. Product development unit is also responsible for monitoring the core services (Pre-Paid and Post-Paid). Like other units, this unit also has a head reporting to the AGM.
Marketing Research and MIS
AKTEL has one unit covering both marketing research and marketing information system (MIS). This unit conducts quarterly research through research firms and in-house interns. The unit is also responsible to keep track on the latest innovations and new offers of other operators. In TMIB, this unit is not a full-fledged unit yet.
International roaming (IR) unit is basically responsible for ISD, international SMS etc services. The core task of this unit is to negotiate with foreign telecommunication companies and to expand the international coverage by making deals with them. There is a head of IR who reports to the AGM.
Corporate sales unit deals with the sales of products and services to other companies. The unit makes agreements with different companies to be the corporate clients of AKTEL and only handle the corporate level sales.
Direct sales unit is responsible for the sales of products and services to the mass customers through the customer service centers. AKTEL has eleven customer service centers around the country and these centers sell the services to the customers directly.
Dealer Management Unit (Customer and Channel Development)
Dealer management unit oversees the dealers of the company around the country. AKTEL has four dealers and one agent and they need to be monitored and supervised constantly. The head of this unit reports to the AGM of Marketing.
Information Technology Division
IT division constitutes seven units and they closely work together.
Value added Services (VAS)
Value added service is a unit that implements the developed concepts and ideas of the marketing division. The unit is responsible for the development of the software, which will be used for the application of the new services developed by the product development unit. Simultaneously, this unit handles the VAS content providers who are the third party to the company.
The billing unit is responsible for processing and monitoring the billing systems for the Post-Paid users. The unit has a manager who reports to the AGM of IT.
This unit is responsible for charging the rates of Post-Paid service. The unit fixes per-minute and pulse rates and also fix the pulse durations. It also changes the rates on demand basis.
This unit only deals with the Pre-Paid service. It administers the e-fill and scratch card systems. At the same time, it fixes per-minute and pulse rates and fix the pulse durations.
This unit is responsible for designing and developing products and services. It develops the blueprint of the product-design.
Billing Operation Team
Billing operation team is responsible for administering the entire billing process and developing required software for collecting bills from Post-Paid users.
Customer Relations Management (CRM)
This unit supplies required software to the customer ca-e centers and work with these centers side by side. The centers usually inform CRM concerning their necessaries and the unit prepares suitable software for them.
Financial division has eight units dealing with financial matters of the company.
Corporate finance unit consists of treasury management and L/C. Treasury management deals with the inflow and outflow of the company, whereas L/C (Letter of credits) deals with the L/C opening banks and other foreign banks.
This unit keeps track on the accounts payable of the company.
This unit keeps track on the accounts receivables of the company while preparing the balance sheet. As TMIB is a large company with thousands of financial transactions everyday, a unit to keep track on the accounts is necessary.
Core account is an important unit of the finance division dealing with the budget and fixed assets. The annual budget of various departments is prepared under the close observation of this unit.
Revenue assurance unit consists of revenue assurance and fraud management. Revenue assurance monitors the transactions and assures full protection of the finances. On the other hand, fraud management protects the fraudulences take place in the daily transactions.
Taxation unit takes care of the tax, VAT and tariffs of the company.
The reporting unit reports the entire financial transactions of TMIB to the parent company in Malaysia.
This unit forecasts the costing of different departments and resorts them regarding the expected expenditure of any alteration.
The technical division consists of three major units – planning, infrastructure and property management.
The planning unit makes plans regarding the technical matters such as the RF, SWITCH etc. They assure the proper placement of technical devices and equipments.
The infrastructure unit selects the locations and builds the base transceiver station (BTS) towers. They are also responsible for the maintenance of the towers.
The property management unit manages the technical equipments and assets.
Human Resource Division
Human resource department is responsible for the recruitment and training of the employees of the company. They also monitor the performance and handle the promotion and salary related matters. Along with the HR department, there is an Administration. The administration is responsible for supplying furnishings and equipments to all the divisions and departments. They also administer the regulations of the company.
Corporate Strategy Department
The corporate strategy department determines the long-term strategies and the short-term plans. All the corporate level policies come from them and they are also responsible for the implementation.
Corporate Affairs Department
The corporate affairs department is responsible for maintaining a liaison with other major companies. Through this department, TMIB makes business deals with other corporations and assist each other.
The coordination department is responsible for the internal and external synchronization. At one hand, they coordinate with outside companies. Along with that, they harmonize among the divisions and departments inside the company.
Relationship among different Divisions & Departments
An organization is like complex machinery consisting of different parts. Different functional divisions and departments are the different parts of this organizational machinery. Therefore, to make an organization a success, the divisions and departments must work accordingly. In AKTEL all the divisions and departments are closely tied with one another.
Sales unit makes sales forecast, identifies market’s potential opportunity and sends it to the technical division for doing the plan for new coverage area. These two divisions jointly plan for increasing the coverage area. If there is any complaint regarding the networks Customer Relation Management unit informs it to technical division for solving it. Again Customer Relation Management Unit informs marketing division about the problems and suggestions regarding the products and their selling procedure. Finance division is related with al the divisions for fund allocation and fund management of all shorts and giving salary to all the AKTEL employees. Human Resource Department meets the employee need of other divisions by conducting total recruitment process.
Evaluation of Marketing Strategy of Aktel
Marketing strategy means a set of ideas and actions that outline and guide decisions on how to create, distribute, promote, and price a product or service. A plan which clearly outlines how a business is hoping to achieve its sales targets. And AKTEL believes in the practice of customer-Oriented Strategic planning, developing and maintaining a viable fit between the organization’s objectives, skills and resources. The aim of such approach is to shape and reshape the businesses and services so that they yield target profits and growth.
TM always wants to achieve the desired sales growth and customer base. TM wants to encourage the existing customers to use more of their services. As all marketing strategy is built on STP (segmentation, targeting and positioning), so it is the prime area to discuss.
Aktel segments telecommunication market into two parts, business market and consumer market. It is offering different packages to consumer market as well as corporates.Depending on usage rate and loyalty status, Aktel also segments consumer market, such as, club magnate, gold, platinum and silver member. Its objective is to serve those customers who have been loyal to AKTEL and who have been the pillar of AKTEL’s success.
Aktel is using selective specialization or multisegment strategy that has advantage of diversifying the company’s risk. Individual businessman, entrepreneur, professionals and established organizations are postpaid customers of TMIB. It also target, students and low-income groups with their Pre-Paid services. To serve the market more accurately their target market will be further segmented based on psychographics and business size.
The target for AKTEL is to reach and to occupy a distinctive place in the mind of Individual businessman, entrepreneur, professionals and established organizations for postpaid customers of TMIB. AKTEL wants to be the leader with quality network, services and offerings.
TM International (Bangladesh) Ltd, Aktel is in service marketing-so traditional four Ps marketing approach need additional three Ps (people, process and physical evidence) in service marketing.
Product- SIM Card is the only physical product offered by the Aktel. The prime service provided by AKTEL is broadly categorized in the two types: Post-paid and the Pre-paid service.
AKTEL’s offering can be explained through five levels of product. Such as,
- Core benefit-customer actually buying voice communication facility through AKTEL’s sim.
- Basic product– network and data communication in form of sms can be considered as basic product of the company.
- Expected product– buyers usually expect low tariff, pulse, friends and family (FnF), voice clarity etc attributes while purchasing a sim.
- Augmented product-life insurance, call block,sms banking,cafe800(voice based service regarding entertainment, weather, available jobs, religion, hotel, shopping mall, yellow page, exchange rate,embassy,horoscope etc),voice greeting service, Aktel PA etc facilities in product can exceeds customer expectations.
- Potential product- 3G technology (with video and audio streaming ability along with TV broadcasting), healthcare service through call can be potential facilities in future Aktel will offer.
Aktel is planning about,
- Continuous improvement of product as well as service quality.
- Repositioning of slow moving products to different target markets
- Always branding AKTEL with all packages with a GSM service
Price- Aktel will prefer to sell value rather than price. So it has set different competitive price/tariff for different packages in relation to the value delivered and perceived by the customer.Aktel is planning,
- To bring necessary changes in tariff structure and terms and conditions.
- To initiate Penetration pricing to face competition
- Skimming policy possible.
Promotion- Company maintains and also planning its channels of information and persuasion in order to promote its offerings and ideas through,
- Brochures with all necessary info
- Press ads
- TV commercials (in future)
- Sponsorship, trade shows, social cause marketing
- Direct marketing
Place/Distribution- AKTEL network covers all 64districts of Bangladesh and for availability of its product, offerings and other value added services, Aktel has 19customer care center, 450AKTEL touch point (ATP) and 2core distributor( Compugates and AKTD) across the country. Recently Aktel has extended its customer service delivery to 482 Channel Partners across the country. The company is planning to,
- Make effective use of distribution.
- Make product service delivery system more effective and less time consuming.
- Wider distribution network to make service more accessible and available too.
Distribution Channel of AKTEL
Dealer Sub-dealer Trade Customer
People- Achievements are only ensured by working with dedication, commitment and most importantly team work. TM International Bangladesh LTD (Aktel) is capable to promote stronger customer loyalty through its 1700 well trained, motivated, responsive, knowledgeable employees with positive attitude and they are the prime asset of the company. As nature and extent of personal contact with customers in service encounters are critical importance in determining customer satisfaction, Aktel is planning to increase its workforce and trained team strives to guarantee customer -oriented service aiming to satisfy the subscribers with proactive attitude and efficient solution.
Process- Being a service company, Aktel follows simple process to serve its customers and technical, IT department remain always supportive to ensure on spot remedy to address system failures. Moreover for customer query and complain handling, company maintains 24hour help line, Customer care center and complain management software(CMS) for employees to keep track of customer complain of different issues. Even convenient bill payment system and bill checking system allow customer to remain connected, always.
Physical evidence– As customer judge service not only by its technical and functional quality, so Aktel manage to demonstrate its service quality through physical evidence and presentation, such as, well furnished, equipped, nicely decorated customer care centers and Aktel touch points, competent and smart customer care executives, attractive packaging and advertisements etc.
SWOT Analysis of AKTEL
Company must fully understand its own ability to meet customer need and this involves evaluating of AKTEL’s Strengths, weaknesses, Opportunities and threats. SWOT analysis is a very important tool for a company in order to determine the present standpoint of the company.
- Joint Venture
AKTEL is a brand of TM International Bangladesh Ltd., which is a joint venture of A.K. Khan & Co. Limited of Bangladesh and Telekom Malaysia Berhad of Malaysia. A. K. Khan & Co. Ltd. and Telekom Malaysia Berhad comprise 30% and 70% equity capitals respectively in this joint venture. TMIB started its operation in 1997 after receiving the license in 1996 to operate GSM cellular phone services in Bangladesh. This venture has contributed both the companies the advantage of risk diversification. At the same time, Telekom Malaysia Berhad has gained strong local network through A. K. Khan & Co. Ltd., which is a well-established company based in Chittagong.
- Foreign Knowledge Resources
The top-level management of TM International Bangladesh Ltd. by any large, consists of foreign personalities. Most of the departmental heads are from Malaysia, India, Australia, and Sri-Lanka. Because of this mix & match of local and foreign expertise in the company, there is a blend of knowledge. Moreover, the generation of foreign knowledge in the company has enabled the company to compete internationally.
- Strong Brand Image
TM International (Bangladesh) Ltd. commenced its journey with the brand “AKTEL” in 1997 as the 2nd GSM operator in Bangladesh. Since its inception, AKTEL has established itself into a popular name among the community. Being on of the pioneers, AKTEL has a strong brand image in Bangladesh and people recognize the name instantaneously. This recognition has given the company an added advantage, as TMIB is operating in a very competitive market.
- Skilled Human Resource
Because of its attractive incentive packages and strong brand image in the job-market, skilled workforces have grown an interest towards TMIB. This has given the company an extra benefit, as the company can recruit the finest from the pool of employees. Furthermore, TMIB frequently recruits young, enthusiastic, and resourceful employees from reputed academic institutions. It also provides motivation among its employees by offering extra inducements such as: awarding gold medals to best employees of the year, organizing entertainment programs, providing transportation facility etc. These extra services have enhanced employees’ motivation level and loyalty.
- Non-Political Work Environment
The work-environment of TMIB is very friendly and co-operative. The practice of internal politics is completely absent and there is an orderly co-ordination among the departments. As most of the employees belong to the same age group, there is a harmonization in the organization.
- Collaboration with Diverse Companies
TMIB has alliance with diverse companies to support its service offerings. For an example, recently the company has launched a club-membership facility for its post-paid subscribers, named “Club Magnate”. To offer this club-membership, TMIB has collaborated with different companies such as Agora, Malaysia Airlines, Hotel Seagull etc. In a similar manner, TMIB has partnerships with Cineplex, Bdjobs, Deshimobile, and Fantasy Kingdom etc. These collaborations have contributed the company in cost-efficiency and super service-offerings.
- Collaboration with Financial Institutions
Apart from having collaboration with diverse companies, TMIB also has collaboration with a number of financial institutions. For example, TMIB has affiliation with HSBC and Standard Chartered bank for billing, salary and sms banking purposes. It also has collaboration with EBL, DBBL, SCB, BRAC Bank and other banks. Because of maintaining an excellent relationship with these financial institutions, TMIB will get the privilege while taking loans or any type of financial services from these institutions.
- Distinctive Service Offers
TMIB has a well-known reputation of being “The First Being Ever” in the country. It has always tried to bring something new and exceptional in the market. There are countless services, which are brought by TMIB under AKTEL brand. Some of the outstanding services are: E-fill, Pulse offer, GPRS (Mobile Internet), Greeting Messages (Fun Dose), buy-one-get-one offers, call block facility etc. By providing distinct services, TMIB has achieved the status of “Fast Mover”.
- Positive Corporate Culture
The corporate culture of TMIB is famous for being friendly and positive. The company has a “Thursday Dress-Code” (casual) for the employees. It also assembles money from every employee to have tea-break snacks. There is a pleasing synchronization among the staffs, which has built a positive corporate culture.
- Social cause Marketing
TMIB regularly takes part in charity functions and is renowned for donating money in different deprived institutions as well as distressed people around the country. The company has already donated money, free-books, free-medicines, and free SIM cards in various schools, madrasas and hospitals. It is also involved in societal marketing advertising. Recently the slogan campaign of TMIB supporting the autistic children has attracted huge attention.
- Poor Work Delegation Structure
The departmental structure of TMIB is not precise and well thought-out. Each department contains several units. However, the units are not separated by well-defined boundaries and it is very difficult to distinguish among them.
- Employee Insufficiency
The departments of TMIB do not have sufficient work force to carry on a thorough task. Most of the employees in each unit are loaded with several duties and sometimes it becomes a burden on their shoulders. Lack of employees in each department is a serious weakness for the company.
- High Fixed Cost
Telecommunication industry has a high level of fixed costs. TMIB, operating in this industry, also faces such disadvantages. Office rent, network tower maintenance cost, operational cost etc are the fixed costs of the company. These fixed costs do not allow the company to gain the advantage of economies of scale, which is essential for the company to perform well financially. Because of high fixed cost and low economies of scale, the company also has a low reinvestment rate.
- High Employee Turnover Rate
As there are four major players operating in the market, it is apparent that each company will try to draw employees from other companies by offering better incentive-packages. This practice has created a high employee turn over rate in TMIB. Every year, lots of competent workers leave the company to join other companies. This has created a major crisis, as TMIB cannot implement any effective long-term strategy and unable to secure employee satisfaction.
- Inadequate Network Coverage in Rural Areas
Presently, TMIB has network coverage in 64 districts. However, most of the upazilas of these districts do not have the coverage. Therefore, despite covering 64districts of the country, AKTEL users in rural areas do not get the frequency. This has created a disappointment among the subscriber and hence it is a drawback of TMIB.
- Feeble Recruitment Policy
Though TMIB attracts skilled workers from renowned academic institutions all over the country, because of its poor recruitment policy, many undesired employees are hired over desired ones. Sometimes people with objectionable background are hired and sometimes, right people are not hired in right positions. Thus it creates a risk of wasting talents in the company.
- Shortage of Logistics Supports
Many departments on TMIB do not have sufficient equipment support such as fax machines, printers, scanners etc. Lack of proper equipments in departments has created pace of work slower and lengthy.
- Dealer Insufficiency
TMIB has only 4-5 authorized dealers and one distributor, which is insufficient for a company, covering network in 61 districts. As a result of inadequate number of dealers and distributors, there is high possibility of Gray Marketing. If the SIM cards of TMIB pass on the hands of unauthorized dealers, it would be very difficult for the company to maintain a consistency in price and quality.
- Network Limitation
Call drop, congestion and poor network connectivity with BTTB result in bad image of the company.
- Less creative commercial Ads
The commercial ads of AKTEL are not that much appealing to its prospective customers compare to its competitors. Even the company does not allocate sufficient budget for promotional activities to communicate its offerings. Valuable features are not focused in its Ad. AKTEL doesn’t show its competitive advantages through its ads whereas its competitors such as Grameen, Banglalink and CityCell have done it effectively.
- Incompetent Public Sector
The public sector in Bangladesh is not capable of meeting the market demand of prospective phone users. Moreover, the lengthy and bureaucratic process of public offices has discouraged people to use T&T and public mobile phone (TeleTalk). For these inconvenience systems, people in our country have adopted private mobile phone services as an alternative. This is a great opportunity for TMIB to grab this huge market of prospective phone users.
- Upward Moving Population Income
According to World Bank source, the disposable income of people in Bangladesh is increasing every year. In addition, Bangladeshi market has high mobile phone acceptability. Both the factors are fostering the fact that Bangladesh is a potential market for mobile phone companies. Operating in such a market is a lucrative opportunity for TMIB.
- Business Diversification Opportunity
Operating in telecommunication industry has given TMIB with the opportunity of business diversification in related sectors. Having the expertise in telecommunication field for a long time, TMIB can expand its business phone set business, mobile phone battery business etc.
- Easy Entrance to Foreign Market
TMIB has joint venture with a prominent Malaysian telecom company, Telecom Malaysia Berhad. At the same time, operating in an aggressive market has enabled the company to become very competitive. These attributes have permitted the company to have an easy access to foreign market and compete with foreign rivals.
- Easy Loan Access
As discussed before, TMIB has collaboration with a number of financial institutions regarding billing and wage-payment purposes. This has allowed the company to have a good relationship with the institutions. TMIB can take advantage of these collaborations and can have easy access to loans and other financial matters.
- New Strategic Alliances
Strategic alliance in telecommunication industry is not a new phenomenon. Among six mobile operators, five operators in Bangladesh have strategic alliances with renowned foreign companies. TMIB can form new alliances with eminent companies of different countries to achieve higher competitiveness and bring more expertise inside the company.
- Network Coverage Expansion
TMIB has already network coverage in 61 districts. However, most of the upazilas and rural areas of these districts are not under the coverage. In this circumstance, to increase the coverage in remote areas, TMIB can utilize its already established towers. Otherwise, they can set up new towers. Establishing new towers will not be a barrier for TMIB, as the company can form collaborations with GrameenPhone or other operators who already have towers in those areas.
- High Need for Telecom Service
Current market growth of the telecommunication is significant which arises a great opportunity for the cellular phone companies to grow rapidly. The demand of the cell phone is still increasing. Variety services with most lucrative features made this sector more and more attractive day by day. Recent year’s growth reflects the enormous potential for the development to telecommunications and information technology in the country.
- Declining Prices for Handsets
The prices of the mobile sets are declining in Bangladesh that makes an easy gateway for the customers to use cell phones. It will create an opportunity for the telecommunication industry by getting large number of customers. Other opportunities can be important factors for AKTEL are: Economic growth of Bangladesh, new and better interconnection agreement and future privatization of the fixed network.
Widest Coverage of GrameenPhone
GrameenPhone has only network coverage in 64 districts with too good network quality where as TMIB has in 64districts but could not reach rural subscriber base so effectively as GP. So naturally GP’s coverage is better than TMIB’s coverage, as GP covers all the upazilas and rural areas. Because of the availability of network in distant places and good frequency, GP has a superior brand image to people. This is of course a threat to TMIB.
Political Instability and Natural Calamity
Bangladesh is called red-zone in terms of political risks. The instability of administrative system has resulted in unstable regulations. With the change of Governments, regulations also change from season to season. This volatility has hindered TMIB from making a long-term effective strategy. At the same time, the country also has a high natural calamity tendency. Natural catastrophes damage the network towers situated in different districts of the country.
Recession in the Economy
Mobile phone is still considered as a ‘luxury’ in Bangladesh rather than a necessity. Being one of the developing nations in the world, the risk of recession in Bangladesh is very high and frequent. During the recessions, people are reluctant to invest behind luxury items such as mobile phones. This is a huge obstacle for TMIB to reach all population sectors in the country.
Non-cooperative Telecommunication Regulatory Body
The regulatory bodies in the telecommunication ministry are unfair and biased. Plus, the system itself is bureaucratic and lengthy in Bangladesh. Because of their non-cooperative attitude and injustice, the usual work place of TMIB is slowing down. This is of course a risk to the company.
Customer Resistance against Tariff
Any new tariff or VAT is always a controversial issue to the people of our country. People in Bangladesh are reluctant to accept new tariffs and it takes a long time for them to approve it. In the budget of 2005-2006, the government imposed a tax of Tk 900 on every SIM card, which has created a huge debate and protest among customers. Many of the customers have stopped buying SIM cards. This tax also hindered the mobile operators to maintain a constant price level and to offer attractive packages.
Existing Competitors in the Market
At present, there are four private and one public mobile phone operators operating in the Bangladeshi market. All of the private operators are aligned with foreign companies. These companies are following aggressive marketing strategy and the level of rivalry offers every week at a striking price level. This high intensity of competition in the industry is a major threat to TMIB, as TMIB has to survive in this fast paced competition.
Threats of New Entrants
Besides the existing competitors, new companies like Reliance, Tata etc are potential and new operators which might enter Bangladeshi telecom market. These new companies will increase the rivalry in the industry. Potential new entrants can get into the telecommunication market with cost effective approach and take off market shares. New domestic and foreign cellular phone companies can start telecommunication network business.
Private T&T Phone Companies
Apart from the new and existing mobile phone operators, competition is also expected from private T&T phone companies. Because of the inadequacy of the public T&T Company, many private companies are coming in the market. These companies are also a threat to TMIB, as they offer similar services at a lower price to customers to increase the use of T&T.
Possible Health Risk from Mobile Phone
Recently, a scientific study has shown that there is high risk of health hazard including brain tumor and cancer from the usage of mobile phone. The study concluded that long time use of mobile phone might cause such diseases and so people should reduce of mobile phone. Though there is no solid evidence of this fact, it has created an argument and panic. This is naturally a threat to TMIB.
T&T has entered in the mobile telecommunication industry with its offerings of Tele Talk. It is now becoming an immense threat to for all other mobile phone operators by providing unfair advantages and cause severe problems.
Reduction of NWD and ISD Call Charge by BTTB
Recently BTTB has reduced its NWD and ISD call charges to promote Land phone usage. This has affected the mobile phone industry and significantly reflected in the revenue earning of BTTB.
All the five companies operating in our telecom industry are fighting to get the market share in favor of them by cutting price of the mobile phone connection. All competitors are lowering the unit price and also providing pulse facility like AKTEL provides 1-second pulse for post-paid connection and ten-second pulse for pre-paid connection. So, all the players in the market are following aggressive strategy in terms of the pricing.
Operators in the Market
|Service Provider||Price & Tariff||Quality||Technology||Strategy|
|Low||Deteriorating services||CDMA||Network expansion & attractive products|
|Competitive||High quality service but limited coverage||GSM||Increase coverage and market share|
|Very affordable||Average quality and coverage||GSM||Increase coverage and Market share|
|Competitive||Good network with wider coverage||GSM||To maintain the no. 1 position as a cell phone operator|
|Very Affordable||Low Quality and Limited Coverage||GSM||Network expansion Increase coverage and market share|
|Very Affordable||Low Quality and Limited Coverage||GSM||Network expansion, Increase coverage and market share|
Table 1.4: Relative mobile phone operators
Most firms define competition in simplistic and impractical terms. Some firms fail to identify the true source of competition; others underestimate the capabilities and reactions of their competitors. When the business climate is stable, a shallow outlook toward the competition might work, but in competitive market such outlook does not work effectively.
The telecommunication sector in Bangladesh is the most attractive and booming sector at present. The concept of mobile telephone has become largely familiar and conventional in our country since the early 90’s with the ongoing technological advancement. Since then the entire mobile phone companies are trying to attract their subscribers through various worthwhile offers. Now Bangladesh has stepped into the world of fast communication and communication is made easy and comfortable through the introduction of mobile phones. In our developing economy, mobile phone industry is one of the fastest growing areas as we can see that the total numbers of subscribers are around 43.7million against the 3.5 million (approximately) land-phone subscribers. On the basis of industry competition structure, telecommunication industry of our country follow oligopoly structure as all six operators producing products partially differentiated along lines of quality, features, styling,promotions or services.
AKTEL’s competition comes more or less from all the five companies currently in the market. All the companies are aggressively marketing their product. Especially after Orascom has entered the Bangladeshi market, it has given the competition a new edge. In this competitive market, all the companies are adopting different policies to draw the customers towards them by offering wide range of products & services. So, it is no longer enough to satisfy customers, one must delight them. The customers are looking for the best buy with bundle of features & low tariff.
Critical Success Factors of the Industry
Some of the factors that play the crucial role in determining the success factors of this industry are,
- Quality of Service.
- Technical Expertise.
- After Sales Service.
- Brand Image.
- Market Share.
- Value Added Services
According to Michael Porter, four generic business strategies can be adopted in order to gain competitive advantage, such as, differentiation, differentiation focus, cost leadership and cost focus, depending upon the scope of business activities (narrow vs broad) and degree of product differentiation. (low vs high).
Grameen phone exclusively follow differentiation strategy because it seeks competitive advantage in a broad range of market with highest degree of product differentiation. So GP is charging premium price for postpaid Xplore package compare to other mobile operators to reflect the higher production costs and unique as well as extra value added features provided for customer and as a result customers get clear reason to prefer its product over other, less differentiated product.
Otherway, AKTEL is operating in broad range of market but neither following cost leadership or differentiation strategy entirely-so the company in the below figure is shown at middle line between two strategies. Banglalink is the first operator in telecommunication industry which has undertaken cost leadership strategy entirely to
Scope of Business Activities
become lowest cost producer in the industry with low degree of product differentiation, so it has occupied second position among six mobile operators within few years.Citycell and TeleTalk both follow cost leadership strategy but degree of product differentiation differs in their offerings. Citycell has only one postpaid package ‘Citycell one” and TeleTalk has two postpaid packages, Standard/Rajanigandha and Shapla. Warid is following cost leadership strategy with medium degree of product differentiation, so offering five packages to its subscribers with low tariff.
In four aspects comparative analysis can be made among telecommunication operators:
- Market leadership
- Cost leadership
- Product differentiation
- Technical advantage
Market share of the mobile operators in the country
Currently, Grameen Phone is the market leader with almost 10 million subscribers’ base till December AKTEL is holding their position in the second place and trying hard to become the market leader within the year 2008. Banglalink with their aggressive marketing strategy is creating chaos in the market through price war. TeleTalk & CityCell are struggling in the market to hold their positions, as both the companies need to concentrate on their product development and marketing research activities. Warid Telecom is yet to create any significant impact in the market as it still has a long way to go.
Market Leadership-The total number of Mobile Phone Subscribers has reached 43.7 million at the end of June 2008. According to BTRC survey and the table below, Grameen Phone is acknowledged as market leader with its total subscriber base 20.31million out of total mobile phone subscribers 43.7million and 46percent market share in total telecom market.
The total number of Mobile Phone subscribers of six operators is shown below:
|Grameen Phone Ltd. (GP)||20.31|
|Orascom Telecom Bangladesh Limited (Banglalink)||9.46|
|Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd. (Teletalk)||1.07|
|Warid Telecom International L.L.C (Warid)||3.31|
Figure: Total subscriber base
Banglalink occupies the second position with second largest subscriber base (9.46million) and 22percent of total telecom market share. Aktel is at third position according to total subscriber base 7.85million and 18percent market share. Then come Warid, Citycell and Teletalk at fourth, fifth and sixth position accordingly.
|Operators||SubscriberBase(in million)||Market Share(in percent)|
|Grameen Phone Ltd. (GP)||20.31||46|
|Orascom Telecom Bangladesh Limited (Banglalink)||9.46||22|
|Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd. (Teletalk)||1.07||2|
|Warid Telecom International L.L.C (Warid)||3.31||8|
SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT
Total Market Share in Telecommunication Sector
Grameen Phone Ltd.
Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd.
Figure: Total market share in telecommunication sector
Cost Leadership- the term cost means consumer cost which consumer must surrender in order to receive the benefits of owning or using the product or service and cost leadership strategy means objective to become the lowest cost producer in the industry. Most of the operators in telecom industry are struggling hard to achieve the lowest production and distribution costs, so that they can price lower than its competitors and win a large market share.
Banglalink is perusing this strategy and it was the first mobile operator which proactively has started the trend to cut down price. Then reactively GP, Aktel, Citycell, Warid, Teletalk had reduced their high tariff to sustain in market and compete with still lower cost. According to such proactive attitude and offered value added services, Banglalink is the cost leader though on recent time Citycell is charging lowest tariff through its Citycell one package for postpaid users and Citycell did it reactively and also offering few numbers of value added service compare to Banglalink.
Product Differentiation- this strategy allows the company to concentrate on achieving superior performance in an important customer benefit area value by a large part of the market. Grameen phone (GP) follows product differentiation strategy to cultivate its strengths (highest subscriber base and market share, upgraded network technology, best network capacity, wide array of value added service, best ever promotional activities etc) and to achieve quality leadership. So whenever customer thinks of superior telecom operator with best qualities and new offerings, regardless of tariff, GP remain on the top of the mind.
|Operator||Number of postpaid packages|
|Grameen Phone Ltd. (GP)||1|
|Orascom Telecom Bangladesh Limited (Banglalink)||4|
|Teletalk Bangladesh Ltd. (Teletalk)||2|
|Warid Telecom International L.L.C (Warid)||5|
Table: Numbers of Postpaid packages of different operators
For the convenience of customers to understand product offerings and to reduce confusion about different tariff for different packages, GP is offering only one postpaid package ‘Xplore’ with extended value added services where as Aktel is having two packages, ‘signature joy and Infinity’; Citycell has new offer of ‘Citycell one’ (for both prepaid and postpaid); Banglalink is offering four packages-personal package1, 2, personal supplementary, personal call & control; Warid has five packages under Warid postpaid,warid250,750,1500,2500 and warid unlimited;Teletalk is offering two postpaid packages called standard/Rajanigandha and shapla.
All operators are offering different value added service to its target market. But lucrative offer given by Grameen phone with Xplore package- get EDGE P3 (12am-8am) and MCA (Missed Call Alert) subscription free for the fist 3 months, along with 100 SMS free of charge over the same period.
To get a rough picture of those services, a chart is given below,
|Operators||Value added services|
|Grameen||Tunes& tones||Cell Bazaar||Stock info||Call barring||sms based alert||Downloads, EDGE||Missed call alert|
|Banglalink||Amar tunes||i-info, i-cook||Voice portal(4848)||Call me back||Voice adda||i-bubble||Power menu|
|Aktel||goongoon||Phone backup||Cafe800||Call block||Aktel opener||gprs||Sms banking|
|Citycell||Hello tunes||Gift shop||email@mobile||Music box||Zoom||Voice based service|
|Warid||Caller tunes||Sports station||Mobile wizard||Call me back||Find a friend/place||Mobile internet||Dual number sim|
|Teletalk||Load shedding schedule||Voice mail service||Internet sms||gprs||International roaming||Bangla sms||Push-pull service|
Technological advantage- in the context of telecommunication market, when we talk about technological advantage, it means- advance network technology (1800GSM), network capacity to support customer base and distribution of network.
Among six mobile operators, except Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Ltd. (PBTL) or Citycell, all five operators are using GSM (global system for mobile) technology and Citycell is the pioneer and the only CDMA (code division multiple access) network operator in the country and now using CDMA 1x technology.Aktel, Banglalink, Teletalk, Grameen phone using 900GSM technology but Warid started its operation with 1800GSM technology. Though recently GP has doubled its speech quality 900GSM MHz to 1800GSm MHz but still GP is somewhat unable to add network capacity and distribute required network coverage efficiently to all areas across the country as where customer base and density is large, BTS and its capacity, distribution might not satisfy required communication need-so call drop, network busy, not reachable message occurs. So it is well accepted, Warid can enjoy 3G (third generation wireless data services and applications) technology and other technological advantage more easily than GP (near to the technology Warid is using) or other operators, for its late entrant in market with modern technology and small subscriber base. Even Banglalink and Aktel also facing network, call drop, congestion problem in remote areas of countries as well as densely populated areas with their own subscribers. To reduce such problem and to ensure good network coverage, Banglalink, Aktel, Teletalk will have to upgrade its network technology to 1800GSM which is very costly.
The Legal issues and problems faced by AKTEL
Legal issues and problems faced by Aktel are not indifferent from other mobile companies in the industry. The companies more or less face alike problems.
By paying some fixed amount of fees one can get the license. But the companies need to pay tariff on monthly basis. There is a clause in the license that for every handset tk.1, 100/ yearly loyalty needs to be paid. The customers are reluctant to pay this, so are the mobile operators. Both of the parties are not paying the loyalty fees and government did not even cancel the clause. So huge amount of money is due by the companies to government.
Reduction in Tariff Rate
Government pressurizes mobile companies to reduce the tariff rate. Yearly, the companies need to verify with the government regarding the tariff rate. The government makes sure the companies provide standard services to the customers.
All mobile companies need to pay 15% VAT. This is a sector where the government does not have any investment while enjoying the revenue. This is unique to Bangladesh. Users are paying the 15% VAT which they do not want to pay.
When there was GP and AKTEL in the market, both of the companies faced problem while doing business. There was a lack of infrastructure in the industry. Problems aroused in the field of inter-operator connectivity. At that time “Sender Keep All (SKA)” was in practice. As long as there were equal amount of traffic there were no problem. But there was a time when, more tariff congestion came from AKTEL. GrameenPhone (GP) asked AKTEL to share the profit. As AKTEL denied, GP started to block the calls coming from AKTEL. It created unnecessary system overload. In order to put an end to the problem AKTEL agreed to share the profit thus “call termination peak/off-peak” was introduced and equilibrium prevailed in the market.
Determination of consumer Satisfaction of Aktel Postpaid Service
In the GSM mobile telephone sector in Bangladesh vast competition has emerged. As a result the Subscribers have various alternatives to choose according to their convenience. Therefore, to maintain its position in the market AKTEL has to identify the factors related to customer satisfaction and loyalty.
For this research, it has to determine the level of satisfaction of AKTEL by following exploratory research design. Customer satisfaction is a measure of the degree to which a product or service meets the customer’s expectations. Comparison of expectations versus perception of experience. So it is very difficult to find out the actual scenario because of huge number of post paid subscribers. The questionnaire for the survey has been constructed to get the information about the satisfaction related to billing, customers care and innovative service.
This report is aimed at presenting the experiences gathered through some surveying or observing a certain set of people. With this point of view, data have been collected in a structural method that is described in the following:
Source of Data Collection
The total internship program is based on the practical view of AKTEL. All the information incorporated in this report have been collected both from the primary sources and as well as from the secondary sources. The primary data contains the survey findings & analysis whereas the secondary data contain the company information from the organizational point of view, the current situation of the telecommunication industry and so on.
Primary Source of Data
Primary data is mostly collected from the questionnaire survey which is conducted upon the postpaid subscribers of AKTEL. The survey is conducted mostly by telephone interview with customer and personal interviews with the employees of customer care center. The interviews are conducted in formal atmosphere of AKTEL. This report is written through extensive and meaningful group discussions with the concerned persons of AKTEL.
Secondary Sources of Data
Secondary Sources are:
- Website of AKTEL,BTRC and other telecom operators
- Other published documents, magazines and company’s brochures of AKTEL.
Sampling Unit: Different AKTEL postpaid subscribers.
Sampling Size: This sample size is limited to 120.
Sampling Procedure: The sampling procedure was Random.
As the objective is to determine the satisfaction level of postpaid customers of AKTEL, so at the very beginning of the questionnaire, the demographic information such as age, sex, education, monthly household income etc of respondents are asked. It will help to determine the target group for the post paid packages. In the second part, questions are asked regarding the connectivity and coverage issue which is basic success factor of this industry to determine the satisfaction level and also some questions are designed to have an idea about how much billing, money saving, after sales services have impact on satisfaction. At the end, the person is asked to provide suggestions (if any) to increase the satisfaction level of post paid customers.
As soon as the data gathering have been complete, the questionnaire has been coded closed-ended. For the analysis of the collected data, MS Excel has been used and findings are presented in both the graphical and tabular format.
- The findings of the survey are based on customer’s response within the Dhaka City only. The results may not reflect the same for other division of AKTEL outside Dhaka.
- Since this internship project has started later due to some inconveniences, the sample size has to be restricted into 120 only.
- Sincere effort has been put to maintain accuracy and un-biasness in every phase of the survey research, yet some errors may exist because of limited knowledge in wide spectrum of consumer research.
Limitation of time is one of the most important factors. Due to time constraint many aspect could not be discussed in the present study.
Several limitations have been found while doing the research; such as:
- For this research paper, the first & foremost limitation is data accuracy. It is matter of fact that 100% accurate cannot be provided as the sample size is to present the proposed scenario.
- While doing the phone interviews, many of the respondents were too busy to cooperate. Some of the respondents were very slow to understand the questionnaire. Hence, sincere cooperation was needed with those individual respondents while conducting the survey.
- Another factor was time constraint led to get narrower outcomes. There are so many post paid subscribers, but due to time constraints, those customers were not covered.
- The knowledge constraint of ownself was another limitation for this study.
Topic: Satisfaction of the Post-paid Customers of AKTEL.
The following questionnaire pertains to the survey report about the Consumer Satisfaction Status regarding the AKTEL. The questionnaire will take 5 to 10 minutes to be filled up. The received information will be subject to strictest confidentiality and will be used solely for academic purpose. Your sincere cooperation is kindly solicited.
Part I: Please put a check mark (√) on the given categories
1. Gender: Male Female
2. Age: 20-25 26 – 30
31-35 36 – 50
3. Occupation: Private Service Holder Public Service Holder
Engineer Other Profession
4. Household Income per month: 10,000 or less 10,001-20,000
40,001-50,000 50,001 and above
5. I prefer AKTEL because of
Better Customer Service Highest Network Coverage Brand Image
Lower Call Rate Others
Part II: Please put a tick mark (√) on the given categories
(For the following question, mark from 5 to 1 scale. 5 = Strongly Agree, 4 = Agree, 3= Neutral, 2 = Disagree, 1 = Strongly Disagree.)
|6. Customer care center handles my queries promptly, politely and efficiently.||5||4||3||2||1|
|7. I am satisfied with their Customer care services.||5||4||3||2||1|
|8. I get help from call center properly and timely||5||4||3||2||1|
|COVERAGE, CONNECTIVITY AND QUALITY OF CALLS|
|9. I don’t get any sort of network problem.||5||4||3||2||1|
|10. During calls I don’t face echo problem and one sided voice.||5||4||3||2||1|
|11. I always get clear voice using AKTEL connection.||5||4||3||2||1|
|12. The calls made through AKTEL never get disconnected in middle of the conversation.||5||4||3||2||1|
|13. I can easily connect to other operator.||5||4||3||2||1|
|14. I recommend AKTEL to my friends and family.||5||4||3||2||1|
|15. The tariff rate of AKTEL is very economical.||5||4||3||2||1|
|16. 1 Sec pulse and flat tariff rate offered by AKTEL helps me to save most.||5||4||3||2||1|
|17. The Smart pay (scratch card) reduced the hassle of paying AKTEL bills.||5||4||3||2||1|
|18. The notification sms about bill sent by AKTEL helps to pay dues on time.||5||4||3||2||1|
|19. Door to door service is good way to treat the consumers.||5||4||3||2||1|
|20. I always use SMS Services like GPRS, MMS, international sms, goongoon etc.||5||4||3||2||1|
|21. Finally I am really satisfied with AKTEL||5||4||3||2||1|
22. What would be your suggestion towards AKTEL to improve its services?
Better Network Coverage Better Customer Service
Lower Call Rate Others
Findings & Analysis
These two parts will give a clear idea about the customer satisfaction towards AKTEL post-paid connection. After finishing the survey, following findings are found:
From the survey it is found that 35% postpaid user prefer AKTEL because of Lower call rate, 21% prefer because of Brand Image, 12% Better Network Coverage, 21% Better Custom Service, and 8% prefer AKTEL because of other reason.
Customer Care center Handles Queries Promptly
Figure: Customer Care Center handles queries promptly
53% people have agreed that AKTEL customer care representatives solve problems promptly, politely and efficiently. 32% are dissatisfied because they don’t get help properly from them
Customers are Satisfied with Customer Care Center
Figure: Customers are satisfied with customer care center
From the survey, it is found that 48% people are not satisfied with AKTEL customer care and 42% are satisfied with the customer care. Other 10% seemed neutral in this regard.
From the research, it is found that only 43% people never get disconnected in middle of the conversation.6% have stayed in neutral position on this question. But 51% people faced this problem in middle of the conversation
Easily connect to other operator
Almost 56% people are quite satisfied and rest 38% seemed to be not happy because they don’t have smooth access connection of AKTEL to other operator. So AKTEL have to seat with other operators with an agreement and make sure the operators are following that agreement or not. Otherwise the company will lose some valuable customers
Tariff rate is economical
Figure: Tariff rate is economical
From the survey, it is found that the tariff rate of AKTEL is very economical because 68% customer agreed about this. Only 29% customer denied the statement.
1 Sec pulse helps to save
SHAPE * MERGEFORMAT
1 Sec pulse offered by AKTEL
Helps to save
Figure: 1 Sec pulse offered by AKTEL help to save
68% has agreed that 1sec pulse offered by AKTEL help them to keep their bill down. And rests of the customers do not care about the 1 sec pulse.
The Smart pay reduce the hassle of paying AKTEL bills
Figure: The Smart pay (scratch card) reduce the hassle of paying AKTEL bills
80% AKTEL users has said that smart pay system has reduced the hassle a lot of bill paying system. Because they don’t have to go to customer care or banks and stand there for a long time to pay their bills. 15% people have disagreed with the statement because they live in such an area where the scratch card is not so available.
The notification SMS about bill helps to pay dues on time
Figure: The notification SMS about bill sent by AKTEL helps to pay dues on time
81% people are satisfied with the notification SMS and 18% customers are not happy with it, may be they don’t get the notification SMS on time. Rest of seemed neutral because they don’t wait for the notification SMS or their security deposit is too high to be bothered
VALUE ADDED SERVICE
Use Value added Services like GPRS, Chat, MMS, GoonGoon
Figure: Use Value Added Services like GPRS, sports info, chat, MMS, goon goon
72% people use VAS and 17% never uses VAS because they feel that it increase the bills and 11% are neutral on this regard.
Door to door service is good way to treat the customers
Figure: Door to door service is good way to treat the customers
52% and 14% of the AKTEL users have strongly agreed and agreed that door to door service is good way to treat the customer. 18% have disagreed the concept because of social context. Remaining 16% stayed in Neutral comment regarding door to door service.
Recommend AKTEL to friends and family
Figure: Recommend AKTEL to friends and family
62% people recommend their friends and family to take AKTEL. Among them 19% will strongly influence their friends and family to take this line. 28% people will not exert their influence on others to take AKTEL. Rest 10% seemed to be neutral.
Satisfied with AKTEL services
Figure: Satisfied with AKTEL services
From the survey, it is found that 55% people are really satisfied with AKTEL. Among them,18% are extremely satisfied and rest are quite satisfied. Other 18% seemed neutral in this regard because they are using this line for long time.
Figure: Suggestions of customers towards AKTEL
To improve the service quality of AKTEL, 43% customers suggest that AKTEL should focus more on network, 32% says AKTEL should provide better customer service. 14% people says AKTEL should offer lower tariff rate to its customers and 11% give different suggestion such as improve the VAS quality etc.
In this project, the main intention is to find out the satisfaction level of the postpaid user customers of AKTEL. After finishing the findings part, it is found that the customer’s feedback is quite interesting. And depending on the findings, analysis are mentioned below:
- Among the respondents, the majority of postpaid subscribers are businessmen whose income level is more then TK.20,000. A few of the customer’s professions are service holder whose income level is TK.10,000 and more. The upper middle class and the upper class people use this line more.
- These post-paid customers mainly prefer AKTEL because of its lower call rate. In this telecommunication industry AKTEL is the first one to give one second pulse from first minute. So comparatively AKTEL is clearly ahead on this issue. Only 12% people say that they prefer AKTEL because of its network coverage and 21% people prefer their current service because of its customer care and 24% prefer because of its brand image of that particular company.
- Majority of AKTEL post paid subscribers agreed that the network coverage of AKTEL is not good. They face different sort of problem regarding network. While conducting the survey, it was found that customers of Lalbagh (Old Dhaka), Mohammadpur, Shamoly, Baridhara, Nasirabad etc and some rural areas of our country face network problem. In some rural places AKTEL has already set up BTS but these towers are not working properly. As a result, many customers become dissatisfied and AKTEL is losing so many existing as well as potential customers. Another problem is that customer face different sorts of problem in the middle of the conversation, such as- echo problem, one-sided voice problem, call drop etc. These problems really hamper the satisfaction level of the customers. Because customers use mobile to keep in touch with near and dear ones.
- From the survey, it has found that majority of the postpaid subscribers are not satisfied with the customer care center. Because the employees’ do not response quickly and promptly to the customers problems and sometime employees do not behave properly with them. As a result customers become dissatisfied with AKTEL service. Only 14% people are really satisfied with the customer care center. These are the people who get prompt, polite and VIP treatment from the customer care. 28% people are quiet satisfied with the services.
- It is not possible for the entire customer to physically visit the customer care and get help from them. So they call to the helpline to get help. But 65% subscribers claimed that they are not getting this service properly and timely. Among them 30% customers complain that they never get connected to the helpline.
- 51% postpaid subscribers agreed that tariff rate of AKTEL is very economical. In the telecommunication industry in Bangladesh AKTEL is the one which first offer 1 sec pulse from the first minute and 5 FnF numbers. So customers are really very satisfied with the tariff rate. They said that this facility keeps their bills in control.
- To upgrade the customer about their bill AKTEL now call and also send sms to the postpaid user when their bill is 70% of the credit limit. As a result customer can pay their bills on due time. They can know their current bill, outstanding bills by sending a sms. As a result the customers are satisfied with this service.
- 80% customers are very happy that they do not have to go to the customer care or bank and stand in a long line to pay the bills. Now a day they can pay the bills in staying home. So they are very satisfied about the smart pay system. 15% people are not happy about the scratch card because majority of them live in a rural area where the scratch card is not available.
- To give highest priority to the customer and satisfy them properly, AKTEL now deliver the SIM to the customer house or office. This is a good way to treat the customers. 66% customers are satisfied with the door to door delivery. Rests of them are either neutral or disagree because of the social context.
From the above analysis, it is clear that some customers are not satisfied because of the network and customer care center. These are the two main factors that hamper the satisfaction level of AKTEL post paid subscribers. But 55% customers are satisfied with AKTEL because of lower call rate, notification sms, scratch card, door to door delivery etc.
For customer centred companies like AKTEL, customer satisfaction is both a goal and a marketing tool. Creating satisfied customers and thus future sales requires that customers continue to believe that your brand meets their needs and offers superior value after they have used it. As customer satisfaction reduce brand switching, unfavourable word of mouth and complaint behaviour-so Aktel should put its all effort to figure out an effective strategy to retain its customers. A company can claim that it has a strategy when it ‘performs different activities from rivals or performs similar activities in different way’. So TM International (Bangladesh) limited should step fast with a constructive and effective strategy towards enhancement.
This study has attempted to describe the satisfaction level of post paid subscribers of AKTEL and evaluation of marketing strategy. Major parts of the postpaid user are not satisfied with AKTEL services. People are facing different sorts of problem with Aktel service and found its product performance lower than expectation. In era of competition and customer driven market, if Aktel cannot reduce service catastrophe and waiting time for service or solution of a problem, cannot ensure responsive workforce, maintain standard of service-then Customer might switch to competitor brand and might loss its valuable customer as well as the market share.
The mission of AKTEL is to provide total customer satisfaction. It is high time for AKTEL to satisfy and retain its existing customers. Top management has to redefine their existing strategies regarding customer satisfaction and should figure out ‘how to give customers more for less’. With responsive attitude, exclusive empathy towards customers and by developing more efficient and effective work force will allow to take AKTEL to the ultimate position in the industry. If the customers are satisfied then it will not only increase the company’s revenue but also might lead AKTEL to the zenith of the cell phone industry in the long run.
- AKTEL should come up with a proper Segmentation Strategy
- § Ensuring Improved Network Quality- Network quality is a very important tool to evaluate the service quality of cell phone. As existing subscribers of AKTEL are not fully satisfied with the current network condition, so Aktel can set up high quality BTS (Base Transceiver Station) and powerful equipments to ensure upgraded quality, capacity and distribution of network.
- § AKTEL can introduce Customer Suggestion Hotlines to direct contact with valued customers- it will remove the barrier for customer to complain and will allow customer acquire on spot remedy to problem, query as well as waiting time will be reduced too.
- § Aktel should develop effective Advertising and Promotional Strategy– It is a high time for AKTEL to start aggressive marketing strategy through spending on advertisements &and promotions to satisfy and retain the existing customer and build new customer base.
- § Effective strategy to reduce employee turnover rate- As positive employee attitudes will promote stronger customer, so Aktel can develop hiring criteria, design sound training program(both in Bangladesh and abroad),provide support and reward for good performance to motivate employees..
- § Centralized database for upgrading service quality- Company should maintain centralized customer and product database system to let administration analyze types and sources of complains and adjust it policies accordingly.
- § Reduction in Call Rate and Connection Fee– Though the tariff rate of AKTEL is comparatively lower but to increase the number of user, the call rate and connection fee should be reduced. Thus, AKTEL can attract the potential subscribers and increase usage.
Increasing the Responsiveness of Customer Care Center-The customer care center and activation authorities should emphasize more on the responsiveness (after bill payment connection should be active then and there) to ensure uninterrupted service while they are having direct contact with customers through help line.
Aktel can increase the numbers of Customer Care Center- to ensure continuous and efficient service, Aktel should increase customer care center from 19 to at least 40,so that whenever, wherever customers face any problem, can get Aktel beside them
Can add innovative value added service for customers’ convenience- Aktel can introduce balance transfer from postpaid to postpaid, offer contact number for police, fire, medical service, time schedule of bus, train, airplane service etc.
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AKTEL Newsletter( (June and July Issue)
Various Journals of AKTEL.
Market Analysis reports, questionnaire and data collection (2007-2008)