Week in Review: Competition and mitigation strategies

  • Listed telco, Internet companies dominate the news this week
  • Axiata, Telekom Malaysia CEOs prefer to focus on opportunities

Week in Review: Competition and mitigation strategiesI GOT what I consider a gentle rebuke on Wednesday about needing to change my mindset, and it came during the press conference by Zamzamzairani Mohd Isa, group chief executive officer (CEO) of Telekom Malaysia, when announcing his company’s results for the first half of 2014 (1H2014).
I asked Zamzamzairani about what Telekom Malaysia (TM) was going to do about increased competition from the mobile players going after TM’s high-speed broadband, or UniFi, customers.
You see, we journalists like to ask this question, especially when it involves two big players, to challenge CEOs over their market share being eaten by a competitor.
Zamzamzairani just gave a smile as if to say, “Surely you know better than to ask that question,” and said that TM has changed its mindset about competition and is instead focusing on executing the strategies it has identified to capture new markets.
Competition is a given, he was trying to say. Those who can anticipate it, develop their own pre-emptive strategies, and execute them, will be the ones to survive the increased competition that is a reality of the business world.
It was déjà vu because that was almost the same response I got from Jamaludin Ibrahim, president and group CEO of Axiata Group Bhd, just a few hours earlier during his press conference announcing Axiata’s results for the second quarter of 2014!
In the case of TM, it is clear that while its focus on offering high-speed broadband has worked to boost revenues over the past three years, offsetting the inevitable decline in voice revenue, it did not rest on its laurels and realised the need to look beyond fixed broadband.
Which is where its impending acquisition of Packet One Networks Sdn Bhd comes into the picture, which is to be the stepping-stone to offering LTE (Long-Term Evolution) services to urban residents.
Clearly TM saw this years ago, which is why it has a plan in action now, with the first phase being the rollout of LTE-based TMgo services to underserved areas.
And I too now see how shallow it is to ask that “What are you doing about competition” question. I will now rephrase that to, “What are the strategies you have identified to mitigate the impact of competition in your markets and how is the execution going?”
I am also happy to get your feedback on how to ask this competition question. 
But one thing I am not happy about is this – a lot of sweat and hustle goes into the articles we produce on a daily basis for you and so it really frustrates me when Digital News Asia (DNA) still gets described as a blog.
As my cofounder, A. Asohan wrote last year, there are clear differences between a news portal and a blog, and I hope DNA readers can start to correct those who happen to think we are a blog.
Incidentally, this week saw listed telco and Internet companies dominate the news on DNA, as you will notice from my Top Stories of the week.
This week’s most popular story was Buying property online could soon be a reality.
And, I would like to end by wishing all our Malaysian readers, Selamat Hari Merdeka/ Happy Independence Day.
Editor’s Picks:
Axiata looks at possible tech acquisitions
Buying property online could soon be a reality
Microsoft Ventures' quest to change minds, build relationships
Axiata CEO optimistic despite mobile competition from TM
TM sees 8% revenue growth, expects a ‘game-changing’ year
EnSurvey sees traction improving, eyes overseas expansion
VMware doubles down with bundled hardware offerings

Previous Instalments:
Week in Review: No more love

Week in Review: Of dotcom business models
Week in Review: Don’t let IP issues bite you in the rear
Week in Review: Lots of funding activity in SEA
Week in Review: A long and hard grind
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