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During the GITEX Global 2021, Telecom Review secured an exclusive interview with Karim Benkirane, chief commercial officer at du. He shared how the company executes its business strategy, what steps are being done to cater to different market segments, and which position will du have within the telecom industry in the next five to ten years.

What are the key initiatives being done at present to ensure du's effective commercial strategy and planning?

Definitely, we have a completely different way of working. We make sure that we enter the company into a new operating model which is more segmented.

What does this mean? We have different segments and we have people responsible for that. Since the beginning of this year, we also make sure that we make our products — the factory, the IT, and the channels — work in a more agile way. This involves making sure that we can have more user stories and deliver more and faster initiatives.

This is the foundation for how to keep our business strategy materialized and executed, delivering the outcome that we and our clients deserve.

How do you cater an end-to-end and all-inclusive experience to both consumers and enterprises?

We have to meet the needs of different markets with different segments. At du, we divide these into many sub-segments including youth and UAE national segments. We also make sure that we have a dedicated team looking after each segment to understand its needs and tailor the value proposition to it.

And of course, taking the segment into a more digital customer experience is also helping us; through the app and through the websites. Via online experience, we learn to understand even more how customers interact with us and how we can improve our services.

What is du mainly showcasing in this year's GITEX? What's the importance behind this?

In GITEX this year, 5G is definitely at the heart of our presentation, especially that we have been nominated as the fastest 5G in the UAE market. We are presenting two use cases: one related to mining, and the other to energy.

5G use cases form an ecosystem that we're trying to build for our partners, and we are trying to make sure that we can have use cases in which we can work together with our partners like DEWA and others. All current use cases we have today are represented in GITEX.

In the next five to ten years, where do you see du's position within the region's telecom industry?

du will play a key role in the digital agenda of the UAE markets. We will be definitely enabling the digital experience — the digital revolution — and make sure that 5G is the technology that is going to take the country to the next level.

As a leading telecom operator, what are the significant drivers in achieving a true and sustainable digital transformation?

The first driver is people, followed by the culture of the company, not to forget the technology which will enable the transformation. At du, we have managed to have really good talents in our company and build a really great culture to ensure delivering a great outcome.

5G is a good example. We have been very aggressive in our rollout, making sure that the coverage in the entire UAE, already at 90%, is going to reach 97% by the end of the year. It will record 97% in Dubai, while it's already 96% in Abu Dhabi. Hence, we believe that we are leading this space and we are making sure that the 5G coverage is available for our customers and they can enjoy the experience and all the amazing use cases it supports.

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