Lundal applies own style to get desired results


  • Business
  • Thursday, 28 Oct 2004

MORTEN Lundal, the man who wants to bring change to Digi.com Bhd, believes in simplicity. He does not read management books that teach one how to command. He hashis own style. He believes in rocking the boat to get the desired results. Following are excerpts of an interview with Lundal after 101 days in office as CEO. 

 

STARBIZ: Do you see any problem in DiGi that warrants change?  

Lundal: No. DiGi is doing well. It is about developing it further, growing from good to great. I can say the third quarter results were good and we can therefore celebrate. But while I am impressed with DiGi’s accomplishment and internal set-up, that does not mean I do not want to change because the future challenges and goals are different and (if it means) to rock the boat (to see better results, I would do it.)  

 

StarBiz: You talked about your management agenda. Please elaborate.  

Lundal: We cannot outspend our competitors. We have to spend money and energy wisely. We have to put special energy in product launches. We are setting the pace in the industry and we have to strive for excellence to make services relevant. That is about “marketing smartness.’’  

As for operational excellence, it is about making it better (of high quality), and professionalism.  

Organizational effectiveness to me is about breaking down internal silos. We do not want titles to scare people. We are skilled workers and our organizational structure should support, not pose a barrier. I would like to shake the internal structure.  

As for value-based organization and management, we want to talk about values and I want to really visualize good values and penalize disruptive values. There must be respect for individuals and teamwork.  

Change is a continuous effort. An internal upgrade is essential (so that we can drive those values externally to our customers). Everything we do should reflect on this management agenda.  

 

StarBiz: What do you see as opportunities for DiGi going forward?  

Lundal: There are several. Firstly, pure penetration growth is where we will see more Malaysians becoming mobile users and with DiGi increasing coverage, that means reaching out to more areas and attracting more customers.  

Secondly, the whole phenomenon of mobile devices and its convergence creates a new paradigm in communications.  

Thirdly, while we take a leadership role in setting the pace in the pre-paid market, there is the whole post-paid market that is growing healthily, but we can do more. Fourthly, we can leverage on Telenor’s resources and competence where there is injection of fresh ideas from a global perspective.  

 

StarBiz: DiGi has often been labelled as the smallest player in Malaysia’s mobile market. Is that going to change in the future?  

Lundal: I am looking at us as a successful, fast-growing and profitable company. Placing is not relevant to me. Challenging the two incumbents is more fun than to be one of them.  

 

StarBiz: What do you see as the threats moving ahead?  

Lundal: We are competing with two very resourceful incumbents. That is the game of competition that we enjoy although we are the smallest player.  

We are still a strong player but we need a level playing field. That is important in all countries and regulators globally are set to support a level playing field for competition.  

We are not afraid of competition but humble enough to be pretty focused to execute our strategies. There is no room for many mistakes. When it comes to competition, we must be rational, not desperate.  

 

StarBiz: How do you intend to grow your post-paid business? 

Lundal: It is an option that we know we have. The first to know is our prospective customers. 

 

Related story:Top-level changes at DiGi on the cards 

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