Your 10 questions

  • Business
  • Saturday, 03 Jan 2009

Celcom CEO Datuk Seri Mohammed Shazalli Ramly exudes a passion that makes him stand out in Corporate Malaysia. Yet he is also a simple man who likes to hang out at mamak shops and watch football. He fi elds your 10 Questions this week.

1How do you see the growth of subscribers for mobile number portability (MNP) for 2009? – Bulbir Singh

It is still too early to tell as MNP was only launched back in October 2008, but from the customer’s point of view, MNP can be very advantageous as telcos would, of course, try to retain their customers, so might offer special rates and discounts to keep them from switching to another carrier.

2 How much did you spend bringing in English Premier League players like John Terry and Ryan Giggs as icons for Celcom? – Adrianna Chee, Kota Damansara

It is not our policy to disclose the exact amount spent on our marketing initiatives, due to competitive reasons. However, I can say that our investment in the Power Icon project in 2007 was only a small portion of our advertising and promotion budget, not more than 10% . When you use icons or celebrities, you use less media money to reach the same high level of awareness.

3 What do you do during your free time and what are some of your hobbies?

– Siti Zubaidah, Pantai Hillpark

I enjoy hanging out at mamak coffee shops and watching football.

4 What was your reaction when you found out that Datuk Seri Jamaludin Ibrahim would be TM International Group CEO and Celcom chairman? – See Huey Ling, PJ

I think having Datuk Seri Jamaludin on board is a great addition to Celcom and TMI. With his wealth of experience in mobile communications, he has contributed immensely to Celcom and TMI as a whole, and is helping to shape TMI to become the leading mobile operator in the South/South-East Asia region.

5 What is your overall take on the future of the local telecommunications industry? Where can we go from here?

– Spencer Anand, Seksyen 16, PJ

I think we are just touching the tip of the iceberg, as there is so much untapped market potential in addressing various needs, whether it be ethnic, cultural, culinary and others. I also think that Malaysians need to be more aggressive in producing and marketing interesting and relevant content and services to the world.

6 What are the main factors that contribute to the success of your brand? – Shannon Menon, OUG

The success of the Celcom brand is the result of extensive research that has been done on our consumers’ habits and behaviour. By using the right channel strategies and research to gauge the very latest in consumer usage trends, we are able to understand better what our customers want.

Celcom operates in a market that is highly competitive and ever-evolving, which means that our customers’ needs will evolve as well. Ultimately, it is about being customer-centric. By studying consumer behaviour and desires, only then can we offer them what they need. This relationship is very critical.

7 You mentioned that Celcom has what it takes to conquer the international direct dial (IDD) market, if it has the right strategy and right campaign. What is the right strategy? – Eugenie Devan, Segambut

To address various market segments, Celcom has embarked on a segmentation exercise where each customer segment is treated independently. To tackle the IDD market, we have introduced a new prepaid pack called Prabayar Celcom Sukses, which caters to the Indonesia migrant workers segment. The segmentation strategy has proven successful as it has helped Celcom achieve positive business growth in 10 consecutive quarters.

8 When will the Celcom broadband Internet service be improved? Currently, Celcom GPRS and 3G broadband Internet services are anything but broadband. In fact, they are extremely “narrowband”. Many times it is worse than dial-up connection. When I am away from home I use Celcom broadband Internet to download my emails. It usually takes several hours to complete the download. Most of the time there is no transmission. – Saw Swee Tong

There are a lot of variables with regard to the speeds actually achieved since it would depend on how strong the signal is, the time of the day the service is being used (peak/non-peak) and also the customers’ device quality (inferior radio and chipsets). However, we have done benchmark tests and have managed to get more than 80% of the speeds advertised at certain areas and times. For really good surfing and downloading experience, all the customer needs is about 300kbps consistently.

9 With MNP in place, has it changed the way Celcom markets its products to existing and potential customers? – Pearly Hong, Mont Kiara

All our campaigns and plans to date have been part of our plan from the beginning of the year. Regardless of MNP, we still need to aggressively market our offers in order to win over customers. Our focus has been to ensure the right offer to the right customers. The current situation of allowing customers to switch should further enhance the attractiveness of Celcom’s product offers as well as excellent network quality and customer service, and make switching to Celcom easier.

10 How would you differentiate your product offerings from your competitors? What does Celcom offer that they don’t? – K. Ravindran, Ijok

Celcom has the widest reliable network, with the widest coverage and the strongest performance and satisfaction indices, such as quality of service, customer service index and others based on studies conducted by independent bodies such as Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia or commissioned by them. For further details, you can refer to

For latest MSEB indices, charts and other information click here

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