This report outlines the idea behind a proposed telecom service provider. The envisioned company has many strong competitive, innovative and attractive ideas that would permanently impact the business world of telecommunication services in the UAE. However, this young company has many challenges that need to be overcome in order to build a competitive customer base. The ideas along with the implications are to be discussed in this comprehensive report.
This report covers several aspects of this business idea. To facilitate the presentation of the plan, the report is to be broken down into several sections.
Those sections are listed and briefly described below:
- Executive Summary: This part describes the services to be provided by the company, the customer base to be targeted.
- Vision and Goals: The birth of the idea and the weak points of the current existing players and how both contributed to the innovation of the current business plan.
- SWOT Analysis: Analysis of the project from a SWOT perspective.
- Industry Analysis: Analysis of the project from a Porter Five Forces point of view.
- Business Strategy: The practical step by step guidelines to be pursued for the initiation and sustainability of the proposed idea.
- Conclusion: A brief consolidation of the idea along with all the strength points and possible future enhancements on the current idea.
The name of Easio was chosen to the proposed company. The name should speak for itself and in this case, it provides an easy alternative to the existing non flexible and expensive telecom service providers. Product/Services:
The core of the proposed idea is to provide alternative and more attractive telecom services. This mainly includes cellular phone plans, where monthly plans at fixed rate are offered. Every customer gets to tailor design their own cell phone monthly plan to provide extra flexibility to the needs of each customer. Those needs of course vary from one customer to the other and this forms the basis of the whole proposed project.
The plan includes the Basic plan which is the core calling/receiving capability of the cell phone and the following additional features can be appended to the basic plan at an increased cost upon request from the customer:
- Text messaging
- Caller ID display
- Voice Mail
- Data package: Having the cell phone unlimited access to the internet at fixed upload and download rates. This feature is usually added by business men who need constant access to their email/stocks.
- Unlimited calls between certain groups: This is a very attractive perk where certain groups of people have unlimited free calls between one another. For example, members of the same family, couples or more generally members of this plan too.
The customer base to be considered is very broad and can be simply subdivided into two main categories:
- People: The target here is the main population of the city under consideration. Certain plans would be for attractive for a big portion of the population and are to be further emphasized in later sections.
- Corporate: Here the target is a bit different, where the plan includes special rates for corporations and big firms. Usually big firms provide a certain portion of their employees due to work necessities with cell phones and blackberries, the proposed company gives low corporate rates to attract a bigger consumer base.
Vision and Goals
The main motivation behind Easio was the unattractiveness of the current telecom services provided by the existing big players. According to a mini poll that was carried out here on Campus and included a handful of students, the following vibe would accurately describe the overall sense of resentment that was expressed
"The existing services are expensive, inflexible and abusive of the fact that the main players monopolize the market".
Easio's vision understands the market's requirement through comprehensive polls and interviews with prominent figures in the country. Based on the results of these polls, solutions which are synergistic to both the customers and the Easio in terms of sales and revenues is to be proposed.
We believe that the current market isn't a good representative of the potential market out there in the UAE. Mainly due to the cumbersome solutions provided by the current players. By facilitating the cell phone plans and providing attractive inexpensive alternatives, the customer base could significantly expand and include even lower class citizens and low budget start up companies; both constitute a significant portion of the UAE and revenues that could potentially be generated shouldn't be overlooked.
Given the above facts the objective is to alleviate all the current negatives in the telecom market by providing easy and attractive solution and hence dominate the market.
This section provides an in depth SWOT analysis of the proposed project and hence gives a strong insight into the business strategy to be followed.
The internal strengths that would assist in the facilitation of the project are:
- People: Implementing such a large scale project requires significant expertise in the domain of telecommunication services. This condition is met in the case of Easio, where all the key members and decision making figures are highly experienced professionals with numerous years of deployment in the field of Telecom Services in Europe and North America.
- Sufficient Funding Boost: Having such a project reach the level of maturity and self sustainability requires significant funding. The potential board of directors and share holders of the company are extremely wealthy business men who are highly enthused about the idea of Easio and are willing to provide whatever it takes to make this well studied project succeed.
The internal weaknesses that might work against the company in the initial phase are:
- Limited knowledge of the market in UAE: The professionals starting up Easio all have experience in western markets with limited exposure to the market here in the UAE. Despite of the fact that the UAE is developing significantly to match the standards in western markets, it is still a developing country and the some mismatch might exist between the requirements of the market and the expertise of people in Easio.
- Easio a starting up company: The fact that Easio is a start up company is a weakness point on its own. The amount of dedication, discipline and self motivation required to provide enough momentum for Easio might be immense. This in turn could work against the interests of a normal employee in Easio. Hence monetary incentives might need to be provided to motivate the employees, this means increased costs.
The market and external attributes that work in favor Easio are:
- Resentment: Customers of the current telecom service providers are highly dissatisfied with both the quality of the services, the inflexibility and the high costs. Being able to alleviate all these problems means significant market migration towards Easio.
- Population Growth: UAE is an exponentially increasing country in terms of population, both from the high birth rate and increasingly human power importation. This in turn means that a significant portion of the market is considered "fresh" and the problem of stagnant market migration is limited.
- Market Growth: UAE is a developing country with expanding infrastructure and opportunities for new businesses, this means that the corporate side of the customer base is also increasing.
- Successfully Launched Idea: This business idea has been successfully launched in western countries, namely the US and Canada. The customer base in those countries constitutes a significant portion of the society and reach up to 70% of the population in some regions.
- Attractive Package Incentives: Some negotiations with big companies like RIM and Apple revealed their willingness to provide Easio with extremely inexpensive cell phones based on huge Purchase Orders. This in essence means that attractive cell phones such as BlackBerry and iPhone can be appended to any monthly plan.
Some external factors might be threatening to Easio, namely:
- Well Established Market: The fact that the existing players are already well established with all the big corporations and a significant portion of the population enrolled with them might work against the launching of Easio. Despite of all the service enhancements Easio provides, a considerable ratio of the customer base might be stagnant to do the migration.
- Competition: The current service providers might come up with equivalent incentives to Easio. Keeping in mind that the existing customer base are all enrolled under the existing service providers, this might throw a huge wedge in the success of Easio's objective.
- Legislation: Easio's objective is to monopolize the market with the enhanced services it provides. The big players might attempt to obstruct this by all means possible, which may include legislative means.
- Economic Crisis: Despite the fact that the world is emerging slowly from the economic crisis incurred at the end of 2008, the market is still relatively weak with a high degree of unpredictability.
Easio's feasibility is studied from a Porter Five Forces perspective in this section of the report.
Force 1: Degree of Existing Rivalry
Currently only two companies in the UAE monopolize the telecom services market. Both companies have the same owner and hence no real competition exists in the current market. The two companies have similar if not identical deals, and hence both could be lumped into one real contender to Easio.
Force 2: The Threat of Entry
Having Easio as a new start up company entering into a market with well established players backed up by legislation and strong contacts poses several concerns. Those issues are to be outlined:
Cost of Entry: As discussed in the previous section, a weakness in Easio's position is the fact that it is starting up and requires significant amount of funding to reach the level of maturity and self sustainability. However this point is remedied through the existence of a strong board of directors and share holders who are passionate about the idea and are willing to provide all the funding necessary to make the company stand out.
Distribution Channels: The Company would have a main head office along with small shops distributed all around the country in big malls and commercial districts.
Cost Advantage: The board of director's members and some of the big figures in Easio are prominent professionals on a global scale having contacts in big companies such as RIM and Apple. As discussed in the previous section, this would in turn facilitate tailoring very appealing packages that would attract customers on a large scale. In addition to that, a member in the board of directors acquires a building very suitable for being the headquarters of Easio and hence this would greatly facilitate the initiation of the project.
Force 3: Threat of Substitutes
Cell phones are developing significantly and are converging into a mini PC; hence they are becoming an inevitable commodity in our day to day life. Any viable substitute or enhancement on the main idea of cell phones would still fall under the same category and hence the concept of substitutes isn't really relevant in this context.
Force 4: Buyer Power
In the current market, the buyer's power is weak due to the existence of a monopoly in the telecom services. If the buyer wants to acquire a cell phone he/she have to purchase their plan from that single provider, hence limiting diversity. This in turn can be considered as a strong catalyst in the favor of Easio, especially that the suggested plan works really well with the needs of customers.
Force 5: Supplier Power
In the current existing the market, the supplier in the telecom industry is a very strong one. Having all the bargaining power and taking unilateral decisions with no regard whatsoever to the needs of the customers. This again, is advantageous to Easio as it has a very attractive vision to the consumer base.
The launching of the project should be proceeded by an aggressive marketing strategy that would mediate and grow some sense of anticipation among the customer base.
The marketing would include the following:
- Media Marketing: A concise yet comprehensive advertisement broadcasted in popular TV channels and radio stations. The advertisement should explicitly highlight the strong points of Easio and the services it provides and at the same time in an implicit fashion point out all the shortcoming s of the current provider.
- Sponsoring events: Entertainment events hosting famous people in the media such as singers and actors should be sponsored by Easio to promote the name and spread the idea.
- Newspapers and Magazines: Easio should target newspapers and magazines by appending brochures and having prominent writers dedicate certain columns to Easio's ideas and vision.
- Charity Events: Population is usually fond of organizations that aren't "greedy" and having Easio host charity events and promoting a good environment works strongly in its favor. This idea is highly effective especially that a general feeling of resentment is sensed towards the current players.
After the aggressive marketing phase, the grand opening should be accompanied by extremely appealing incentive plans that would literally shock the market and consequently attract a considerable number of customers. An example of such an incentive plan would include any person who subscribes with Easio during its first week of opening gets a BlackBerry at its regular price however are exempted from the fees for the first 3 months.
For the first 6 months since the date of launching, any subscriber would get the premium package that includes all services (such as caller ID and voice mail) at the price of a basic plan. Many people are spectacle and stagnant when they hear of a new name and would be reluctant to join during the first days. However once the good word starts spreading about Easio, more and more people would want to join and having an incentive plan extending over 6 months would ease this transition even more.
As the business expands and potential of growth increases, more and more shops should be launched around the country to provide easy access points to customers.
Having a new telecom service provider that breaks the current monopoly imposed by the existing big players is both synergistic to the providers and the community at large. The service providers themselves benefit from this opportunity due to the existence of some sort of starvation in the society to such new ideas. At the same time, the society would benefit by having more options at lower costs and hence making the customers happier with the services they have. Easio alleviates virtually all the shortcomings in the current services by providing innovative ways of "making everybody happy". Easio is a starting up company which makes it flexible and easy to mold to whatever the market requires.