Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dunia Finance LLC has been one of the leading financial institutions in the region since its inception in 2006. Dunia provides an array of financial products and services, including fixed deposits, personal and car loans, and credit cards. Additionally, the institution offers financial planning services and credit card promotions. Dunia’s management led by the CEO, Rajeev Kakar, and the Head of Strategic Analytics, Ali Hurbas, has been strategizing on the approaches that the financial institution needs to adopt for it to realize substantial growth. Dunia regards data analytics as an essential tool in risk management since it goes a long way in mitigating financial losses. Additionally, the financial institution identifies accurate data as one of the factors that can foster its competitive edge in the industry.
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Dunia mainly uses the data in its analytics to facilitate an understanding of the market, thus implementing the required strategies for development and growth. In this respect, the company identifies analytics as a necessary tool that enhances its financial health and competitiveness in the specialty finance industry. In addition, Dunia currently applies the cross-selling approach with the view of fostering customer lifetime value since it requires minimum maintenance investment while at the same time heightening the probability of customer retention. Dunia’s credit department applies analytics to identify clients who are eligible for cross-selling. The financial institution can also consider integrating the upselling technique to boost its long-term relationship with customers. Hence, as revealed in this report, Dunia’s embracement of the analytics function is identified as one of the key strategies for building its franchise since it drives aspects of risk, revenue, and response in consumer banking.
Differences in Banking between the United States and the UAE
The United States and the UAE’s banking systems depict differences that account for the uniqueness of financial institutions in the two regions. In the UAE, the cost of doing business in the specialty finance sector, especially regarding credit and operational cost is considerably higher relative to the U.S. As such, financial institutions in the UAE report a lower response rate, owing to a smaller population when weighed against the situation in the U.S. banks. For this reason, it is possible to acquire substantial customer volumes within a short period in America through the credit bureau after specifying the criteria since the population is larger. Similarly, it is difficult to record a significant response rate after acquiring names from the UAE’s credit bureau since the country’s population is not very large.
The population difference implies that banking institutions in the UAE need to count on the internal data since the environment is characterized by a developing market. Thus, for financial institutions to grow sensibly in the UAE market, they need to take considerable risk of analyzing consumers’ needs and expectations in a developing market. Furthermore, according to Ruminski (2014), the rapid market changes experienced in the UAE imply that financial institutions face significant macro-economic risks. Conversely, the developed market in the U.S. offers players in the banking sector minimum risks, owing to the stability gained in the industry. Thus, stakeholders in the U.S. financial sector do need to rely significantly on internal data to carry out their marketing strategies since the country’s economy offers a wide array of data sources for analytics.
In the UAE, the human capital needed in all banking functions, including strategic analytics, is different from what is required in the U.S. (Venkatesan, Farris, & Wilcox, 2015). Banking associates in the UAE’s developing market have a wider coverage of their functions. Additionally, banking associates in the developing market need to acquire an in-depth understanding of numerous other functions for them to realize efficiency and effectiveness in their operations. Contrarily, according to Venkatesan et al. (2015), managers of large banks in the U.S. control a narrow field, hence enhancing their specialization levels in a particular area. Their concentration on a narrow area also offers them an opportunity to dig deeper in terms of career advancement and skills mastery, thus fostering effective and efficient execution of their functions. Therefore, the scope of work mandated by managers differs in the two countries.
The Effect of Analytics on Customer Relationship Management at Dunia
The absence of a reliable credit bureau in the UAE prompted Dunia to establish a customer identification number (CIN) that helps the company to generate its statistics needed for analytics. The tool assists Dunia in the quantification of decisions regarding product offerings and customer value. In this respect, as Sayani (2015) asserts, analytics plays an integral part in influencing the decisions that the management develops in its endeavor to increase volumes. Thus, Dunia applies strategic analytics to ensure that it provides customers with financial products and services that meet their needs and expectations. According to Venkatesan et al. (2015), the strategy also improves the aspect of customer value and the overall growth of the company in the market.
Analytics also influences the credit management aspect of Dunia’s operations to a considerable extent. Through the capture of behavioral and demographic data from customers, Dunia gets at a better position of addressing the five Cs of credit, namely, capacity, character, collateral, and covenant. In this respect, strategic analytics ensures that Dunia manages its credit effectively and efficiently by granting financial facilities to deserving customers. In line with Abdolvand, Albadvi, and Aghdasi’s (2015) analysis, the company has been able to apply a customer-centric strategy in the management of credit by identifying different lifestyle needs that concern its consumers. The company uses analytics to assess the acceptability of customers’ patterns of usage and history to fulfill their needs using tailored financial solutions (Jain, Sharma, & Jayaraman, 2014). By doing so, the player has enhanced its customer value, thereby earning the loyalty of its clients in the developing market (Sayani, 2015). In addition, the concept of strategic analytics also assists Dunia in the acquisition of new customers in a market that presents numerous opportunities for emerging players to grow. Therefore, analytics is a crucial tool that fosters the competitiveness of Dunia in the UAE’s developing banking market.
Dunia’s Approach towards Realizing Customer Lifetime Value
The maintenance of a healthy relationship with customers goes a long way in fostering the profitability of the organization. For this reason, according to Mehta and Bhavani (2017), companies need to uphold the importance of customer lifetime value since it facilitates a forecast of the net profit that can be realized from its future relationship with particular clients. Various approaches to bolstering customer lifetime value include the establishment of long-term relationships and engaging in upselling and cross-selling mechanisms. According to Cifci and Erdogan (2016), other approaches include the creation of brand loyalty, selecting the appropriate rewards and incentives for clients, and offering superior customer service by applying multiple touchpoints. In this respect, Dunia needs to consider the adoption of these approaches in its marketing strategies to ensure that the financial institution reaps maximum profits from its future relationships with customers.
The establishment of long-term and meaningful relationships with customers is crucial since it reinforces the foundation of a particular company. Through the building of long-lasting dealings with consumers, Dunia is bound to strengthen its foundation in the developing market. As such, it will be necessary for the financial institution to emphasize the needs of over 1,000 salespeople working for the company to build long-term relationships with customers for the sake of realizing consistent profits. The approach also ensures that Dunia acquires and retains most of its customers, thereby expanding its market share. Dunia will achieve this goal by upholding honesty, sharing, and partnering with its customers.
Sayani (2015) presents the establishment of brand loyalty as an approach that fosters customer lifetime value. Consequently, Dunia will realize customer lifetime value by ensuring that it offers quality financial products and services consistently. Brand loyalty is an important strategy for promoting customer lifetime value since it encourages clients to try new products and services and/or make repeated purchases. The strategy has enabled the company to lengthen its relationship with customers. However, the realization of brand loyalty will require Dunia to uphold the essence of continuously improving its customer service standards. Dunia will also consider the upsell and cross-sell approaches that help to promote customer lifetime value. Upselling influences customers to buy a product or service of a higher-end relative to the one in question. On the other hand, cross-selling encourages clients to purchase related or complimentary items or services offered by a company.
Focus on Cross-selling Versus Focus on New Customer Acquisition
As the head of strategic analytics, Hurbas focuses on the need for Dunia to engage in cross-selling as a strategy that can help the financial institution to acquire customer value and competitiveness in the market. As such, Hurbas has underlined the need for ensuring the efficiency and effectiveness of the cross-selling process by integrating analytics to understand the needs and expectations of customers in various segments. Notably, the establishment of a CRM database is seen as an important move in mining data for analytics to facilitate the identification of customers eligible for cross-selling. Furthermore, Hurbas has also incorporated the 10Ps of effective and efficient analytics to bolster the company’s marketing prospects. According to Venkatesan et al. (2015), the 10Ps include, “People, passion, predictability, profitability, proactive, precision, power, partnership, progression, and pragmatism” (p. 28). The cross-selling approach is timely since Dunia has not yet secured a considerable share of the market.
Currently, Hurbas needs to concentrate on customer retention in the developing market. Undoubtedly, the emerging market in the UAE offers financial institutions numerous opportunities for growth, a situation that encourages the company to engage in new customer acquisition strategies. In this respect, Hurbas’ focus on cross-selling is justified since the growth strategy allows the company to retain its existing customers while at the same time continuing to realize profits in the course of applying its strategic analytics to create new customers in the future.
Concentrating on cross-selling is a timely move by Hurbas since the approach fosters the realization of client and brand allegiance (Cifci & Erdogan, 2016). Important to note, solving customers’ problems by offering a substitute, an alternative product, or a service improves their experience and loyalty. As such, by upholding the importance of cross-selling in Dunia’s marketing strategies, Hurbas sees the need for the financial institution to acquire new customers while retaining the existing ones. In this light, cross-selling goes beyond customer loyalty by fostering the company’s growth in the developing market.
The focus on cross-selling is a competitive growth strategy initiated by Hurbas since it ensures that existing clients benefit from various financial products and services provided by Dunia instead of shifting to rival banks. As such, the approach fosters customer retention, a cost-effective strategy of generating considerable revenues that denote the competitiveness of an organization. In addition, by offering customers related or complementary products, Dunia will realize greater profitability compared to its rivals by making additional sales from its existing customers (Mehta & Bhavani, 2017). Therefore, the cross-selling approach introduced by Hurbas is timely since Dunia needs to first retain its loyal customers before acquiring new ones in the developing market.
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Dunia is one of the financial institutions in the UAE that offer competitive products and services. The player has been recording consistent growth in the industry. Amid the challenges faced in the UAE’s banking sector compared to the situation in the U.S., the management team at Dunia has identified strategic analytics as a crucial tool towards bolstering the company’s growth. Furthermore, the need to realize customer lifetime value prompts Dunia to consider approaches such as cross-selling and customer loyalty. The management has identified cross-selling as a marketing strategy that can bolster the competitiveness and sustainability of Dunia in the developing market.
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