Company analysis is of great importance to any person who is engaged in any form of venture. These include managers, directors, investors as well as the evaluators. The findings from the report in the given company will help in making decisions on how to address any challenges as well as future expansions. Investors will also appreciate the information from company analysis so as to make effective decisions as far as investment is concerned. This research report provides information on the Etisalat structure, operational areas as well as all services rendered by the company.
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The report will also provide the company with reliable information on the financial performance of the company giving an insight into the effectiveness of policies implemented. This research involved a thorough examination of various credible sources of information especially those from the company. The media which is the public eye has also provided important information about the company and has therefore helped in the submission of a credit report based on extensive research. The report incorporates a thorough investigation of corporate performance by examining specific financial information.
Etisalat is an Emirates Telecommunication Corporation based in Abu Dhabi. It is among the largest companies in the world with over 135 million customers. It has its operations running in different regions of the world which include Asia, Africa as well as in the Middle East. It has been ranked the 15th largest company based in telecommunication network operation. During the final year report in 2011, it was honored as the most dominant company in the UAE. This report was compiled by Forbes. The company is engaged in the provision of mobile services for fixed-line data both to individuals as well as companies. It is also involved in data transfer and the provision of high technology services to other companies with submarine cables to service its customers in all regions (Etisalat, 2011).
The company has reported significant revenues in the year 2011 amounting to USD $8.4 billion or AED 31.9 billion in Arabian Currency with a net profit of USD $2.078 billion or EAD 7.631 billion. This was a huge profit made despite tough competition from the other companies such as the Emirates Integrated Telecom (Etisalat, 2011). Etisalat has strong internet connectivity which has dominated the whole of the Middle East as well as other countries. It has an international carrier that has flourished to take a 12th position in the world in the provision of that service. To add on to that, it has a total of 510 global data roaming agreements transcending more than 186 countries. Services like BlackBerry, 2G as well as 3G networks are provided to the customers and most importantly, the company has ventured in the point of reference popularly known as the PoP in some regions in the United States of America, London and Frankfurt (Etisalat, 2011).
Etisalat Company Analysis
The Etisalat Company was successfully established in the year 1976. By then it was operating jointly with another company from Britain. This was the International Aeradio Limited. Within seven years of its inception, the UAE government had acquired 60% of its shares while the other 40% was left to the public for trading. This was an indication of the importance of this company even at this early stage (Schuler, 2002).
In the year 1991, the government enacted a law that allowed the company to expand its services both locally and internationally. To this end, it can be argued that the government used this company as a tool to exploit the international market. This was to be realized by introducing wired and wireless networks. In so doing, the company had the right to own, import and use sophisticated equipment to improve its services. The company received favors from the government which allowed the telecommunication sector to increase growth (Etisalat, 2011). The favors received from the government were to be expected given the huge stake that the government had in this company.
Etisalat has significant interests in other companies around the world. This is how the company has been able to penetrate the world market. As indicated earlier in this paper, the interests span across Africa, Asia and the Middle East among others. The table below shows Etisalat holdings across the globe:
Table 1: Etisalat Holdings across the Globe. Source: Etisalat’s Annual Report 2011
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Etisalat has multiple units of businesses operating under one roof of its brand. The other services which are unrelated to telecommunication but which are provided by this company range from the training of individuals, consultancy services, smart card manufacturing among others. This is an indication of the company’s vast interests in the global market. The services are offered to other operators including organizations and corporations which contract Etisalat. It is to be noted that Etisalat has its own satellite system named the Thuraya. Thuraya is a space satellite used mostly for mobile services (2dayDubai.com, 2009). The investment in such an infrastructure is an indication of the company’s need to dominate the telecommunication and data industry. With such infrastructure, the company is able to cater to the needs of the rising number of clients.
In 2006, the management felt the need to make the company a customer-focused entity rather than a technology-oriented company with many non- related business units (Etisalat, 2011). In other words, the management realized that there is a need to make the company revolve around the customer by meeting their needs as far as telecommunication is concerned. This led to the restructuring of its operations. The company went ahead and rebranded its logo in May the same year. The restructuring was meant to ensure that the main core of the company is maintained all along regardless of the number of offshoot businesses that are being operated. As a result of this the company has made sure that the operations are run with special attention on the customers. Analysts have attributed most of the success recorded by the company to this strategy (2dayDubai.com, 2009).
Etisalat Services Holding
2011 was one of the most prosperous years as far as the interests of the shareholders are concerned. It is to be noted that this is the year that the management had made great efforts to ensure that the company remains a giant in the telecommunication sector throughout the region (Etisalat, 2011). This was manifested through the various restructurings that were carried out in this period. Under one umbrella of the Etisalat brand, eight business units exist and operate as independent service providers to the customers and to the other operators as well. It came to be referred by many analysts as the independent strategy (Etisalat, 2011). The independent strategy has been successful for three consecutive years and it has been characterized by the stabilization of the management operations. All the units have exhibited tremendous growth both in revenue and profits. This far, units have even exceeded the overall threshold after the implementation of new strategies incorporated in the management system (Etisalat, 2011).
For the company to maintain and satisfy its booming market both locally and internationally, the management has taken into consideration the analysis strategy. The aim here is to manage the strategies applied in all its operations. These include market share, a competitive production as well as regional growth. This was realized by coming up with various Etisalat operating arms. To this end, the management focused on several areas including the Etisalat Academy, Tam Deed Projects, e-Marine, Etisalat Directory Services and finally the Etisalat real estate (Etisalat, 2011). Together, these operating arms had elevated this company in the market making it one of the best performers in the country’s economy. Each of them will be analyzed in detail below:
The company has in its possession a well equipped academy for training its delegates throughout the region. The Etisalat Academy can be conceptualizes as a noble idea by the management and a first among telecommunication industries in UAE and other parts of the world (Boswell, 2003). There were various reasons behind the initiation of the academy. Etisalat (2011) is of the view that the dream to empower the entire nation was realized through the introduction of fully functional college and university. The academy has sophisticated facilities which deliver up to date knowledge and skills in areas like ICT, leadership, consultancy and other telecommunication services.
Since inception, the academy has initiated several projects aimed at promoting the welfare of both the community and the company. For example on May 2010, the key projects initiated by the academy included an international conference which was organized to discuss major development programs with the government. There were other issues which were discussed in this conference. These included issues such as leadership. These are issues that are considered crucial not only to the company but also to the community as a whole. Internationally, the company has displayed its strength by engaging other stakeholders in bilateral and multilateral agreements which are aimed at ensuring that the key projects run smoothly at the international level (Etisalat, 2011).
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Etisalat Facilities Management
The Etisalat has a population of about 1,800 staff members (Etisalat, 2011). It is a large workforce by any standards. The services provided by this workforce cover the whole of the UAE region with the use of over 5,000 sites and locations from where clients can be served. The company has facilities and assets which are in different locations both locally and internationally. They are the facilities that enable the company to reach out to the members of the public and the potential clients. These facilities include airports, towers for data transmission and power plants among others. For example, Etisalat has interests in two airports in Abu Dhabi and Sharja. It also operates a mosque. Even though the mosque may not be intended for commercial exploitation, it is to be noted that it is significant as it caters for the spiritual well being of both the workers and members of the public.
The company’s facilities management operation is regarded as one of the best in the region. The company has continued to attract new customers in addition to the already existing clientele base. The clients include Asteco Real Estates and Musanada among others who have become the major customers.
To add on to the thriving state of the company, significant projects have been added to the portfolio. This is for example the GSM network which was established in 35 places to improve the services provided to the corporate and individual clients.
Emirates Data Clearing House (EDCH)
Roaming services have encountered many problems as far as the GSM operators are concerned. This is both in the country and in other places around the world. The management felt the need to address this problem to provide the clients with seamless services. This is through the establishment of the EDCH which has provided a feasible solution to the problem. The services of Emirates Data Clearing House have been extended to large corporations such as the Etisalat, Zain, Warid and many others in the country and in the region. To this end, the companies are enjoying uninterrupted data transfer across all networks both in the country and in other parts of the world.
EDCH has provided Etisalat and other corporations in the region with various benefits in their business operations. For example, the clearing house has realized a 20% percent increase in customers, in the process increasing the revenue for the company. ECDH has been outsourced to one major company which manages the services. This is Teco Company provides the EDCH services using sophisticated data programs. On the other hand the EDCH provides all operators with valuable information helping them establish a stable market niche.
This is another project that has improved the performance of Etisalat over the years. The Ebtikar Card System has expanded into the international market to supply its telecommunication customers with smart cards. Its key areas of operation include Africa, the Middle East as well as Asia.
Etisalat has recorded significant growth in sales volume and customer base after new Micro- SIM cards were introduced in the region. The introduction of the new card system has improved service delivery thus increasing the number of customers served by the company. The international growth has been bolstered by securing and extending services to the airports, banks and government institutions in the country and in the region. It is perhaps one of the reasons why analysts regard the new card system as one of the main drivers of the company’s growth over the years.
The directory services have been instrumental in organizing the company’s international business. The services are reported to involve the campaigns on the global scene. These campaigns are used to draw all the international markets together. The services are used both by mobile internet as well the web based PC applications. Various forms of directories are proposed in order to make the service more effective. Another important project in this category involves the introduction of a yellow page directory which will augment the Iphone industry. It is one of the ways that the company wishes to make an impact in the Iphone and smartphone industry.
E- marine Services
This project is appropriate for the offshore industry. There are various services that are offered or provided by this project. The services provided by this project include consultancy and marine route survey. Analysts are of the view that most importantly, the e- marine services’ project is the backbone on which all telecommunications operations across the globe run.
E- Marine services have affected the operations of Etisalat in different ways. Analysts are of the view that the project has made Etisalat operations easier and more convenient. Last year the marine services covered over 60,000 km which is twice the coverage recorded before the establishment of the project. This is a tremendous improvement and a clear sign that the industry is growing very fast.
E- Real Estate
The project is directed towards the company’s site facilities and properties. Project management is also included in the E- real estate function. In this case the industry‘s properties that are overseas are managed through this project. The aim here is to reduce the operations costs. In the long run, revenues as well profits are maintained at high levels. It is noted that the E- real estate is cost reduction initiative as well as an operations enhancement strategy formulated and implemented by the management.
Business and Corporate Function
So far, the report has provided the reader with information regarding the historical background and the core business that Etisalat is involved in. At this point, the reader has a clear picture of what Etisalat company is all about.
At this juncture, it is important then to look at the major areas in which Etisalat company operates. It has a total of eight business units which range from telecommunications to E- real estate as analyzed above. It renders its services to other companies as well apart from the normal customers at the receiving end. The business has about 135 million customers all over the world and it is still striving to exceed this mark. In the corporate world it is among the top 140 in the listed 500 companies in the world. Since its inception in the year 1976, the growth has been nothing short of exemplary despite various challenges ranging from tough competition to the recent global recession. The recorded growth does not mean that the company has been immune to all of these problems. On the contrary, it has implemented various strategies to maintain the existing customers while on the other hand giving attractive offers to woe the other customers (2dayDubai.com, 2009).
The company has recorded a steady financial growth over the years. Various factors have resulted in this tremendous growth. These include factors such as aggressive marketing, business rebranding among others. The financial performance of the company in the last 9 years is shown in the figure below:
In the year 2010, the world economy experienced the worst financial crisis that affected every functioning industry in the global market. The effects of this crisis were very intense and touched on all operations of the industries including financial and material operations. Despite these negative impacts, Etisalat Company recorded huge profits.
According to the annual reports released last year, various key areas were pointed out as having helped in maintaining the company’s ever increasing profits and shareholdings.
- First an increase of 34% in profits was achieved after 107 million customers subscribed to the service. During the global financial crisis, many customers rationed their daily expenditures and this posed a challenge in attracting more clients. But this was surmounted after the costs were reduced considerably trend to maintain as well as to attract customers.
- Another key area that was examined is the increase in revenue which. It increased by 5% during the period. This rose to AED 30.8 billion.
- The total earnings for the shares went up by 4.2% to settle at 1.2 AED per share.
- In the year 2010, the dividend per share was lower as compared to last 2011’s dividend which actually increased by 20%. This was reflected by a figure of AED 3.9 Billion.
- In the year 2011 Etisalat recorded the highest capital spending which was an increase of 74% or AED 6.8 billion as compared to that of the previous year. This shows that the Etisalat projects are always expanding due to the increasing growth in overseas’ operations. The projects were funded frequently in an effort to achieve desirable results. To this end, the company still recorded a cash balance of AED 11.3 billion. This was due to cash flow generation that made it possible to maintain strong credit rates, fund existing projects and pay dividends as well.
However, it is noted that all is not well at Etisalat Company. Just like other companies operating in the competitive and volatile market, the company faces various challenges. For example, the company has a standing debt of AED 7.5 billion. Such a huge debt is not common to the company. The possible causes of this huge debt will be analyzed in subsequent sections of this report.
The industry recorded good returns as far as financial operations are concerned. All this was achieved through continued growth in mobile phone calls’ data as well as the internet services. The effects of this on both profits and revenue were positive. For instance, profits shot up to 16% which to stand at AED 17.6 billion. Revenues on the other hand show an increase of 5% to stand at AED 30.8billion. The earnings per share (herein referred to as EPS) stood at 4% (Etisalat, 2011).
The company has struggled to maintain its position both in current and future markets. This has been achieved through the use of the capital funds to finance other valuable projects on the market as well as launching potential units meant to ensure that the company remains active. These are projects such as fiber to home, strong broad band for the mobile networks and such others which have been the key areas where intensive capital investment has been made. As stated earlier, capital fund rose to 78%. This was a sign that the industry is investing heavily to make sure that all operations are running effectively.
The figure below shows the revenue breakdown for this company at the end of the year 2011:
The financial performance has been subjected to various challenges ranging from high exchange rates to the recent global economic crisis. In spite of this, the industry has recorded significant growth in these difficult market conditions. So far, a debt of AED 4.5 and a liquidity of 11.3 billion were incurred in the year 2010 alone (Etisalat, 2011).
The company has motivated its share holders by ensuring that cash flow emanating from the business is invested in all its business units. Apart from investing the cash flow, the company has used the same to pay dividends as well as reward loyalty from employers and the clients. In the year 2011 the recorded cash flow was AED 10.12 billion while in the year 2010 the cash flow was AED 10.59 billion. The slight decrease in the cash flow was contributed to the sharp decline in the working capital (Etisalat, 2011).
The annual dividend share recommended by the board for the year was AED 0.6 to be awarded for each share held. Although the recommendation has not yet been approved, it was suggested that a final resolution will be made during this year’s annual general meeting [AGM] (Etisalat, 2011).
This telecommunications giant has continued to dominate the telecommunications industry in the UAE and within the region. Since its inception in 1976, it has maintained the momentum by introducing new services addressing the emerging needs of the customers. The services range from mobile connection to internet connection. The company has moden facilities with an innovative operating system. It has also dominated the international market considering that it has been ranked among the top 500 corporates in the world. Additionally, the company was ranked the 6th in the MiddleEast as a result of its huge revenues and capitalisation. The company is the only global entity in the UAE outside the oil sector. Consequently Etisalat has made the UAE region to be the most advanced with regard to infrustracture and business oppportunities. This has greatly affected the nation’s economic sector.
The company’s vision is to uphold a world class mode of communication (Etisalat, 2011). In this case, distance and time should not affect the operations of this company. People are given an opportunity to communicate any time irrespective of distance. This the vision that the Etisalat company upholds. People can travel any time, meet new people and keep intouch with those they have left behind.
Businesses (irrespective of their sizes) are also given an opportunity to expand by tapping into the Etisalat’s ever growing technology and innovations. This will help the business to venture into the international market as well by acquring new markets. As per this vision statement, goods and services can be acquired at different times across the globe while in the long run the company grows stronger and stronger. In a nut shell, the vision statement implies a world where individuals reach is not determined by distance but by technology.
The Etisalat mission is to expand their services to reach all people. To achieve this mission the company will engage in efforts to develop a strong network connectivity that will bring together all people across the globe. In this case, people will connect and learn from each other as they grow. Businesses on the other hand (regardless of their size or orientation) are envisaged to fulfill their missions as well in tandem with the company. The Etisalat mission is to provide the customers with the latest products and services in the market through innovative technology. The technology will enable people to learn more as they grow.
Three sets of values define the Etisalat Company. These are openness, enablement and energy. These three components make it easy to plan for the future as well as combat any challenges facing the corporation. The policies are meant to maintain a good relationship between the company on one hand and customers, suppliers as well as other companies involved in the transactions on the other hand. The company’s efforts to establish and maintain an atmosphere that favors all stakeholders is a sign of a strong element of sociality that is needed in any form of business.
In an effort to remain open and transparent, it upholds the responsibility of giving a warm welcome to all the customers, extending friendly gestures and maintaining an element of sociability. This is a move that keeps the corporation at the top of the corporate ladder both in UAE and in the world. Customers as well as the employees deserve to be treated fairly at all times. This raises the question of how the company handles its business operations, the entire workforce and anybody they come into contact with.
When it comes to enablement, the management team strives to do what they say they will do. Opportunities are availed to other companies as a result of this corporation’s enablement value. Goals are achieved leading to prosperity in all sectors.
The final energy component encompasses the strength of the efforts directed towards achieving the objectives of the company. The corporation is equipped to deal with and handle any current and potential challenge. The future is secures through continued exploitation of the opportunities provided.
The General Assembly
The corporation takes into consideration the interests of all the shareholders. They are the ones to approve the decisions made in the Annual General Meetings held by the company. Apart from reviewing the financial position of the company, the General Assembly also participates in the auditing of the financial reports provided by the external auditor.
The body makes sure that all recommendations provided by analysts as well as those given by the board of directors are effectively carried out. After the release of the balance sheets, the shareholders may approve or disapprove after analyzing it. Another important aspect of the general assembly is to appoint an external auditing agent to oversee the financial operations. The assembly is well defined and its powers described by the act of the corporation (Etisalat, 2011).
The Board of Directors
The Etisalat Company has a Board of Directors who manages the corporation’s day to day activities and operations. The board comprises of eleven members comprised of a chairman who is elected through the presidential decree and other seven members. The remaining four members are appointed by the private shareholders of the Etisalat Corporation. The board operates for a period of three years after which a new board is elected. The election process is carried out according to the Law of Association set out by the General Assembly of the company. The board has a responsibility to monitor all business activities of the corporation among other duties. However, it is noted that the duties of the board of directors are limited to those prescribed in the article of association (Etisalat, 2011).
The Executive Committee
This committee is also part and parcel of Etisalat Corporation. It is selected by the board of directors in accordance with the article. The executive committee is expected to take control of the business operations. This is for instance making some urgent decisions on behalf of the board of directors. The committee also takes part in the hiring and firing of members of staff, especially those at high positions. Here members of the committee ensure that they hire individuals of high caliber for the corporation. The members also take part in the organization’s day to day activities such as overseeing the implementation of the development plans (Etisalat, 2011).
The committee has significant influence on the way the corporation operates. In this case, the committee closely monitors the corporation’s performance. The most important function of the committee is to review the budget before it is handed over to the board of directors. Finally the committee has a role in reviewing the efficiency the services rendered both to the customers and to the employees. The committee formulates policies touching on how surplus revenue is to be disposed of. The Etisalat tenders are approved by the executive committee which ensures a free and fair tendering process. To this end, the committee ensures that tenders are awarded to the most qualified bidder. Tenders exceeding AED 50 million have to be approved by the committee. Procurement is also evaluated in the same manner by the committee. Proposals for local, regional and international expansion of activities have to be reviewed and approved by the committee before they are implemented.
The Audit Committee
The Audit Committee is comprised of three individuals. It is a subcommittee of the board of directors. Two of the members are selected from the board members and the third one is selected from without the board. They have to hold at least four meetings annually. The role of the committee in the corporation is to monitor the financial processes and report to the board on their findings. To ensure that all operations adhere to the financial regulations, the committee checks whether there are any future risks or current risks needing urgent attention. The committee ensures that all internal processes and procedures are evaluated and acted on accordingly (Etisalat, 2011).
The auditing unit has established an effective mechanism for reporting to the directors on their findings. At the same time it ensures that the leaders and managers operate in accordance with the stipulated procedures for the interest of the corporation. In this case, the committee has the power to recommend to the board of directors who is the best suited person to carry out a given task in the organization. The directors work in hand in hand with the financial management team as well as the internal and external auditors.
This is also a subcommittee formed by the board of directors. It is made up of four members. Three of the members are selected from the board of directors while the fourth member is selected from the top management team of the company. This committee deals with matters concerning the staff or the employees as far as compensation is concerned. It is mandated to give directions on such matters concerning the employees. To this end, the committee ensures that their employees are motivated with compensation packages that are both externally and internally equitable. This is to reflect the corporation’s strength and stature in the market. The corporation’s aim is to not only acquire new customers but also to retain the already existing customers who are significant in upholding the name of the company. To achieve this, the employees need to be treated with a touch of class by offering them a competitive remuneration package.
Risk Management Committee
This committee is made up of two members only. One member is drawn from the board of directors while the other one is selected from the corporation’s management team. The committee is tasked with the role of advising the corporation on matters touching on any danger or risk that may occur. The committee also formulates and implements strategies aimed at ensuring that the company averts risks or mitigates the effects of those risks that are faced.
But the main role of the committee is to report on any strategies aimed at safeguarding the corporation’s interests as far as the various possible risks are concerned. The committee has to follow up on those strategies to make sure that the policies suggested are implemented fully for the benefit of the organization (Etisalat, 2011).
The Operating Structure of the Committee
This was a strategy that was implemented in the year 2009. The idea was to have a structured framework to oversee a number of processes in the organization. One such process was the management of the company’s international investment portfolio. This is by ensuring that the management team is not overwhelmed by the efforts made in running both local and international operations. Moreover, the committee has an obligation to win over the shareholders’ trust by convincing them and implementing a solid structure that upholds effective governance. So far the company has seventeen international subsidiaries that need constant monitoring and the committee has committed itself to this. It is in constant communication with the board of directors as well the executive committee regarding the performance of the company and any urgent strategy that should be implemented (Etisalat, 2011).
Ad Hoc Committees
The idea to constantly formulate short term committees that respond to various corporate issues that might have arisen was mooted by the board of directors. The main objective here is to have the issues resolved without necessarily involving the other committees. It is noted that after the resolutions have been structured, the committee stop to exist. To this end, two Ad hoc Committees were formed last year (Etisalat, 2011).
The aim of this report is to critically analyze the Etisalat with the aim of understanding what drives the performance of the corporation. To achieve an effective and critical analysis of the company, it is important to look at the external environment of the organization. This is given the fact that the environment affects the performance of this company. The challenges and opportunities presented by the external environment of the organization and their effects on the performance of this company will be discussed in this section. The report will begin by looking at the social environment before embarking on other major areas of interest such as economic, political, technological as well as socio- cultural effects.
The Etisalat Company is mainly composed of employees and shareholders of Arabic background. The environment of this area is hot and dry and the only other economic activity apart from telecommunication is extraction of oil. The region is very dry and cannot support any activity related to agriculture. The only thing residents can turn to is the exploitation of the technology and related potentials to offer services to local and international customers.
The region was in dire need for a platform to expand and invest so as to realize the goals. This has been achieved by investing in the telecommunication industry which has recorded tremendous growth over the years. Etisalat has exploited this potential by providing solutions to other partners facing such challenges.
Investing in the country’s non- agricultural sector has been greatly influenced by factors such as political developments, technological innovations as well as socio-cultural factors.
To this end the Etisalat Company has established a very competitive economic environment in UAE. This has rejuvenated the economy of the Arab nations. This achievement has been attributed to the region’s giant telecommunication industry and other related operations in the local and international scene. Etisalat Company has successfully promoted investment in the country’s ICT sector. The telecommunication market is expanding on a daily basis and Etisalat is now the largest service provider in the UAE.
Etisalat has been leading the telecommunication market for thirty years in the country. Internet services have also supported the economy further. As already indicated earlier in this report, the corporation has been ranked among the top 500 companies in the world. This is a good sign and is also an indication of the region’s booming economy. The region’s economy has for the longest time relied on the oil sector to boost its foreign income. After the emergence of the telecommunication sector as a major driver of the economy, efforts have been made to ensure that the two complement each other (2dayDubai.com, 2009).
The Etisalat Corporation has embraced technology which is the major driving force of the company. Technology is the shortest possible route to reach out to the whole world. One of the most significant accomplishments so far was the introduction of the fiber to home network which to improve the services offered to all the customers. The network installation as of last year had covered 89% of the UAE. It is actually the first nation in the world to have its capital city synchronized with such technology.
Another aspect of technology that is being exploited by Etisalat marketers is the launch of eLife services. In this case the company is introducing a cutting edge technology that gives the customers high speed internet connection improving the quality of services offered. Mobile banking system has also been introduced in the market. Customers no longer need to move from one point to the other to conduct their banking transactions. A single press of a button on the phone takes care of all the banking transactions needed. This applies to other financial institutions. Mobile banking has enhanced financial security and has made it possible to avail banking services to remote areas that have been cut out of the process in the past. People who did not have a bank account in the past can now operate one thanks to mobile banking.
Etisalat has integrated technology into its socio-culturall activities. The company showcases new innovations through business promotions. The promotions also address environmental concerns and individuals with special needs. Technology is the most appropriate means of reaching out to the customers and consumers.
Another important area that is supported by technology in the company was realized after the launch of the first satellite to enhance transfer of data for mobile phones. The satellite provides services to other countries in Africa and Asia. The Thuraya satellite has enabled many institutions to carry out missions in other countries. For instance, troops have used the Thuraya system for communication. This was due to the fact that there was no network coverage to connect the army troops with each other.
Other minor implications of technology include the 3G mobile and internet applications which cater for 1.02 million users across the internet.
Political and Legal Environment
The Etisalat Corporation has experienced a peaceful environment as far as political matters are concerned. The government enacted a law that allowed the corporation to provide telecommunication services in the local and regional markets. Of particular importance the government gave Etisalat powers to issue telecommunication licenses. All these factors has enabled the corporation to export its services as well as manufactured equipments to other countries. This was a positive development.
It is also noted that the government has allowed the corporation to purchase telecommunication equipments at subsidized prices. Other preferential treatments include reduced taxes to make sure that its operations runs smoothly. The government has permitted the corporation to engage in innovative activities which are profitable in the Emirates region. The government also helped and supported the corporation to invest in the international market and today, the corporation is operating in two continents and eighteen countries. The government has allowed the local investors to participate not only in the local but also in the international market (Etisalat, 2011). To this end, the corporation exploits the conditions provided by the government which are conducive for growth.
On the other hand political events have altered Etisalat’s operations in a number of ways. There are cases where political events have negatively affected the Etisalat market. For instance, the privatization of PTCL by the government was not transparent. The government seemed to have an upper hand in controlling the initiative. The privatization was contrary to the regulations put in place as far as the privatization process is concerned. The privatization did affect the market share of Etisalat Company in UAE and in the region as a whole.
Socio- Cultural Environment
The Etisalat Corporation is engaged in social welfare in a number of ways. These include providing social services such as education, health and environment conservation. These are activities put in place to reach out to the community. This is the only way that the corporation can effectively reach out to its customers from around the world. Some of these are analyzed below:
The company provides academic scholarships depending on the needs of the country or region under consideration. For instance in the year 2010 the corporation initiated a campaign in Nigeria that involved the adoption of a school. The Nigerian government partnered with the Etisalat Corporation to support education in the country. As a result of this effort, three schools were constructed. The trend was replicated in other countries such as Afghanistan where the company shared knowledge with members of the community. This was through the provision of school facilities which included desk tops and laptops that were given to students and teachers (Etisalat, 2011).
Conservation of the Environment
Etisalat has also been engaged in environmental conservation campaigns. To this end, the corporation has vowed to continue supporting the conservation by reducing carbon usage. This will be done through recycling of waste materials. Plans are underway in the real estate arm of business to use low energy consumption appliances. To reduce environmental pollution, recycled paper is used to manufacture credit cards used by the customers. Unnecessary paper consumption is reduced by encouraging the customers to make use of e- statements that does not degrade the environment. The corporation has received awards for its efforts to promote sustainable environment. It is regarded as one of the corporations in the world engaged in active community outreach. This is after the corporation made efforts to ensure that safe water was available for the members of the community. The company provided purification machines to preserve water and reduce evaporation (Etisalat, 2011).
Health issues have also been tackled by the corporation. Combating malaria and HIV/ AIDS have been emphasized on by the corporation. The company has been involved in education and other forms of campaign to promote good health among the citizens in UAE and other parts of the world. Other health issues include the recognition of people with special needs. This is for example addressing the needs of those with visual impairment that are given an opportunity to communicate with the society in a normal way. Special devices are provided to enable them effectively communicate with the other members of the community. This is considering that the company’s external environment is composed of all sorts of people to whom service is directed despite their personal challenges. Etisalat Corporation ensures that every individual has an equal share of their services.
Another important aspect that has been seen to bear fruits is the launch of a customer care system that caters for those with special needs. This is for example the deaf who use sign language to communicate. This service is well adopted for these clients since it incorporates a video system that allows the customer care agent to communicate using sign language. This move has seen the Etisalat Corporation recognized through a social responsibility award in the region.
Still on the external environment, the corporation has been involved in the provision of humanitarian services in emergencies and disasters such as earthquakes and such others. The corporation has whole- heartedly provided financial aid to the communities affected by catastrophic disasters across the globe. This is for instance the recent earth quakes in Asia and Japan. Apart from financial aid the company also ensures that communication services are in place to enable rescuers and other stakeholders responding to the emergency to carry out their work effectively. Free SMS services are provided to respond to the same (Etisalat, 2011).
Sports can be regarded as an activity that makes it possible for individuals to come together and enjoy themselves. To this end, the corporation has invested extensively in sports as a way of safe- guarding its external environment. All the international branches support sports in their respective countries. For example cricket is a game that has dominated the Pakistan and Afghanistan sporting calendars. The main sponsor of the sport is Etisalat Corporation.
Many international tournaments are sponsored by Etisalat Corporation. School based sports are also supported by the company. One of the most significant initiatives is the FC Barcelona that Etisalat is involved in. The company is actually the main sponsor of Barcelona. Barcelona itself has become more than just a football club by engaging in community based programs meant to address humanitarian needs. The company also works closely with the United Nations to help nations achieve the Millennium Developmental Goals (herein referred to as MDGs). To this end, Barcelona has pledged 1.5 million Euros in the next five years as financial aid to support UNICEF and its humanitarian services (Etisalat, 2011).
The industry within which Etisalat operates is characterized by the presence of many firms that are engaged in the same business. Etisalat Corporation has a challenge to outdo the competitors to win over the customers in the country, in the region and in the international market. It is noted that the corporation has continued to grow significantly despite the invasion of the market by new players providing similar services. As a result of this, the management has realized that the company has no option but to restructure and revamp operations to remain at the top. This is by maintaining a large and strong customer base (Etisalat, 2011).
The company is faced with challenges not only from the other existing firms but also from potential entrants into the market. The objective of this analysis is to enlighten the management and to prepare them for such detractors. In the process of carrying out its business, the company encounters several draw backs emanating from substitutes in the market. The forces behind the company’s operations play a significant role in the formulation and implementation of the marketing strategy. The forces require substantial bargains that challenge the Etisalat’s supply chain. This paper will put this into perspective so as to help management come up with lasting solutions.
Competition from Related Firms
The major competitors in the same group include France Telecom, MTN Group Limited, Orascom Telecom Holdings and S.A.E among others.
France Telecom has a huge market share in terms of customer base and has the largest geographical coverage. It has more than 190 million customers all over the world. It operates in 32 countries around the globe. It has made considerable investments in wireless and broadband services. It has a business unit (Orange) that serves the corporate clients providing them with defined networks as well as data services. This is a threat to the Etisalat telecommunication services. Any move by France Telecom to expand to other parts of the continent will be a challenge to Etisalat Corporation. On the other hand, Etisalat Corporation will find it difficult to expand to other parts dominated by a rival corporation.
The same is happening with the other telecommunication companies. For instance MTN Corporation has a strong hold on the African market. It has dominated the whole of Nigeria with a 50% market share. Etisalat has made investments in this country but it does not have a sizable market share like that of MTN. MTN also has operations in Iran and in total it has over 130 million customers in Africa alone. As a result of this, Etisalat is faced with the challenge of dealing with these rivals to safeguard its market share. This is in addition to coming up with a strategy to penetrate new markets and acquire new customers (Etisalat, 2011).
Threats from New Entrants
Some years back the company enjoyed virtual monopoly in the whole of UAE. Many customers relied on this company for mobile services, internet services and many others. As a result of the monopoly, it is noted that the services were charged high prices. Three years ago the Du made its way into the market to provide services ranging from mobile data with patches of internet coverage in the whole of UAE. Today, Du has attracted many mobile phone customers and provision of internet services is expanding to cover the entire region. This is significant considering the fact that Du and Etisalat were able to share a network a few months ago.
Etisalat is perceived to lead the pack in this industry. But the company is vulnerable to the new entrants. For instance, the company’s share prices have gone down in the London Stock Exchange. On the same note, an analysis of the new clients subscribing to Etisalat on a yearly basis as compared to that in Du will reveal that the latter is a force to reckon with. For example, Etisalat share of the customer base is about 67% with new about 10,000 new subscribers in a span of three months. Compare this with the fact that Du attracted 159,800 new customers on the previous quarter and controls about 37% of total mobile subscribers in the country and in the region (Etisalat, 2011). As a result of this it can be concluded that Du and such other new entrants pose a threat to the future of Etisalat Company.
Threat of Substitute Products and Services
Whenever a product is introduced to the outside common market the tendency of customers to shift is very high (Porter, 2008). This however should not be perceived as competition per se but rather as a shifting strategy on how customers view a product. Etisalat is facing this challenge. The rise of new markets, new needs and new customers as a result of new technologies affects the corporation negatively. This is in its effort to remain the dominant player both in the local as well as in the international market.
To counter such threats from external agents, the company has made efforts to implement strategies enabling it to emerge as a strong and significant player in the industry. It is noted that the substitutes are in most cases affected by price performance of other substitutes in the market. If the substitute has a fair price, customers will shift to it. Another aspect that influences substitutes is the number of products present in the market. The larger the number the easier it is for a customer to shift from one product to the other.
Bargaining Power of Buyers
This is visible when a customer or a buyer is able to influence the price of commodities or services in the market. The customers are always influenced by the prices that keep changing in the market. Etisalat Corporation has many buyers ranging from the middle men who supply the products and services to the customers who are the end users. In between the various transactions, the buyers put pressure on the firm to adjust to their demands especially when there are new entrants in the market.
Bargaining Power of Suppliers
This is the tendency of those supplying the raw materials and resources or those who are experts in a given field refuse to partner with firms demanding for the higher prices (Wheelen & Hunger, 2008). These scenarios are evident when there are few suppliers or substitutes in the market. Etisalat has faced such a challenge in the past. For instance when they dominate a region, the suppliers tend to increase prices relative to the cost of the firm.
Human Capital and Internal Environment
It is noted that the corporation has received numerous awards as far as performance is concerned. This is both locally and internationally. Analysts are of the view that the credit for this achievement can be directed to the employees who make up the internal environment of the corporation. They have exhibited high levels of expertise characterized by continued dedication in all areas of their work from the local to the international operations.
One of the major initiatives in the year 2010 was to promote continued participation of the employees in the business processes in order to realize the organization’s objectives. High skilled workers are transferred to other business units so as to impart their knowledge and skills to other members of the staff. This way, the management makes sure that skills are transferred from one member of staff to the other. Management in Etisalat Company spreads from the core to the outer crust of the corporation. What this means is that management is centralized. This ensures that all activities are carried out effectively with reduced rates of error.
The Etisalat Corporation is structured in such a way that the management finds it easy to control the operations in the whole world from one local base or center of operation. This enables management to carry out evaluations and other activities aimed at maintaining the organization from the central location. Workers find it easy to function with such a clear- cut organization.
The telecommunications sector requires consistency on the part of the organization if it is to succeed. The consistency applies to the hiring and firing of employees in the organization. This is considering the dynamic nature of the technology sector. There is need for the management to hire people who understand the industry well. To this end, the management finds it necessary to maintain the same group of employees while at the same time trying to update their skills in tandem with the changes that have taken place. On their part, the members of staff need to establish a strong bond between Etisalat Corporation and the customers.
The internal environment is defined by the nature of the resources which motivate members of staff to continue working in the competitive environment. The behavior of the employee also makes up the internal environment. In this case the management at Etisalat ensures that the employees are psychologically and emotionally fit in order to operate effectively. The physical health of the employees is also taken into consideration. To this end, the company has an advantage over the competitors. If management neglects the employees and allows them to disintegrate psychologically, emotionally and physically, the business rivals will take advantage of this and further their economic goals.
The organizational resources are the items, equipments and facilities needed by the employees in order to provide services to the customer. In other words, they are inputs of the employer to the corporation. The inputs are required to form outputs which are relative to the kind of industry that the firm is operating within. Etisalat has a well defined input for the work force. As noted earlier in the report, the corporation has established an academy to train members of staff. This ensures that the employee is well equipped and has the knowledge required to handle the resources availed by the company in serving the customers. The system in the company requires competent employees who are of a high caliber. This is the reason why the organization runs an academy to make sure that the employee is equipped with the latest knowledge in the industry.
Another important aspect of the internal environment in Etisalat Corporation is the ability of different departments to come together in efforts to improve the inputs and in effects the outputs of the employees and the business processes. In most cases this is referred to as synergy advantage. To this end the corporation has incorporated this idea by bringing together several departments in a marketing strategy. This is aimed at helping Etisalat outdo the competitors in the market and remain at the top of the pack.
Finally on internal environment, the company makes sure that it maintains the levels of competence of the employees. The quality of any corporation is defined by the type of employees it has in terms of competence (Belch & Belch, 2006). Due to the competitive nature of Etisalat Corporation, other players in the industry have found it hard to outdo it. This is given that the competitors are unable to replicate what Etisalat does as far as the labor force is concerned. Therefore high level of competence on the part of the workforce is mandatory to ensure success on all operations carried out by the organization. Additionally, it is noted that employees are paid in accordance to their level of competence, skills and experience. Those who are highly skilled, highly competent and highly experienced are paid more than the others. The payment package in Etisalat is highly competitive in the sense that the other corporations cannot afford to pay their employees how Etisalat pays them. This is an added advantage in attracting highly skilled labor force.
At this juncture the report is going to look at various departments so as to determine their effectiveness as far as performance is concerned. These departments include marketing, accounting, operations as well as human resource department.
A marketing strategy is essential for any business to succeed in a competitive market. This is whereby the products and services of the firm are made known to the customers (Bandrowski, 2000). Etisalat has come up with a detailed strategy of marketing its products and services to the customers. The corporation has put in place strategies to rebrand products and services by launching and re- launching them in the market. Within the corporation’s marketing department, there are different segments that come up with the marketing strategies for the corporation. These ranges from market research, business design and advertising segments.
Etisalat has specialized personnel competent in marketing. Before the launch or re- launch of any service or product in the market, the marketing team sets out to carry out a marketing research on the effectiveness of the service or the product to be introduced in the market. This is done through the social- corporate network that the corporation has established through for example sports, promotions and concerts. These are effective channels for promoting the new products.
There are products and services from different companies which customers can choose from. But Etisalat’s marketing strategy is to make the services and products of the company stand out from those of the competitors. This is by increasing awareness among the consumers. Some products and services have been in the market for so long yet the department continues to advertise them to the consumers in the market to avoid dormancy (Etisalat, 2011).
Research and Development Department
Etisalat Corporation has a department that ensures that the company is able to penetrate the market in spite of the difficult circumstances facing it. These are challenges such as the global financial crisis or competition from other firms. The research and development department assesses not only the local but also the international market. The department analyses the conditions that would affect the operations of the company across the globe as well as assessing new strategies in the market that may boost the company’s profile. From the reports it is clear that the company has expanded internationally and there are many operations taking place. The research department is tasked with the responsibility of studying the surrounding environment and reporting on possible threats and opportunities to the board.
The research encompasses the use of the internet in analyzing the attributes of the market to which the service or product is targeted. The potential competitors are also identified by the department and their possible threat to the corporation identified. The department helps the organization to cut on costs of operation by advising the board on alternative and efficient ways of doing things.
The Accounting and Finance Department
Accounting in general should meet some basic requirements so that it can be used to make critical decisions (Schuler, 2002). This department keeps records of the performance of the corporation as a whole. It provides information that is used by the board in making various decisions for the organization (Porter, 2008). The accounting department should exhibit relevance and reliability to the company. The audits that are carried out quarterly are forwarded to the management team which uses them to determine whether the company is operating at a loss or whether it is making profits (Belch & Belch, 2006).
The entire corporation relies on the audit information to formulate and implement decisions that affect business operations. The accounting department works hand in hand with the other departments to give feedback on the performance of various products and services in the market. The other departments project the future performance of various services and products in the market after reviewing information from the accounts office. The office is equipped with modern equipments and housed in modern facilities that make it possible to analyze each and every commodity in the market. The information is sent to various stock exchange firms so that the shareholders can access information on the performance of their shares. This calls for speedy accounting given that the department has to provide this information on a daily basis.
The accounts department compares information from different companies so that the analysts can tell where the corporation stands in the market. From this information the analysts can determine how the company is performing in the market out there. Another thing about the accounts department is that members of staff are highly qualified and meet defined international standards in ethics and accounting. As a result their operation is relied on by many individuals around the world and who are familiar with the corporation.
Operations and Logistics Department
This department is involved in a number of activities which ranges from material handling to information dispatch. It is a very sensitive department that handles delicate matters which need people who are experienced in logistics work. The Etisalat Corporation has multiple business units both within and without UAE and the logistics personnel makes it possible to manage all the operations across the globe. As a result, business operations run smoothly in all units courtesy of the logistics department.
Although each unit has its own logistics department, the corporation has to carry out geographic positioning of products in different places around the world. So the department ensures that the corporation has its processes geared towards the achievement of the objectives and stipulated goals. For example after printing mobile phone credit cards the department has to transport them at the right time and deliver them to the right place so that the customers can access the commodity in time. Logistics involves distribution, warehousing and transportation from local to international regions and vice versa. The department has to coordinate all the corporation’s activities by managing such issues. In general the department ensures that:
- Services and products are availed to the customers whenever they need them
- Coordination of operations between Etisalat and other companies to meet the goals stipulated (Chesbrough & Rosenbloom, 2002).
- The department has to keep up with other service providers including vendors during transportation
- The department makes sure that in case of customer complaints, the company responds with immediate effect to support the customer.
- The department engages the whole organization in the process of formulating policies to make sure that they are implemented to support the logistics department. This gives them enough time to respond to various logistical issues emanating from other departments (Gordijn, 2002).
Therefore the company has many processes and procedures that the logistics department needs to effectively address.
Information Systems Department
This department handles information collected from all over the world. The corporation has different types of information systems at its disposal. These include data ware housing, geographical information systems, global as well as office automation systems.
Some of the information handled is confidential and needs experts to transfer it from one point to the other without compromising the security. The kind of information includes hard and soft copy data. This is sent out to different business units which then act on the matter urgently. In case of an urgent meeting the information system department is tasked with the role of dispatching an internal circular or memo to everyone in the office. Various offices and departments require various reports to be signed by various committees. The information department team submits the reports to the end user.
Etisalat has a sophisticated information system that incorporates information from around the globe to cater for the needs of the customers, suppliers, employees, shareholders and other stakeholders such as the management. The customer care information system for example includes data for people with special needs. As a result everyone has their needs addressed appropriately through the provision of data and information by this department. The corporation caters for more than 135 million people across the globe. Therefore the information system should be sophisticated enough to cater for this.
At times, the managers require the information system to conduct investigations on various departments. The department helps the managers in achieving the goals envisaged by the corporation by availing information from other industries so as to keep them updated.
In the contemporary world, appropriate corporate governance is required if a given organization is to survive in the market especially in the face of existing global financial crises (Scott & Bruce, 2007). Although most of the national and multinational corporations seem to adhere to all the rules stipulated in the corporation’s ethics, they have been found to omit principles of good governance. The stakeholders in different fields will find it appropriate to incorporate the governing principles in any given corporation. Etisalat Corporation is such one organization. This reveals the difference between the companies that comply and those that do not comply with the recommended principles (Cameron, 2004).
Effectiveness of the Auditors
The recommendations apply mostly to the audit committee. This is after critical analysis was carried out and some errors and discrepancies noted. The said committee is very important and crucial to the operations of Etisalat Corporation. The committee is tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that accurate accounts are forwarded to the executive board and the CEO. From the analytical research carried out, the recommendation will be appropriate if the company is to continue growing to remain the leading corporation in the region (Wagar, 1998).
The accounting committee should be made up of independent minded persons with skills and knowledge in accounting (Thatcher, 2006). The committee should have not less than two members with requisite knowledge in accounting. Also an additional requirement for the committee is that a member should be familiar with business and logistics requirements of the position. From here the external auditors should be under the direct control of the board (Tung & Miller, 2000). The Etisalat board should formulate a charter that the audit committee can use as a point of reference. The whole board of directors should play a role in appointing the auditors (Burke, 2007). If they comprise the process by appointing incompetent persons, they will in turn destroy the integrity of the whole corporation. This is given that the task of the auditors is to protect the integrity of Etisalat Corporation. To this end the following functions of auditors will be appropriate for the corporation:
- They should immediately report to the risk management personnel in case of any possible threats.
- Each and every report submitted should be fair, reliable and consistence since the corporation will base the decisions made on the accounts report.
- The external and internal auditors should independently produce and compare results on regular basis.
- The committee should meet frequently- for example not two times a year but more than four times in a year (Pine & Gilmore, 1999).
In the competitive market with distinct economic growth, Etisalat needs to employ an appropriate marketing strategy that would enable the company to expand its operations more (Wheelen & Hunger, 2008). This should be enacted as soon as possible due to the fact that the competitors harbor the desire to take over the market.
One of the ways through which the company can have a well defined market strategy is by implementing a market research that would be used for strategic decision making. The research will be used for diagnostic purposes. This is for instance where an analysis is carried out on different departments and business units. The general performance will be analyzed. The trend of customers’ behavior in the market will be analyzed too. The studies extend to the distribution, semantic scaling and so on. The detailed study is listed below:
- Semantic scaling: In this context, the corporation needs to judge the customer or consumer’s perception of the product. The idea here would be to try and give the customer what they really want (Andreichuk, 2002).
- Multi- dimensional scaling (MDS) whereby the service or the product is assessed on its effectiveness for the consumer.
- Conjoint analysis will involve requesting the consumer to suggest suitable products and services from a set made available (Barney, 2001).
New Product Diffusion Curve
This criterion will be of great importance especially if there is a new entrant in the market. In this case if a new product is brought into the market, an adaptation strategy should follow to counteract the effects arising from this new product. The plotted graph would show trends of the consumer behavior as specialized mechanisms are put in place (Boswell, 2005).
The major objective of any corporation is to have an economic value for those who take part in the business (Frank & Cook, 2005). Meeting this criterion will be of great importance as more resources will be internally generated. In this case the management should formulate long term goals that are for the benefit of the shareholders (Juran, 2002).
The organization should submit accounting reports that are transparent and which based on accounting ethics. All explanations should be illustrated for the shareholders in a simple and clear way. All challenges encountered during the year should be specified by the accounting committee (Wagar, 1998).
It is important and appropriate for the accounting department to explain any potential risk facing the corporation. This will enable the shareholders to fully comprehend what is going on in the corporation so as to respond effectively.
The annual report should contain the audit committee charter. In the charter, the audit committee will explain and provide illustrations on any information they have acted on. In this context, the charter will require them to sign indicating that the information is true and fair. It is noted that many corporations fail due to the fact that the audit committee fails to state anywhere in the report that the information given has been verified and is therefore reliable. If need be, it should be re- read or re- edited because the image of the corporation is reflected on the accounting information (Burke, 2007)
Another important aspect of the annual report is that the shareholders should be informed of and consulted on any proposals made. This is appropriate because the shareholders have a right to know about the investments carried out so as to vote effectively (Afuah & Tucci, 2003).
Code of Conduct
It is mandatory for any corporation to have laws that define the roles of the employees. A deviation from the code of conduct has in most cases resulted from disclosure in the company. This is a big loss to the shareholders and to avoid this, the code of conduct should be followed to the letter.
To improve effectiveness and transparency, the corporation needs to publish its code of conduct. This is so that in case of any breach of conduct, the public can understand and appropriate disciplinary action carried out (Frank & Cook, 2005).
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