India accounted for more than half of Telenor's 7 million new subscribers this quarter.
In one of the world’s most challenging markets, only one thing is sure: Winning must be an everyday activity. This quarter, Asia came out with the strongest growth within Telenor Group. Since August, Uninor has added more than two million subscribers every month, and revenues are up 109 percent compared to Q2.
Building a car while driving it
“Building and growing a company like Uninor, in this market, is like building an electric sports car while driving it. The Uninor team has put tremendous effort into establishing and launching a lean, next-generation telecom operation in India, and we have been doing that while also trying to succeed in the market. Not everything is perfect, and we still face a bumpy ride. But we are picking up speed, and this vehicle is running smoother and more efficiently every day,” said Sigve Brekke, nominated Managing Director in Uninor.
Brekke’s analogy to an electric vehicle is no coincidence. Uninor has exciting technology and a compelling image, but when it comes down to commercial realities, the basics and the execution is more important than anything else. To win in the market, it is necessary to have a firm grip on distribution and focus on street level activities.
Three Strategic Pillars
“In the transition from launch to a more operational phase, we have refocused our strategy. We will be best on servicing the basics, best on mass market distribution and best on costs. What does it mean? We are simplifying our product messages and making it easier for the customer to find, use and choose Uninor. We are building strong relationships with distributors and with our retailers by focusing on the action at street level. And we are maintaining a lean operation where we share knowledge across geographies to get more out of every smart idea,” said Brekke.
Innovation and distribution is key
Uninor has developed a highly localized approach to distribution, supported by high-technology tracking systems and innovative incentive schemes. Today, the company has more than 260,000 retail outlets and 1,500 distributors across India. Every retailer is followed up and managed by designated Regional Sales Executives (RSE) or Key Account Managers (KAM). Having deployed an outsourced distribution model, Uninor’s sales managers are not employed directly by the company, but by its distributors. More than 5,500 RSE/KAMs are supporting Uninor’s sales and distribution activities on ground across India.
“Simpler product messages, stronger distribution and strategic innovations such as the Dynamic Pricing plan, which gives our customers up to 60 percent discount on their calls, are important drivers for our current subscriber growth. But there is no other way to win in this market than by winning every day,” Brekke concluded.