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As a part of its competitive strategy, Uninor has made strategic choices – both towards market it will serve and the services it will excel in. The company’s strategy of being the best in basic services with the most affordable tariffs to serve the mass market customer has allowed Uninor to take a strong and unique competitive position that is “not easy to match”.
For these specific competitive choices Uninor has made and its ability to execute them strongly in the market, Uninor has been awarded the prestigious “Porter Prize” in the category of “Exploiting Trade-offs”. The prize has been named after and endorsed by Prof Micheal E Porter, the renowned thinker, Harvard faculty member and the father of the modern strategic field.
Speaking at the award ceremony, Prof Michael E Porter said, “The purpose of this prize is to inspire businesses – that they continue to add value, be distinctive and raise the bar. We are proud of you, the winners of this prize.”
“This is an enormous recognition for a young company. The Porter Prize recognizes the choices Uninor has made as both deeply strategic and instrumental in the company’s ability to position itself distinctively amidst tough competition, said Yogesh Malik, CEO of Uninor. “We take pride in receiving a recognition named after and endorsed by the undisputed authority on competitiveness – widely acclaimed as the world’s most influential thinker on management and competitiveness,” he added.
Adding to Yogesh Malik, Telenor Group’s Head of Asia operations Sigve Brekke said, “Uninor has been navigating an extremely competitive landscape over the past years, and has excelled at exploiting trade-offs in its operation and business strategy to emerge as the most successful newcomer in the Indian telecoms sector. This prestigious recognition showcases Uninor yet again as a company that champions competitive excellence and innovation in the Telenor Group.”
The award was received in a ceremony at Delhi by Uninor’s Circle Business Head for UP West K.C. Narendran.
A young company that started its operations in a hyper competitive market in 2009, Uninor has chosen to be a mass market mobile operator. Its strategy is based on three core principles – to be the best in basic services, to be the best in mass market distribution and to be the most efficient as a low cost operator.
With this strategic focus, Uninor has taken a distinct position in a market that has anywhere from 8 to 12 competitors vying for market share. In this hyper competitive market, Uninor has established itself as the operator with the most affordable on tariffs – sabse sasta – for all basic services. It makes its SIMs and recharges available through low-cost mass market retail channels including Express Stores and even platforms like auto-rickshaws and more recently, “tangas” or horse carts in rural markets.
The company has already achieved profitability within a record 3 years of operations in 5 of its 6 telecoms circles and aims to be profitable pan-India within the calendar year 2013.
The category of “Exploiting Trade-Offs” recognizes choices that make strategies sustainable because they are not easy to match or neutralize. These are choices that protect against repositioners and straddlers and are made when a company decides to compete in one way and not another.
The annual Porter Prize, was established in Japan in 2001 in the name of Professor Michael E. Porter to recognize Japan’s leading companies in terms of strategy. In India, the Porter Prize awards have been initiated by the Institute for Competitiveness – recognizing the most powerful competitive strategies in the country. It awards companies who embrace the best strategic management and are competing on the basis of Innovation and Value Creation.
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