Award Winning CEO Revolutionizing Telecoms

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Zain Jordan currently offers its customers a wide variety of products and services ranging from GSM voice and data services and digital content to home and enterprise offerings.

Since its inception, Zain Jordan has tallied subscriber growth at an exceptional rate, with the number of subscribers that exceeds 5.903 million subscribers in the Kingdom, hence the company tailors its services and offers according to the needs of its individuals and corporate customers. Ahmad Hanandeh tells us all about his role and responsibilities at the company.

“In my current role as Chief Executive Officer of one of the biggest telecom organizations in the country, Zain Jordan, my role is to overlook all strategic and operational aspects in order to secure the company’s position as market leader, to live up to our brand promise and continuously aim to exceed our customers’ expectations.

“Another part of my responsibilities and scope of work is to engage the team in setting the organizational strategy and ensuring that we are always on the right track. In order to do so, a great deal of effort is placed into monitoring all business KPIs and ensuring that we are proactive and always a few steps ahead. I also believe that an integral part of my role is to ensure employee engagement across the organization and to sustain a healthy corporate culture that maintains our position as one of the best companies to work for in Jordan.

“Last but not least, I work diligently to secure the healthy financial performance of the organization and to manage its expansion. Part of this practice is to forecast all required investments whether related to the core operational development of the company or to prospective joint ventures and projects.”

Zain Jordan tailors its services and offers according to the needs of their individual and corporate customers, who represent various segments in the community, including youth, army, governorates, expatriates and the mass market. Ahmad outlines the business strategy of the company.

“We offer the market and all its segments the latest communication and connectivity solutions. Given that the industry is going through major transformation at this time due to the fact that the consumers’ behaviour is shifting to increase dependency on data connectivity, smart phones, and applications, our strategy is focused on securing a smooth transformation towards a fully digitalized leading service-provider with wide range of value added services. This aims to maximize the benefit our subscribers are getting in addition to securing the highest level of service quality and access to latest technologies.
“A priority for Zain Jordan is to continuously expand the range of services it provides. Jordan is a saturated mobile market, so that positions data and enterprise services as the main competitive factors for growth. The introduction of 4G/LTE has changed the nature of the mobile market in Jordan. The main market in Jordan is still voice, with apparent consistent data growth. The future is data. Therefore, we are in the middle of our own transformation into an integrated service provider, offering triple play and quad-play services.”

Working in the Middle East has presented challenges for Ahmad. He gives us his thoughts on the MEA region and what challenges he has overcome to become a successful CEO.

“From one perspective, I believe the Middle East is a green field that is partially untouched and full of opportunities; specially in our arena of telecom and information technology. Yet on the other hand, the region is suffering some major turbulences that started with Arab spring a few years back and carried on with its consequences creating some sort of instability and pressure in the political and economic sides.

“To be a successful leader you always need a team who believes in you and is willing to support you and your vision. I have managed to attain my team’s trust and buy-in. We now enjoy overcoming challenges and celebrating successes together one after the other. A few of the aspects that I have had to put efforts into in order to become successful and be who I am today include having to balance efforts towards securing the interest of all stakeholders, working from the heart and putting it fully in what I do, identifying the right analytics and acting on them accordingly, trying to be as innovative as possible and open the door for innovation across the board, and finally using the pull management approach ‘inspiring action’ rather than the push ‘enforcing action’.”

Over the years, the industry has undergone many changes. Ahmad talks to us about these changes and the affect they have had on business for the firm, including the importance of technology.

“Over the last ten years, the telecom industry has been through a major transformation where it started out as a very basic offering of voice services. Nowadays, our offerings as a telecom company have broadened into many different converged categories including voice and data services for consumer and corporate clients, home product offerings, enterprise solutions, digitalized content, and the entry into the smart-living concept in today’s world.

“Technology and connectivity have become indispensable factors and according to Gerd Leonhard telecom organizations are now at the pivotal point of exponential technological change. These changes require us to leverage on bundling of services and partnerships with content providers, secure further growth by capturing the ‘Business Segment’ opportunity, introduce new digital solutions and industry propositions, partner with new entrants to the mobile ecosystem and build strategic partnership models.

“Telecom and technology are now inseparable. Technology is at the heart of the industry. We always need to make sure that we are up-to-date with the latest technologies since its evolution has led our industry to become one of the main platforms for technology providers, i.e. mobile banking, online commerce, digitalization, cloud services, entertainment and many more. This has made our role as a telecom and internet provider more active and has increased the dependency on mobile, applications and smart solutions.”

On a personal note, Ahmad briefly talks about where he sees himself in five years’ time.

“I see myself starting a new stage in my career where I plan to be giving back to others and contributing to their successes by getting deeply involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. This requires that I utilize my knowledge and experience in helping and working closely with entrepreneurs and start-ups and supporting them in making the proper and profitable business decisions in order to launch and excel in the market and hopefully be successful and scale. I see myself sharing what I have learned during my career path with the up and coming generation of businesses in order to help benefit their launch and have them avoid doing the mistakes that I and other business people have been through and learned from.”

Zain Jordan have big plans for growth in 2017 and beyond. Ahmad explains how the company has planned continued investment in order to stay ahead of their competitors.

“It is important to highlight that the telecom sector is dynamic and evolving. It needs constant investment in order to be up-to-date with cutting edge technologies and this market is driven by demand so companies need to accommodate the increasing demand hence there is a constant need for investment in the infrastructure and value added services such as applications and content and maintaining the high level of quality of services.

“Data, content and application services are facing rapid growth with an increasing demand in the local market. High speed internet networks and the increase of the penetration of smart phones (that reached 70%) has driven further the demand for mobile internet, applications and content services, which in turn are implemented in the daily life events of customers in various sectors: education, IT, media, social media, e-governance, entertainment, gaming, tourism, sports, etc.. Therefore, our future plans will revolve around investing in the aforementioned.

“On the other hand, we at Zain are still proceeding in supporting the booming ecosystem of entrepreneurship, as we work hard on promoting Zain Innovation Campus (ZINC) among Jordanian youth and focus on directing them to benefit from ZINC. Access to ZINC will provide them with the needed support to launch their ideas and develop their creative work in a high-tech environment, equipped with cutting edge technologies and facilities such as the ones found in global entrepreneurial platforms. ZINC also provides youth and start-ups with the opportunity to access an extensive network of mentors and experts on an international level.”

Zain Jordan proves to be a story of success and distinction that goes beyond the telecoms market to become part of the life of every Jordanian – even if not subscribed to its services.

Company: Zain Jordan
Name: Ahmad Hanandeh
Web Address: www.jo.zain.com
Address: Building no. 421, King Abdullah II Street, Amman - Jordan
Telephone: 962797007000