GATHERING MOMENTUM

Renna Mobile’s customer base has grown significantly in the last two years. The company is looking to maintain its growth and secure profitability, says CEO Raed Haddadin. An OER interview.
May 2015 marks six years of operations for Renna Mobile as an MVNO in the Sultanate. How would you sum up this journey?
It was a great journey. The beginning was tough but overall very exciting. The last two years were exceptional for us and the company managed to achieve some important milestones. We are now a profitable company with a healthy financial position serving a solid and happy customer base. And we are looking to continue our growth and achieve more milestones in future.
Given the fact that there are other MVNOs in the market, what differentiates your offerings and why should customers choose Renna?
Our main differentiation is that we fully understand our customers’ needs and based on this we offer them what they really need. We speak their language and we do everything needed to be close to them to make sure that the acceptance of Renna brand is high among our customer base.
Can you give us a few examples of how your products and services provide added value for customers, in a me-too market?
As I said, we understand our customers’ needs and our customers care a lot to call their families back home. We provide them with an international bundled minutes that is affordable to call anytime during the day. Want something else? You can pay as you go with a reduced rate after coming back from a long day at work and call after 6pm at a discounted rate.
Want more, you can call all day Friday at a reduced price too. Apart from international calling, Renna today offers the best internet data package in town, not only in terms of pricing but also flexibility. We have daily, weekly and monthly plans, each with different size to meet all your internet needs and budget. In addition to this, Renna offers a long list of value-added services: call me back, credit transfer, recharge online and much more.
Can you share details of your customer base and at what rate has it been growing?
Our customer base has grown significantly in the last two years. The increase was more than six times and revenues also increased at the same rate. The plan is to keep this growth going and put Renna on the map of the telecom industry in the Sultanate and the region as one of the main players.
With voice penetration reaching saturation levels mobile broadband is often cited as the next big leap. How has Renna’s performance been in the broadband business?
Data is a main revenue stream for us. And as mentioned previously, to meet the needs of our customers we designed a very flexible and affordable internet data bundles. We are proud to have one of the best data packages in the market in terms of flexibility and affordability.
Also worth mentioning is that very high percentage of our customer base today is connected to the internet via our data bundles.
How has the average revenue per user (ARPU’s) been for Renna, and have you been able to increase this over the years?
Comparing to the industry we have a very healthy ARPU. And comparing it with other markets in Asia, Middle East and Africa our ARPU level is higher than the industry average in those countries. And with the new offers and services that we launched in the last two years, we managed to increase our ARPU by more than 40 per cent, which is a great achievement by looking at the level of competition in the market. Customers are smart and they are looking for a full good package. They need good customer service at a good price, they are looking for value for money and this is what we offer them. Adding to this a great network coverage across the country provided by our partners Omantel, this is the value package customers are looking for.
With TeO bracing for its launch and Friendi mobile having established its presence in the market, do you expect your revenues and margins to come under pressure in future?
Competition is always good for the customer as well as for us to differentiate and improve our services. We have our plans for the future that will maintain our growth and secure our profitability. Also worth mentioning is the role of TRA and Omantel to support the MVNO model in the Sultanate. Oman is the first country in the Middle East and Africa to launch the MVNO concept and Omantel is the first mobile operator in the region to offer this service. Both TRA and Omantel had a crucial role to support the MVNO success.

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