As dtac announces Q4 growth, its executives share their 2019 turning points

dtac just revealed a second consecutive quarter of growth (read about it here). We asked its executives to look back on 2019 and share their personal view on dtac’s turning point.

Alexandra Reich, Chief Executive Officer

“I felt the second quarter of 2019 was a major turning point for dtac. After a very rough Q1, it was the first time we saw the numbers reflect all the hard work we had put into improving the network experience. Churn decreased and complaints were half what they had been in October 2018, at the height of our end of concession transition. At the same time, dtac’s teams really unleashed their inner giants in a passionate hackathon where over a hundred of our colleagues participated. In addition to launching our first squads working according the agile methodology, it was the very beginning of our change story.”

Dilip Pal, Chief Financial Officer

“My strong belief is that the turning point for dtac is when we renewed our focus on the customer’s point of view. For example, we switched from internal network metrics to a granular measure of network NPS [net promoter score, a customer satisfaction score]. This brought up several problems that we had not identified earlier, and which allowed us to conduct root cause analysis. Everything we have done is moving from an inside-out to an outside-in view—and really dealing with the issues we uncover. We didn’t even know these problems existed in some cases! To me, this is what really changed. It’s linked to everything else you see: the brand position, the complaints reduction, the growth of the network NPS. Financial results are just an outcome of this. If customers are happy, everything follows.”

Tipayarat Kaewsringarm, Chief Sales Officer

“Our salespeople were somewhat uncertain at the beginning of 2019. But we didn’t give up. If you go to them, and you walk the talk, and you give them hope, and you can get a bit of growth, then your teams will notice. And once they start to win again, even a little, then the momentum starts to build. By the end of Q1, I felt like we had reached a turning point. The teamwork and spirit were back. Everyone was working together tirelessly. That’s the dtac spirit. When we’re in that mood, we do wonders. The amount of promotions and campaigns we rolled out, and the speed at which they were executed, makes me feel very proud of how far the team has come this year.”

How Lih Ren, Chief Marketing Officer

“What we mean by ‘never stop improving’ is a relentless focus on winning back our customers, growing month on month, and improving our service. In my view, our turning point was mid-2019, when we crystalized that ambition into a very clear strategy and brand position, supported by a fully dedicated management team. We vowed to fix the network experience, win back customers and seize the opportunity on business customers. Moreover, we resolved to do so while ensuring we remain simple, honest and human in everything we do. That clear focus helped us a lot in prioritizing our resources. It’s a collective effort by every group. Every one of us has a role to play to build back dtac and win back our customers’ trust.”

Prathet Tankuranun, Chief Technology Officer

“Once we secured a solid spectrum position, we were able to proactively fix customer pain points. We fundamentally changed the metrics driving our expansion, switching from network-driven metrics, like number of sites, to focusing on what customers experience on the ground. Using advanced analytics, we identified our customers’ pain points, before deploying the appropriate solutions. What we achieved is very rare and I’m very proud of the team.”

Nardrerdee Arj-harnwongse, Chief People Officer

“In 2019, we elevated employees’ continuous learning to a burning platform. With digital transformation upon us and 5G on the horizon, we felt that it became a case of do or die. We have what we call ‘The 40-Hour Challenge,’ to encourage all employees to study both online and offline. But what’s even more important is applying it into your work life, within an ecosystem of opportunities. The hackathon dtac held this year is a great example of how you can learn something and then apply it right away. It’s not just brainstorming. We deliberately apply the ideas with customer-centric prototypes that are tested against real customers.”

Marcus Adaktusson, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer

“We don’t just provide mobile connectivity, we also want to ensure it has a positive impact on Thai society. That’s why we initiated the very first online curriculum in Thailand to teach children how to use the internet in a responsible way. Launched in late 2019, has already empowered tens of thousands of teachers and students to make connectivity an asset for them—not a threat. Similarly, we look at 5G from both the perspective of what’s needed for the network and what’s needed for Thai society to benefit from the technology. Millions of people are still on 2G, and those who are connected to 3G and 4G don’t always know how to make the best of it. In 2019, we continued to work closely with the government to ensure mobile connectivity empowers all of Thai society durably.”

Rajiv Bawa, Chief Business Officer

“A major turning point in 2019 was to give a bigger focus to the large and underserved B2B market, which is primarily driven by small and medium enterprises. We constantly listen to what these segments need, both informally and through focus groups. What we heard from them is that business owners want more simplicity, more transparency and no bill shocks. That became the DNA of what we did and we’re now seeing early traction for our simple, transparent, worry-free product portfolio.”