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The balancing act of dtac’s Chief Financial Officer in the “Never Normal”

For this month’s “Lunch at the Top”, dtacblog sat down with Dilip Pal to discuss 12-figure investments over some dosas. dtac Chief Financial Officer Dilip Pal’s choice of an Indian restaurant for his “Lunch at the Top” with dtacblog is a seemingly straightforward pick. But Mr. Pal is quick to point out India is more like a continent than a country, and that the vegetarian delights of Saravanaa Bhavan come from Southern India while he is from Kolkata, to the East. This point of culinary geography reflects Mr. Pal’s own itinerary. Before joining dtac just as the mobile operator’s 30-year concession for its most essential spectrum was ending (more on that later), Mr. Pal’s early career was marked by a willingness to work all over India, which he described as an early exposure to cultural diversity that served him well when working abroad. He joined Telenor as the Chief Financial Officer of Grameenphone, in Bangladesh, before joining dtac three years later, in 2017. As he recently announced that he would leave dtac to pursue other opportunities, we asked him to reflect on his time with the company. “I just completed three years at dtac and it was the most eventful three…

What tomorrow’s work looks like

Telenor Group’s head of human resources, Cecilie Heuch, on transformation and flexible work.The economic impact of COVID-19 has increased the pressure on all businesses to digitalize, streamline and modernize their operations. But few companies have responded quite as radically as dtac and the Telenor Group. (Telenor is a major shareholder of dtac.) Unlike Google or Facebook, which extended their work from home policies to late 2021, the Telenor Group joined organizations such as Fujitsu and Twitter in saying flexible work is here to stay indefinitely. To better understand how COVID-19 and digital transformation are radically transforming our work lives, we spoke to the Telenor Group’s Head of Human Resources, Cecilie Heuch. Tight Loose Tight Fittingly, dtacblog spoke to Ms. Heuch via videoconferencing for our monthly column with global leaders, Viewpoint. Although working from her home in Oslo that morning, she was preparing to pop into the office for a meeting—the exemplification of the flexible work trend. “What keeps me up at night these days is making sure that people stay safe and healthy,” she said. “We work hard to provide them with the required necessities to protect them. But there is also an emotional aspect. People are worried about their…

dtac’s chief of Corporate Affairs on Thailand 4.0 in the post-COVID era

We met with Marcus Adaktusson, dtac’s Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, at Muteki by Mugendai. Heading well east of his original Sweden isn’t limited to his culinary choices. Mr. Adaktusson has now lived in Asia for over seven years: Bangladesh, Singapore and, for the last 10 months, Thailand. In less than a year, he has led the key teams behind some of dtac’s most defining moments, from the transition out of its 30-year spectrum concession to the subsequent spectrum auctions, the last of which included Thailand’s first 5G spectrum. We spoke to him just as COVID-19 thrusts mobile operators once again in the spotlight, this time as a service critical to maintaining productivity in the age of social distancing. “I need a purpose to get up and go to work in the morning,” he said. “And right now, dtac’s purpose of empowering society through connectivity has never been more important to our customers and to our other stakeholders.” That point is underscored by the spikes in data usage that followed Thailand’s March-May lockdown. From January to June 2020, traffic increased 44 percent as users flocked to apps like Zoom, Microsoft Office and LINE, quickly adopting digital solutions to remain productive despite…

IT device expert “PeterGuang” talks about the future of mobile phone, connected devices and tech war

For space, press 0. If you want to type a text, press a button repeatedly until letters appear. If you want to type in numbers, press and hold number buttons. Many people might have been familiar with the way we functioned “push-button phone” of the 19070s and early 80s with 12 keys. Today, dtac blog sat down to have a talk with the developer of Thai language keypad-based phones, Peerapol Chatanantavej or widely known as “PeterGuang”. He brings his 20-year experience in Telecommunications to lead Device Portfolio unit at dtac currently. “I have spent my time in IT industry since I was a university student. After my graduation, I joined a factory and oversaw its TV manufacturing line. Later on, I moved to Nokia and initially took charge of network equipment. But by the time analogue mobile phone industry started to emerge, I was assigned to oversee Nokia’s mobile-phone operations. At that time, mobile phones were bulky and heavy. Each one cost Bt50,000. That was very expensive,” Peerapol said. His career has extended beyond Nokia. Peerapol had changed jobs over the years, working for several big brands including Motorola. During his stint with Motorola, he took part in the development of…

This family-owned textile factory is pushing for a more sustainable future with dtac

dtac "Think Hai d" t-shirts are now made of plastic bottles and old clothes, saving thousands of liters per shirt. While dtac isn’t a clothing brand, the company does produce a line of branded items sold at the dtac House headquarters. As dtac curbs its environmental impact across its entire supply chain, the mobile operator turned its attention to the t-shirts it produces. The manufacturing of a single t-shirt can require enough water to quench a human’s thirst for three years. Moreover, the textile and fashion industry account for 10 per cent of the world’s total carbon-dioxide emissions today. It is the second biggest polluter, behind the energy industry. Thus began dtac’s search for a way to curb its fashion line’s carbon footprint, which led to contracting Saeng Charoen Grand Company Limited (SC GRAND), Thailand’s first textile recycling factory. Jirarot “Wat” Pojanavaraphan, managing director and third-generation owner of SC GRAND , told dtac blog, “For dtac’s t-shirt production, we use two sources of recycled materials: old clothes and plastic bottles. The result is a recycled polyester fiber blend. With four old t-shirts and four plastic bottles, we can make one brand-new t-shirt!” The process begins with separating textile waste by…

Head of newly-formed Telenor Asia shares his ambitions for the region

Just last month, Jørgen C. Arentz Rostrup assumed the new Head of Asia position at Telenor Group. The group’s Asian businesses, previously grouped into two clusters, were unified into a single Asia unit on 1 May 2020. The new setup marks Telenor’s renewed focus on developing its growth and modernisation agenda in the region, while also positioning itself to capture new opportunities. To better understand those ambitions, dtacblog spoke to Mr. Rostrup. But with travel restrictions still in place, our hopes of a lunch date were dashed. Instead, we called his house in Oslo, Norway, where it was 7am, and apologized for catching him so early. “Oh, don’t apologize! I wake up at 5am these days to try be somewhat on Asia time,” Mr. Rostrup indicated. He will not only arrive in Asia with minimal jetlag, but also armed with a firm grasp on his surroundings, “I lived in Asia in the 90s, in Singapore, and was traveling throughout the region. It was and still is a very vibrant region. I love how diverse it is and I’m excited to be closer to the business. Oslo and Norway are fine but looking back, I had the best times abroad.” Although…

One man’s fight for those missing but not forgotten

Impacts is a monthly feature from dtac blog exploring mobile connectivity in the context of sustainability. This month, we interviewed Eakalak Loomchomkhae, Director of the Mirror Foundation’s Missing Person Center, The Mirror Foundation. We met with Mr. Eakalak also participated in dtac’s Safe Internet Project, a flagship program of dtac teaching school-age children how to stay safe online. Missing persons “Ironically, Thailand’s government has a department for missing cars, but there is no a center for missing persons. This shows how little awareness there is for the missing persons problem,” said Mr. Eakalak. “It is a problem that has been swept under the carpet for decades by every government.” Located in Mae Yao, Chiang Rai, the Missing Person Center is close to porous borders traveled by numerous migrants from neighboring Burma and Laos, in addition to a rural exodus of Thais moving to cities. When the Mirror Foundation began investigating cases of missing persons, it found that many were caused by human trafficking. As it dug deeper, the foundation faced threats from the traffickers, and little support from authorities. In sleepy Mae Yao alone (pop. 20,000), they sound found 20 missing persons cases. And their mission grew from there. The…

dtac’s strategy captain charts a course towards the 5G future

Sadat Ibne Zaman takes over dtac’s Strategy and Transformation division at a critical time. The COVID-19 epidemic has both upended all economic forecasts and deeply transformed consumer behaviors. Reporting directly to dtac’s CEO, Mr. Zaman must therefore chart a completely new course for the company, a mission he explained to dtac blog over a casual lunch at Somboon Seafood. “The current situation is an opportunity to make a huge shift and digitize all of dtac’s customer touch points and services, automating them as much as possible. We were already in the process of doing this, but the COVID-19 outbreak has greatly increased the urgency,” Mr. ZamanHead of Strategy and Transformation, dtac He notes that dtac is now in a strong position to focus on innovation and transformation. Transitioning out of the company’s original spectrum concessions, which expired in September 2018, was the company’s all-encompassing mission for two years. But dtac finally emerged with its strongest network ever. “dtac has been getting the fastest network speeds in many independent measurement reports for the past few quarters. And we are committed to continue improving our network coverage with the new 700MHz spectrum rollout,” he said. The arrival of Mr. Zaman also marks…