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Lunch at the Top

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…

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…

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…