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dtac Transformation

Sharad Mehrotra: A tech guy who embraces change yet plays his own game

On February 1, 2020, dtac appointed Sharad Mehrotra as chief executive. Mehrotra, formerly CEO of Telenor Myanmar, has over 20 years of experience in the telecommunications industry. In a wide-ranging interview, Mehrotra discusses his vision for the company, the beauty of working in the telecom industry, the importance of good teams, yoga and his favorite Thai dish. Originally hailing from the Indian city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, about 500 kilometers from the capital of New Delhi, Sharad Mehrotra had the childhood aspiration of becoming an engineer – one he fulfilled, by securing admission to the University of Pune, where he took up a degree in electrical engineering. “I think that was something like a dream coming true,” he says. “Those four years were a very exciting time for me – I was learning new things, and something very, very different.” Mehrotra immediately enrolled in an MBA program after engineering, after which he began his career with Ericsson in India, at the time when GSM (2G) was being rolled out in the country. “Working there was a game changer for me,” Mehrotra says of his time at Ericsson, crediting a training course at a regional assessment center for developing in him leadership…

Mobile ID: A quick fix to inequality in Thailand

Today, we are familiar with processing self-identification through PIN code, biometrics and facial recognition when using your smartphone. What if we can cast the vote, register a new company or pay electricity bill by just using your mobile phone number? The International Telecommunication Union defines digital identity as the digital representation of an entity, detailed enough to make the individual distinguishable within the digital context, which has a broad technology can refer to. One of the most focused digital technology for “critical mass adoption” is mobile identity, the extension of digital identity provided via mobile networks or devices. It is not just an enabler for logging-in and transacting, but the heart of achieving digital economy. It plays a vital role in communication and interaction with people and things. In 2016, Thailand’s telecom national regulator introduced biometric SIM registration in an effort to advancing national security after a raft of bombings in deep south. Under the rules, all mobile operators must capture and validate subscribers’ biometrics credentials (fingerprints or facial scans) against the data stored on their national identification smartcards. It’s identical to the government’s central citizen database.Pichit Kaewmakoon, Head of Regulatory Strategy at dtac, said: “Mobile technology can transform Thailand’s…

9 tech trends that will shape 2020

In 2020 many of the trends we spotlight for next year show innovation charging ahead faster than ever, enabled by more access and more demand, as well as by revolutionary new tech platforms and sociopolitical forces. Bjørn Taale Sandberg, Head of Telenor Research said that “we are having a common technological epiphany, a kind of digital realisation. People are waking up and examining how and where technologies, including AI, Machine Learning, IoT, and new network innovations will best and most securely connect them with the people and things that matter most. The world of technology isn’t a place that can be defined by a single storyline, it’s our job to understand the larger sometimes contradicting contexts we live in – in both of our worlds – and then to home in on the most important developments that could reshape our lives.”      

The Dream Team Reinventing the Customer Feedback Loop

They joined a hackathon out of curiosity and ended up building a world first that puts customers at the heart of dtac’s network improvements. Thapakorn Dokmai, Wanchan Islargumpot, Akebordin Duangphoommes, Orraphan Saengsawat, Sirin Pakdeesrisakda, and Montree Monkhetkorn are all dtac employees, but they come from completely different backgrounds and divisions, from marketing to software development. What brought them together was a “hackathon,” a three-day workshop to brainstorm ideas, prototype them, and pitch them to a jury—which in this case, included very big names from Thailand’s startup scene. Ten months later, their project, a complete outlier in the global telecoms industry, launched in its trial phase. “When the team first met, we didn’t know exactly how dtac would make the improvements it promised,” says Thapakorn. “But with the launch of the ‘never stop’ tagline, we felt it was a strong show of honesty and commitment. It showed dtac was here to stay and fight back!” With that in mind, Tapakorn and the team set out to tackle their number one concern: how dtac deals with customer complaints about network quality. “We’d hear grumbling from friends and family. But there was no easy way to know exactly where they had encountered a…

Roles in Agile and its organic career path.

In the previous chapter, we learned the perspective behind the Agile way of work in dtac and how we slowly transformed our organization for Agile. In this chapter, we will focus on responsibilities of each agile role and their career paths. Ranks don’t matter, everyone in a team is equal. Traditional way of work requires far too many ranks, positions and hierarchy, whether it is manager, supervisors or heads of department. On the other hand, Agile aims to do the opposite by reducing those roles to flatten the organizational chart. By doing this, Agile aims to fuel organization to move faster and decease the level of decision. This leads to Agile way of work having only 5 main roles : Product Owner, Scrum Master, Agile Coach, Chapter Lead and Tribe Lead. Nevertheless these five roles are still considered a trivial part to the Agile structure as it mainly focuses on team members and in Agile way, their teams are comprised of experts from various fields come to work together. Chokchai Phataramalai, Agile coach of dtac, claims that in Agile, no one is superior to others in term of roles and positions. Everyone in Agile is responsible for their tasks and…

Agile proves to fasten dtac postpaid-inlife’s workflow and tighten members’ relationship

In this chapter, We have a chance to sit down and talk with a determined Agile team leader, Pattaravadee Leekulpitak, VP Head of Postpaid -inLife Unit, dtac. Khun Ploy explained that her team, “Postpaid-inlife”, has a total of 4 members. She herself has to be in charge of both her full-time job and agile team. Khun ploy and her teammates start their days with Stand-up meeting, a daily 15-minute meeting which allow them to know what task each member is holding. Stand-up meeting let them know which tasks can be finished first and has to be prioritized. “Before Agile, our team members used to work separately so all of us did not understand the whole picture of the project, hence we prioritize tasks unequally. Luckily after agile, everyone in our team gradually generated the unified goal.”  Claimed Khun Ploy. Consequently, the amount of time we used to wait for each feedback has been gradually decreased. Way back when, we attended the meeting twice a month but after agile, we work together every day and we get to discuss and develop project together . Easily-speaking, the once complicated processes has been shorten and become more convenient. Pattaravadee Leekulpitak, VP Head of…

Find out how agile powered big breakthroughs for EV and Digital Service team

Since we have learned the fundamental components of agile in the first content, let’s dive in to two agile teams who adopted agile from their very first steps. These two courageous  trailblazers are EV (Electric Vehicle) and Digital Service. EV, the new frontier of dtac business Let’s start this chapter with EV, dtac’s mobile network operator. EV is a complete new chapter for dtac and a very challenging mission as it’s the first attempt of dtac , the mobile network operator to become connectivity provider.  “We started at the beginning of 2019 when Khun Alex rode a motorcycle on a stage. It was quite a talk of the town. 2 weeks later, we began our mission right away. We put all our effort and finally, our hard work paid off as we could launch EV platform at Thailand Mobile Expo at the beginning of 2019.” Sinunpat Tangchaitrakul, AVP, Partnership Things might seem to start perfectly as they were able to launch it at Thailand Mobile Expo but the motorcycle ‘s market is a complete another world from telecommunication, team members realized they need to acquire more knowledge and experience in order to accomplish their mission. Consequently, they agreed more time…

How agile ways of work could reshape dtac?

Weeks ago, dtac launched 8 agile teams operating under a new way of work. “dtac is a big organization, packed with thousand of employees, numerous divisions and has been working in Silo system for so long. These factors sometimes cause a campaign to run slowly because the decisions have been made by far too many people. This tardiness has a bad effect on customers, causing them to wait longer for their problems to be solved .” said Chokchai Pattaramalai, agile coach of dtac. Nowadays, the rapidly evolving technology cause customers’ behavior to change tremendously. Customers need a range of variety products and crave for  the strong solution to  their pain point. “Consequently, dtac decided to experiment in various innovated way of work and Agile is among those practices. The most outstanding property of agile is it decrease the unnecessary  and complicated processes while encouraging people to make products faster. Agile support people to change and adapt plan to correspond with the current situation.” said Chokchai Pattaramalai, agile coach of dtac.  Working  like  agile. Agile was originated from a software developer some ten years ago. Back then, they faced the difficulty of  being too slow at work and facing far too…

New service empowers Thai homes with flexible connectivity solution

dtac@home bridges the divide between high mobile penetration and unconnected homes. It’s a hot Friday morning when we accompanied the dtac@home sales reps to walk the streets of Chonburi. Everyone here has a smartphone—even kids have them. But most homes are otherwise missing basic home internet. The issue can be cost or just the slow, cumbersome process of subscribing to a wired broadband connection. There’s therefore no Wi-Fi for kids to use a laptop or tablet. Nor can TVs do online streaming. It’s all mobile or nothing. “Unconnected homes are typical of the growing digital divide in Thailand. Smartphone penetration is over 81 percent and, at 11Gb per month, data consumption dwarves that of many mature markets. But at the same time, many basic digital services remain too costly and too complicated,” says dtac@home product owner Krystle Ramos. dtac is bridging this digital divide with wireless home connectivity solutions, easy digital farming solutions and a connectivity platform for smarter electric motorcycles—three products that bring convenience to the many rather than the few. Of the three, dtac@home is the closest to a national commercial launch. dtac@home trialed initially in Chonburi, Surat Thani and Songkhla. Using a router, it creates a Wi-Fi…

How new trends in workspaces are reinventing our way of work

“50% of people will be working remotely by 2020” Thanks to the advanced technologies, more than half of office workers are predicted to be working remotely, shifting from desk-based setting to a free form workspaces. According to the survey from Stanford University, it found that productivity of remote working was 13% higher than traditional counterparts. Furthermore, they will take less medical leave, while voluntary overtime went up 23%. Those figures drive many organizations to invent working spaces in order to serve their employee’s needs, which is a major factor for changes. Office pod has been emerged as a unique and modern solution that enables company to provide quiet, distraction-free workspaces within company. Christophe Veen and Bart de Groot from Buro Beehive designed a mobile self-contained office pod to transform underutilized buildings into affordable workspaces. It also offers a desk, storage, a second counter space, utilities and a sleek interior design. Today, remote working has gained ahuge popularity, especially in Asia Pacific. A number of co-working spaces has grown rapidly to 11,500 in 2019, doubling the number in EMEA. This resonates a major shift of working habit among Asian. Telecube - co-working in Japan style Recently, Mitsubishi Estate in collaboration with…