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KUWAIT - Telecoms & IT

Maziad Alharbi

CEO, stc Kuwait

Bio

Maziad Alharbi was appointed CEO of Kuwait Telecommunications Company (stc) in 2019. He has over 25 years of proven executive management experience across the telecommunication, media, and technology industries. Prior to joining stc, Alharbi served as CTO at Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) from 2014 to 2019, in addition to being the chief corporate affairs officer (CCAO) between 2017 and 2019.

"In 2019, we launched our new strategy, after diagnosing and reorganizing our priorities and operations, focusing especially on the employee and customer."
Over the years, stc has transformed from a traditional telecommunications service company to become an ICT business solutions and digitization services enabler.
What explains stc’s success in the competitive Kuwaiti telecoms market?

In 2019, we launched our new strategy, after diagnosing and reorganizing our priorities and operations, focusing especially on the employee and customer. By improving employee satisfaction and rewarding success, we were able to increase our sales and provide excellent customer service. We spent a great deal of time and effort in creating a performance-driven organization. The root to our success is ensuring that our employees are satisfied and successful in what they do. As for our customers, our objective is to understand their needs so that we can divert our efforts to the right place. We discovered that individuals highly appreciate simple and fast digital services. Considering that 70% of Kuwait’s population is under 30, we find those to be our primary customer base. Individuals within this segment expect the gamifying of systems and instant provision of products or services. Therefore, we invested in changing and simplifying the customer journey for them. This came in the form of investing heavily in digitizing our experience and enhancing services such as connection latency. In terms of connectivity, we are the only operator in the region to offer full standalone 5G that is referred to as SA technology. We find this to be essential to our connectivity offerings as it differentiates us amongst competitors to experienced customers. Businesses, on the other hand, want a one-stop shop with ICT capabilities and cloud services with cybersecurity. This has been apparent to us since 2019, and since then we acquired two companies operating within those fields. We first acquired Qualitynet, a company that specialized in fixed connectivity. The second company was e-Portal holding, an advanced Cloud services and professional software and services provider. These acquisitions enhanced our capabilities and expanded our portfolio to fulfill the requirements of businesses. We are now a Kuwaiti company of considerable capability in ICT, and we offer an array of complete solutions, on site, or on the cloud. We are also working with the government to build a huge data center and are investing heavily in connecting Kuwait to a submarine cable that will provide connectivity to Africa, which will in turn connect Africa to Europe and Asia. We are doing all we can to enhance our provision of service and sustain our success.

What is stc’s focus for 2023?

In 2019, we launched our AHEAD strategy, an approach that has served us well but will end this year. A strategy aimed to position us as one of the leading entities in Kuwait within our field, which we have successfully achieved. In 3Q2022, our market share had reached 40% of the local market. Meanwhile, we had just launched our new strategy for the next three years called LEAD. The new strategy focuses on fulfilling the digitalization requirements of businesses and government entities. Our services are certainly essential for the nation’s ability to digitalize and transform. We are also working on our partnerships; some of our existing partners include Microsoft, Cisco, Huawei, and Oracle. Through the support of our partners, we have been able to further expand and enhance our solutions and offerings. There is much progress to be achieved over the coming year, yet we are certain that our efforts will pay off. With the right team and a solid strategy, we are geared toward a successful journey ahead.

What is the company’s role in the market’s digitalization?

Before the end of 2019, stc introduced 5G connectivity in Kuwait. Our coverage spanned across Kuwait before the pandemic, making it possible for people to connect online even at peak consumption times. Nowadays, companies and organizations have ramped their R&D and investment into digitalizing their systems to increase automation and transform their traditional processes. stc has the technology and experience to make that happen. That is why our focus for the next three years will be to enable digitally transformation throughout Kuwait.

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