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Wataniya crafts a great customer journey

Interview - October 24, 2013
The first privately owned telecom operator to open in Kuwait, Wataniya is profoundly committed to innovation and community
Commercially launched in 1999, Wataniya is the first privately owned telecoms operator in Kuwait. Offering the latest in telecoms products such as 4G, it has been a clear driving force in increasing mobile market penetration in the country, with a strong focus on providing the best communication services to make people’s lives easier while enhancing their mobile and online interactions. Abdulaziz Fakhroo, former GSM Arab World Chairman and recently appointed GM and CEO of Wataniya Telecom, discusses how the customer-driven company excels at maintaining customer loyalty and youth empowerment. 
How are telecoms, and Wataniya in particular, changing lives in Kuwait?

Telecommunication has provided people an advanced and convenient means to stay connected. When mobiles came in, they changed people’s behaviour. They created a new lifestyle. The GCC countries in particular were the early adopters of mobiles and broadband. After Europe, it was mainly the Middle East and the GCC countries that embraced innovation and contributed towards enhancing international connectivity. 
Wataniya, as the first privately owned telecoms company in Kuwait, contributed to the creation of a market with healthy competition. Furthermore, Wataniya is definitely contributing to the development of this country and all the services that make people’s lives much easier. Our focus will always be on providing the people living in Kuwait with the latest technology and experiences that enhance their mobile and online interactions.
How does the company differentiate itself and create and maintain customer loyalty with such fierce competition?

Our primary focus is to enhance customer experience. We are constantly developing strategies that strive to improve customer journey across all our touch points. We perceive innovation as another opportunity; it encourages us to introduce new technologies and services in the market and is part of healthy competition. It keeps us on our toes and pushes us to perform better.

“Wataniya is definitely contributing to the development of this country and all the services that make people’s lives easier”
As for loyalty, you simply have to listen to what the customer wants. It is our job to read between the lines, by carefully listening and understanding the needs and aspirations of ordinary customers like you and me.

Simultaneously, we try to help society through our Social Responsibility Programmes. In the end, it’s simple – listen, teach and then achieve. 
Wataniya is very involved in youth empowerment. Could you share with us the vision of the Wataniya GiveKuwait Programme?  

Kuwaiti youth are entrepreneurs. They like to do things on their own, lead and own businesses. It is in their DNA. The idea of GiveKuwait was to help young people achieve their goals and encourage them to be entrepreneurs in any industry – not just telecoms. GiveKuwait was an immense success; it was named ‘CSR programme for the youth in the Middle East’.
GiveKuwait focused on enabling the youth. Almost 65 per cent of the population is young and they are the future. We want to entertain and empower them by not only offering them services but also by giving them a platform to realise their full potential.
Kuwait has been blessed with the enthusiasm of youth and the experience of mature people. I believe that this mix will make a difference and will take Kuwait to the next stage of prosperity and growth. l