How to transform a telco into a multimedia comms group

Staff writer
21 Jul 2015

Telecom CEO of the Year

Napoleon Nazareno, Smart Communications

Last year's winner: Sung Min Ha, SK Telecom
Most Innovative Partnership Smart Communications and Land Bank
Last year's winner: SK Telecom
Most Advanced Approach to Customer Experience Smart Communications
Last year's winner: N/A
Major shareholder: PLDT
Business segments: Consumer mobile, broadband, satellite, enterprise, mobile payments
Key stats (end of 2014):

Consolidated wireless revenues (PLDT): Php119 billion, flat y-o-y; consolidated wireless net income (PLDT): Php21.9 billion, flat y-o-y; 67 million subscribers (Smart)

The fact that Smart Communications racked up nominations in seven categories in our 2015 Telecom Asia Awards is a testament to the fact that it’s been a busy and productive year for the company. The fact that it won three of those seven awards is further testament that all that productivity is paying off.

Little wonder Smart chief Napoleon Nazareno edged out a competitive field to collect the Telecom CEO of the Year trophy. He’s won this category before (in 2012), and he won it this year for leading the challenging transition of both Smart and its parent company PLDT from a traditional telecoms group to a “multimedia communications group” offering Filipinos a growing range of digital services.

According to Smart, a significant part of that transition is reflected in its “Smart Stores” that earned it the Most Advanced Approach to Customer Experience award.
“Under the Smart Life initiative, our retail hubs became spaces that encourage a more personal interaction between customers and our lifestyle solutions consultants. We think we won because we treat customers as partners and enable them to enjoy their passions fully.”

Smart has also developed a savvy partnership strategy as part of that transformation, which is why it also took home the award for Most Innovative Partnership for its work with Land Bank for innovative mobile money solutions and affordable financial services, which gained notable commercial traction in a short timeframe.

Eight months after its launch, according to Smart, the service has processed and disbursed loans totaling more than Php2.2 billion (approximately $50 million), covering over 16,000 borrowers in the government sector. By July this year, this service will be expanded to cover private sector employees as well.

So yes, overall it’s been a good year for Smart.


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