In emerging markets, Etisalat Group is recognized as one of the leading telecom providers in the world. Moreover, Etisalat is known to be among the telecom groups with the highest level of profit. To be more precise, the current cap market of Etisalat is about 42 billion dollars (which is 152 billion AED); and its net revenue comprises over 52 billion AED with net profit approaching 9 billion AED (Etisalat, n.d.).
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Etisalat is based in Abu Dhabi and has been active for over 40 years as the first provider of telecommunication services in the UAE. Founded in 1976, Etisalat launched the first mobile network in the UAE in 1982, and in the 1990s added the internet services and cable TV to the list and began to produce SIM cards. By 2000, its customer base in the UAE exceeded one million people and its growth added one million more within each of the next few years.
Throughout the early 2000s, Etisalat expanded to Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, and India. In 2010, among the pioneers of this service, Etisalat started to offer 3DTV. Currently, Etisalat operates in as many as sixteen countries of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia and successfully competes against such huge brands as Vodafone, Three Mobile, and AT&T. This report will focus on the SWOT analysis of Etisalat Group and three ways for this company to create a competitive advantage.
SWOT analysis represents a detailed review of an organization’s performance in terms of business and marketing. This type of analysis focuses on an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. As a result of the SWOT analysis, it would be possible to name Etisalat’s ways to create a competitive advantage.
Being the first provider of telecommunication services in the United Arab Emirates and one of the largest providers in the Middle East, this organization has an incredibly strong brand presence and image across the region (Saadi, 2017). This is one of the major strengths of Etisalat. Also, operating in densely populated states of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, Etisalat has a large base of consumers that practically includes anyone able and willing to use a cellphone.
Also, as an international organization that operates in sixteen countries across three continents, Etisalat has a strong international growth that helps expand its customer segment (“Etisalat recognized as the number one brand,” 2017). Finally, as an organization based in the United Arab Emirates, Etisalat was able to form a strong relationship with the UAE government which provides the organization with an excellent brand reputation and opportunities for expansion and service diversification (Etisalat, n.d.).
As it was mentioned previously, Etisalat is an international corporation that, over the last several years, has expanded to sixteen different countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (“Etisalat recognized as the number one brand,” 2017). As a result of its global focus and the management of operations in over a dozen different countries, there exists a potential weakness for the quality of Etisalat’s services to go down. This could occur due to the need to control many multicultural offices and divide attention between multiple countries. In addition to that weakness, having expanded to multiple countries, Etisalat also has exposed itself to the need to manage global operations that can be rather complex and distracting.
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Within the last few years, Etisalat authorities have been focused on the improvement of service quality in Nigeria that has a growing demand for mobile and wireless communication (Okonba & Iroegbu, 2014; “Etisalat proffers strategies to improve quality of service at Nigeria Com 2013,” 2013). The same need is likely to be emerging in the other countries covered by Etisalat as a telecommunication provider. As a result, there is an opportunity for the Group to win over an even larger base of consumers using offering the services of an improved quality thus outperforming the competitors in different regions. In addition to the services of higher quality, Etisalat may also expand the selection of services offered by adding an option of Voice over LTE services among others.
As one of the largest and most influential telecommunication providers in the world, Etisalat has many large and powerful brands that compete against it. To be more precise apart from the global competitors such as Vodafone, Three Mobile, and AT&T, Etisalat also is positioned against local competitors such as Ooredoo from Qatar, Global Telecom based in Egypt, and Zain Group from Kuwait (“Emirates telecommunication group company (Etisalat Group) PJSC competition,” 2017). The expansion, strengthening, or mergers of these competitors present a serious threat to Etisalat. A separate source of threats is government regulations for the global business making that can impact prices and taxes for Etisalat. This source is external and cannot be controlled by the Group.
Ways to Create a Competitive Advantage
Competitive advantage is an action or a condition that allows a company to become a stronger competitor in the market. Creating a competitive advantage, a company can attract new customers and expand the consumer base. Competitive advantage is associated with the increased income and the growth of the business.
Quality is one of the building blocks of competitive advantage. To ensure high-level quality operations, Etisalat is working on the inclusion of quality into its organizational culture as one of the essential aspects (Staff report, 2010). As a result, the provision of quality is inbuilt in the vision and mission of the organization.
Another building block of competitive advantage is innovation. Being the first telecommunications operator in the UAE, Etisalat has positioned itself as focused on innovation (Etisalat, n.d). Today, Etisalat has to compete with world-renowned brands and thus attempts to keep up with the latest technologies such as 3G connection and cloud services.
Responsiveness to customers is the building block that helps to manage customer service. Etisalat is focused on the maintenance of a real-time assurance network that allows monitoring customer experience (Etisalat, n.d.). This way, the company stays responsive to the slightest changes in customer satisfaction.
Maintaining efficiency, Etisalat employs systems monitoring facility resources. Etisalat manages energy efficiency and carbon footprint for better sustainability. In terms of customer service, Etisalat provides efficiency via speedy work and diverse services.
One of the best ways to create a competitive advantage for Etisalat is the establishment of competitive prices or discounts for customers. For example, a special offer or a discount program engaging the regular customers could be very helpful at creating a stronger rate of customer loyalty, increasing customer retention, and generating opportunities to attract new customers. The second way to create a competitive advantage for Etisalat is the expansion of the business to more countries. This action would help Etisalat grow its customer segment and strengthen its global presence and brand recognition. Finally, the third way of creating a competitive advantage would be to transfer the focus to the local base of consumers in the UAE and expand the range of services offered to the UAE customer segment.
Emirates telecommunication group company (Etisalat Group) PJSC competition. (2017). Web.
Etisalat. (n.d.). Corporate information. Web.
Etisalat recognized as the number one brand. (2017). Web.
Okonba, B. J., & Iroegbu, C. (2014). Improving the quality of service of Etisalat Nigeria. International Journal for Research in Applied Science and Engineering Technology, 2(8), 64-68.
Saadi, D. (2017). Emirates and Etisalat among most valuable companies. Web.
Staff report. (2010). Etisalat holds seminar on quality culture. Khaleej Times. Web.
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