The hot seat of CEO at Orange Botswana does not for once shake Dr Patrick Benon, who took over nine months ago. He fields questions from Staff Writer DITIRO MOTLHABANE about the business and plans for the future in a no-holds-barred interview.
PATRIOT: In the past few weeks, OBW executives talked of a new strategy that is aimed at putting the customer first, please share with us details of that strategy and how exactly the company is planning to implement it?
BENON: The new organizational strategy, simply termed Essentials 2020 is a 5 year global strategic plan for the Orange Group. It kick started this year and will run for the next 5 years until 2020. As Orange Botswana we have put in place our own plan that will feed into the overall Essential 2020 strategy. This new strategy will focus on offering an unmatched customer experience focusing on key work streams among them;
PATRIOT: Being the reference in customer experience and relationship in the market
BENON: We have expanded and we will keep expanding our service points and this includes Orange Money service points. We believe in taking our services closer to the people for their convenience.
PATRIOT: Providing the best connectivity to customers always
BENON: We launched 4G LTE technology in February 2015, to provide superior data speed for our customers. In July 2015, we introduced ultra-fast fixed broadband internet for home and business. The offer provides super-fast connectivity on 4G and 3G technology.
PATRIOT: How will the above strategy change/position Orange Botswana differently and ahead of its competitors?
BENON: We are operating in a saturated mobile market therefore we are compelled to differentiate ourselves by providing distinct value and excellent customer experience to our customers. We believe that a happy customer is a loyal customer. Thus by offering an unmatched customer experience we will be sure to have our customers come back for that first class service and growing our customer base through recommendations and word of mouth. To ensure delivery of this mandate we have introduced a new Customer Experience department, whose sole mandate is to look into ways of improving and enhancing customer experience within the whole company.
PATRIOT: What milestones has OBW celebrated in the past six months?
BENON: In February 2015 we became the first local network provider to offer 4G technology; the fastest network the country has ever seen and experienced; In July 2015 we launched the new broadband fixed offers to complement our 4G offering; these are fixed internet offers for business and home use. We recently hit the 300 000 customer base for our Orange Money product, making us the market leader with a 64% overall market share. We partnered with Botswana Post in August to introduce convenience to our customers with regards to payment of their bills through the E-billing platform currently hosted by Botswana Post. The system allows customers to have full control of their account, track their account credit as well as pay via transfers without the hustle of needing to go to a shop near them.
PATRIOT: What’s new, exciting and innovative products/services can we look forward to from Orange? Tell us a bit more about the 4G that you recently launched?
BENON: Orange 4G - Orange was the first mobile operator to launch 4G, the superfast internet technology that allows customers faster downloads, quicker browsing, instant video downloads (no more buffering) as well as quicker sending and receiving of big file attachments. Orange’s 4G service comes at no extra cost to customers. However to use 4G Orange customers need to have a 4G capable device and swap their existing simcard for a 4G simcard. This can be done at any Orange Shop.
Read the full interview on this week's edition of The Patriot on Sunday