Front-runner Wateen sets high hopes
Sohaib Sheikh, presently associated with Wateen Telecom as Head of Marketing, has proved his professional skills and set new horizons especially in marketing sector. Before joining Wateen Telecom, Sohaib successfully established his diversified skills while working on key executive and management positions in a couple of local cellular companies. He has in his credit the drafting of progressive result focused marketing communication strategies with a proven track record of over 16 years in telecom and service industries in developing favourable brand perceptions
How do you define Wateen as a company?
SOHAIB SHEIKH: Wateen is a converged communication service provider that offers a combination of Data, Voice, TV and Enterprise Solution; a well rounded company that can meet voice, data and other requirements of enterprises and consumers. However, the backbone of the company is our dedicated workforce which understands and delivers on the requirements of our customers.
What are some of the opportunities Wateen is looking at in 2013?
Wateen is ideally positioned to leverage its products in enabling business and consumers in Pakistan. Researches across the globe have shown that broadband is primarily used by consumers in home, offices or at establishments such as cafés, restaurants, airports, hospitals etc. 3G or not, we believe that data consumption will continue to grow and our expertise in proliferating broadband and related services will see a huge demand. Similarly, enterprises will be looking to reducing their costs and improve efficiencies, this year will see a further shift towards cloud computing and virtualization.
What are the benefits of Wateen products?
For the enterprise market, Wateen is a one-stop solution for the enterprise needs. We provide connectivity wherever organizations may require them. If we do not have a fiber optic network available in some remote areas, we can offer anytime and anywhere solutions through VSAT connectivity. Our engineers are certified and can help organizations plan and build their networks. We work with world renowned partners to offer them the solutions that they require to build their networks to improve management, efficiencies and reducing their costs. For consumers, there is a big market out there that requires internet on-the-go. The country is going through an energy crisis and there is a great demand for devices that work when there is no electricity. The first device Wateen had introduced was a small palm sized USB device for on-the-go consumers and it could be powered through notebooks and laptops. Secondly, we also introduced devices that offer internet, telephony and Wi-Fi on a single device. These can be used for home and offices. Our voice services offer the low cost solutions to people who want to make calls. Our media network is gradually expanding to areas in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Multan. We channels have a clear screen policy and offer consumers better viewing with less distractions.
What is Wateens pricing mechanism?
Our pricing is at par with the competition. We have revised the packages and prices to meet market expectations and we offer multiple packages that are tailored to suit the needs of customers. They can have broadband speeds up to 2MB if they want faster connectivity or as low as Rs599 if they are price conscious. One must keep in mind that WiMAX is a premium product globally. The cost of the device, which is close to $100, is usually borne by the customer. Even a country like Bangladesh follows the same model. However, we have passed on a huge subsidy for consumers in Pakistan and we offer the $100 device to our consumers against a refundable security deposit of only Rs.1500.
How is Wateens Technology different from that of other companies in the local market?
As I have mentioned before, Wateen is the most unique company in terms of its product offerings. We offer the largest number of solutions from a single window operation. Secondly, WiMAX is an affordable and easily scalable solution for providing broadband Internet. The solution is really what the market needs, keeping in view Pakistans needs for broadband connectivity. What sets us apart amongst other things is that Wateen was the first to invest heavily in this technology and was the first in the world to roll out a commercial WiMax network on a countrywide scale. Also, our service is our hallmark. Our network uptime is consistently maintained to more than 99 per cent ensuring that the customers needs are never hampered.
What can you tell us about Wateens multimedia business? How has it progressed over the last year?
Wateens multimedia network has seen a tremendous growth over the last year. We have expanded our cable services by signing multiple distributors to carry our feed and expanded for the first time to Karachi and Islamabad. Wateen Multimedia installed a new head-end for improvement of its digital cable services in July 2012. The latest head-end combines an innovative modular approach that enables it to offer the most flexible portfolio of solutions for cable operators, with support for the delivery of video services most formats and enabling a rapid transition to IP-based networks. The companys solutions enable descrambling and multiplexing of content in a compact format allowing high capacity signals to be sent over the network. The streaming solutions support MPEG-2 and MPEG-4 HD and SD services. These solutions will enable Wateen to offer better quality services to the cable operators who carry its feeds to consumers.
Where do you want to see Wateen in next 3 years?
I believe next 3 years will see Wateen coming to the fore of the much awaited technological revolution in Pakistan; based on virtualization and Cloud Services.
Any message for our reader?
Wateens message to our Pakistani brothers and sisters is to believe in the power of technology. I believe in the philosophy that all of us as individuals have the capacity to bring about a positive change not only in our lives but also in our surroundings. We possess the power to change anything, with just the right amount of passion.