Products, services and Functions of Banglalink
Telephone sector is a service-oriented sector. Banglalink offers various types of new and innovative telephone services to both the urban and rural people o f Bangladesh during the last two years. The mobile-to-mobile service, the pre-paid service, the PCO services are among its largest innovations. Besides these largest ones Banglalink also introduced a number of value added services like the cricket update service, international roaming facility, Voice Mail Service, Text Mail Service, I-Bubble, Song dedication services etc. The company is the pioneer in most of its services. Handsets or the phone-set and the SIM Cards are the only physical products provided by the company. Banglalink as able to reach telephones in many remote areas of the country and connects those areas with the foreign countries. The prime services provided by Banglalink are broadly customized in the two types- the post-paid service and the pre-paid service.
Product offering & Pricing
Banglalink™ currently has seven packages in the market. When the company started out, government regulations had prevented it and other telecom companies from selling SIM cards alone, but rather had to bundle them with a handsets. However, this policy has been withdrawn ever since BTRC’s Teletalk itself started selling SIM cards alone to the public. In fact, according to customer feedbacks, Banglalink™ packages are all attractive, since the connections and monthly line rents are the lowest in the industry, and would have attracted a lot more customers, if only the network could be improved.
Banglalink currently has two pre-paid packages. They are Desh and Ladies First. Both of these packages are of two types. They are M2M, and standard. M2M means calls can be made to any other mobile, Standard connection has T&T incomming and outgoing facility. The package Desh and Ladis First has competitive advantage through tarrif and the number of FnF.
There are quite a few number of post-paid packages. They are Call and Control, Upperclass, Commercial User, PCO etc. There are subdivisions in all those packages.
The Call and Control package has two divisions. M2M and Standard. Recently management has decided not to sell the M2M package. The key feature of this package is that, the user will be abling the benefits of Postpaid but will be paying their bill via prepaid scratch cards.
Upperclass is the core post paid package of Banglalink. For taking the connection the user has to pay TK 150 and needs to pay a deposit of more than TK 1000. This deposit will determine the Talktime credit limit of the user’s connection. Commercial User is purely designed for the user’s who wants to use the SIM for commercial purpose.
The logistical companies do the packaging completely. The ‘Ring’ provides the company with the SIM cards sealed within CD covers and SAF forms. Oraslnvest is also involved in the packaging process.
Similar to GrameenPhone’s packaging, Banglalink™ also has a distinctive packaging. Smaller and more petite in size, the Banglalink™ insignia occupy most of the space. Many people can be seen carrying around Banglalink™ packages in their hands on their way to offices and other places these days.
With product offerings becoming almost similar amongst the network operators, most now compete in terms of special offers. Telecom companies all have stepped up their marketing activities and are pushing for aggressive promotions, far more aggressive than they had been in the past and far more aggressive than companies o f other industries had.
While the chapter on competition analyzes the special offers of Banglalink™ against its competitors, the following section discusses only the offers of the company and its relative attractiveness.
Functional administrative Departments
There are approximately eight functional departments in the organization. The functions of these departments are described in the following sections:
One of the most important links in the chain, the sales department is responsible for all the sales activities o f the organization. The department, led by Mr. Arif Mehmood Mallik, Director Sales, is divided into four divisions: Direct Sales, Corporate Sales, Distribution Sales and Sales Support.
Distribution Sales: This is the largest team in the department. Consisting entirely of male employees, this department is responsible for managing the activities and ensuring that sales targets are met by the company’s six distributors (Lipro, Asimpex, Butterfly, Propel, Deens & Deshlink). They are also responsible for ensuring that these distributors and all the dealers operating under them are following the policies o f the company with regard to promotions, package offerings, branding, pricing etc. Hence, the team works mostly outdoors and report to the office in the evening or early morning for completion o f any paperwork.
Corporate Sales: Corporate Sales is a relatively small team compared to direct and distribution sales. They are yet to launch any packages, although they have recently started selling to public call offices (PCO) through Flora Computer Systems.
Direct Sales: This is the largest team in the department, consisting of more than 20 employees. This department is dealing with the sale that is directly dealing with the customer.
All the other operators sell their products solely through their dealers, and more recently some have added selling activities to their Customer Care activities, but are yet to make it a separate entity similar as is in Banglalink™.
Sales Support: This team is the smallest o f all the four teams. Nevertheless, they form an integral part of the department by providing logistical support to the other three teams. Thus, they have to maintain liaison with the Procurement Department; Kallol Group, our scratch card distributors; the warehouse, where all POSM and handsets are stored; the Ring and Oraslnvest (wholly own subsidiaries of OTH who provide the company with SIM cards, SAF and other logistical support.
The Marketing team also consists of several teams, which includes PR & Communications, VAS, Loyalty & Retention and International Roaming. The teams all report to Omer Rashid, the Marketing Director.
The Loyalty & Retention team is responsible for the designing o f the special offers launched from time to time in an attempt either to increase customer base or to increase ARPU. The VAS division is responsible for the continuously adding valuable services to provide a complete solution to existing customers, for example, for making conference calling & ring tone/logo downloads possible. These two teams together are in charge of making the customers experience with our network more satisfying.
PR & Communication is responsible for designing and developing all promotional materials for the marketing o f any new product/package and any other activities. They coordinate and work directly with the advertising agency and other vendors. While other companies have an entire department for promotions and branding, at Banglalink™ this division, consisting of only a handful of people is responsible for this task.
Aside from recruiting and training employees, the HR department is also responsible for disseminating internal communication to all users and in the process of developing compensation packages for its employees, such as medical insurance under the group plan, life insurance and running several activities such as the Vaccination Program for all.
Training activities are continuously taking place to develop and hone the skills & knowledge of the personnel, such as the English Language & MS Project Courses for selected employees and conducting a GSM Orientation session for all employees, especially the Sales, Marketing & Customer Care Departments who have to deal with customers.
Rumana Reza, the only female director in the organization, is the head o f the Customer Care department. This too is segmented, consisting of the Customer Care division itself, and then there is Care Line, Credit Management Unit and the Support Services Unit.
They are responsible for handling customer queries and providing solutions to any problems faced by the subscribers.
While the above departments are all located in the headquarters in Gulshan 2, the Customer Care people are divided between the head office and the Call Center.
Apart from the Administration division, the department also consists of the Legal division and the Project Management Office.
The finance department is the largest department at the head office with an entire floor devoted to their needs. They consist of the Procurement & Cash Management divisions among many others.
The technical people are all located at Hosna Tower in Gulshan – 1, but many work off site, taking care of BTS or BSCs. The various divisions of this particular department include Access Network, Core Access, O&M, and Rollout.
Chapter Summry: Banglalink has eight administrative divisions. Main functional divisions are like Sales, Marketing, Finance, Human Resource, Technical etc. CEO (Chief Executive Officer) heads all the divisions. Each department has a manager to supervise all the activities of respective department. Strategic decisions are come from the top management.