SA – Nashua Mobile’s Mark Taylor talks strategy
Mark Taylor, former Managing Executive responsible for Supply Chain at Vodacare, Online, and the financial services area within Vodacom, has re-taken the reins at Nashua Mobile as CEO. From the company’s head office in Midrand, Gauteng, Taylor explains why the company is being restructured.
Prior to his position at Vodacom, Taylor had served as Nashua Mobile’s managing director for five years. Taylor first joined Nashua Mobile in 1999 as a director responsible for IT and operations after being responsible for the merger between Plessey and Nedtel.
In 2001, Nedtel and Nashua merged to form Nashua Mobile, and in 2003 Taylor got the top job at the company. Before joining Nashua Mobile, Taylor spent 16 years in Nedbank’s IT department in various roles, including general manager of systems integration.
Says Taylor: “I am looking forward to coming home to Nashua Mobile. My goal will be to strengthen the company’s position as the country’s leading telecommunications service provider with the most diverse and robust selection of products and services as a partner of leading networks such as Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and 8ta.”
“An immediate priority will be ensuring the organisation is even more customer focused than before. With competition heating up in the sector, average revenue per user falling, and few opportunities to differentiate on product or price, customer service has emerged as the most important competitive weapon in the telecommunications industry. The telecommunications industry has the potential to drive GDP growth in South Africa, but only if companies such as Nashua Mobile work to drive service and competition in the market.”
Taylor says that the division of the company into two clear silos, namely consumer and enterprise, is indicative of the new strategy to communicate more effectively the company’s brand, its image and its value to customers within a rapidly changing mobile industry.
“In the past there was so much growth and opportunity that companies didn’t have to focus on specific channels or pieces of the business. Today, even if you look at entry level tariffs, consumers want smartphones and they want to be connected.”
The shift from demand for voice to that of connectivity in the market compels service providers to apply relevant strategies. As an example, Taylor says that the significance of BBM has actually escaped the market radar. “BBM started to bring people into another space. You don’t have BBM type functionality on an entry-level phone, but what BBM has done is help a few million people in SA move into the Internet connected space,” he explains.
The new business strategy takes into account the change in focus from selling voice to understanding connectivity requirements.
He believes the company has adopted a strong stance in terms of hearing what the market wants and meeting that need. He refers to the success of Nashua’s new Xtreme Data Service as an example of how the company is now ‘reading’ the market.
“People want to have a defined, control spend but they want access to everything the Net offers. That is a fundamental shift from ad- hoc usage to an ‘I am always connected’ scenario,” Taylor continues.
The restructuring process will incorporate a transformation of customer-centric processes within the company’s stores.
The establishment of paperless stores is the first phase of the transformation process and is expected to be fully implemented by January 2013.
Taylor looks forward to working with what he describes as “a strong team” to take the business forward.
Chris Tredger, Online Editor