|You came to Poland almost a year ago. How do you find the Polish telecommarket?|
The Polish market is very interesting and challenging. Consumers are very open to new technologies and quick to adopt the latest. There is a high level of competition, which so far has mainly been price oriented, and relative fragmentation of players. It is mainly driven by mobile services and a high degree of fixed to mobile substitution in both voice and broadband. These factors had a major impact on the overall performance of the market, and this is also reflected in Orange Polska’s results.
|What were your first priorities?|
Through 2016 I mainly concentrated on learning the market, understanding the situation inside the company and focusing on short-term operational fundamentals. These included, chiefly: improving execution on fibre customers take-up; pre-paid registration; changes to our TV offer; organisational changes in the company; and preparing our new convergent offer Orange Love which we launched at the beginning of February 2017.
|You have introduced some important changes in the organisational structure. Could you please comment on that?|
In my opinion the structure of the company was too complex and required some simplification to better serve our customers and our goals. I created a new position of executive director in charge of network. As data flow in our mobile networks doubles every year and we heavily invest in fibre connectivity, the network requires special care and attention. Secondly, I decided to strengthen the strategy-innovation team headed by deputy CEO Piotr Muszyński, which will lead and enforce our transformation. Finally, since the beginning of 2017 we have a new structure for consumer and business markets. I am convinced these changes will simplify our internal structure and improve execution of our strategy for both customer groups.
|What is your opinion of Orange Polska’s strategy? Is there anything that needs to be changed?|
Our strategy is based on: data connectivity, both mobile and fixed, which is absolutely the top priority for our customers; convergence, which is our unique feature and source of competitive advantage; and increasing efficiency, which is a must in such competitive environment and in the light of constant pressure on our revenues. These pillars are absolutely right: I fully endorse them. What we would like to change and improve is execution, which is not as fast as we would like.
|How has Orange Polska been implementing the idea of corporate social responsibility?|
Corporate social responsibility is a major element of our presence in the Polish market. Based on a process of broad public consultation, we have developed our CSR strategy, which covers a number of important social issues, such as digital inclusion, particularly access of people with disabilities to telecommunications services and the education of the young generation how to use the net wisely, safety on the web, including protection of children and teenagers, environmental issues or employee care. Today, we can talk not only about social responsibility of Orange Polska, but its actual social influence. We know that owing to the long presence and history of our company in the Polish market, the type of our industry and the size of operations, our impact on the economic growth, development of innovations, market standards, local communities or natural environment has been significant.
|What are your priorities for 2017?|
In 2017 we want to concentrate on fine-tuning our strategy and improving execution, as I mentioned. We are working on an update of our mid-term plans, which we intend to announce later in the year. We should move towards simplification both of internal processes and our customer proposition, and show stronger focus on cost saving initiatives. Our execution should improve following recent organisational changes and the initial push of our new convergent offer Orange Love – which is our clear market differentiator, and which has become our flagship proposal for Polish households. As far as fibre is concerned we have very ambitious plans for the extension of our network and we also want to shorten service delivery time. We want to at least double our fibre customer base in 2017. We are making big changes in the way we manage the customer experience. Our approach going forward will be driven by customer journeys (different types of experience, such as purchase, payment, termination or help) instead of distribution channels. This will allow us to provide a standardised and coherent quality of service across all customer touchpoints and further improve our Net Promoter Score (NPS).
|How do you see the Polish market and Orange Polska a few years down the road?|
Orange Polska is in transition from a legacy to a modern telecom operator. We are rapidly improving connectivity, pushing convergence, transforming our distribution channels, improving customer care. All this is done to facilitate our goal, which is financial turnaround and return to a growth path. I strongly believe this is achievable, but it requires patience, proper execution and also short-term sacrifices. It is quite obvious that the Polish telecom market, similarly to other countries, will be driven by the gradual digitalisation of all aspects of our lives. I think that it will eventually consolidate, as it is quite fragmented. There will be probably fewer players but more integrated and converged. As the prices are already very low, rather than further competing mainly on price, operators will focus more on quality of products and customer care, which will translate into higher customer loyalty.