Mobilink to Invest $1 Billion in Pakistan: CEO VimpelCom

Highlights

  • Mobilink to invest $1 billion in next five years in Pakistan
  • Major chunk of investment will go into development of new digital service for consumers
  • Mobilink to establish over 1,500 brand stores (mini franchises) to increase the distribution footprint
  • Mobilink customers will be provided 4G services as soon as it would be possible
  • Warid customers will be offered 3G services ASAP
  • After merger, when integration will be complete, both Mobilink and Warid will be merged into a single brand in 18 to 24 months from today
  • Merged company will retain Warid’s spectrum and will renew the license when its due in 2019
  • Merged company will decide its network vendors and may retain Warid’s vendors
  • Merged company will be net creator of jobs in next five years

VimpelCom will invest one billion dollars in Pakistan over next five years, said Jean-Yves Charlier, CEO, VimpelCom, the parent group of Mobilink and Warid.

“We are going to make major investments in network, IT systems, infrastructure and in new services for customers during next five years with an ambition to build the best network with the widest coverage and the most advanced 3G and 4G LTE services in the country”, said the VimpelCom CEO during a media briefing in Islamabad today.

He said that major investments will be made to enhance network, IT systems and in developing country’s largest store network in the country.

“We will be investing over 300 million dollars in next one year alone”, said Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Mobilink, who was also present at the briefing.

Not to mention, Mobilink has invested over 5 billion dollars till to date in Pakistan.

Mobilink

Jean-Yves Charlier (Right), CEO, VimpelCom, Jon Eddy (Middle), CEO Emerging Markets, Aamir Ibrahim (Left), CEO Mobilink, while briefing the media

VimpelCom CEO said that his group has signed a billion dollar contract with Ericsson to replace IT systems across all markets — where VimpelCom operates — to offer new digital services and Mobilink and Warid will benefit from these investments very soon.

He mentioned that there will be over 1,500 new brand stores or mini franchises – some of them to be owned by the company — to be established across country, creating over 5,000 jobs with-in a short span of time.

“We fundamentally believe that the growth opportunities in Pakistan are very substantial, mainly due to young population here and penetration of mobile services that are still on the rise in the country”, explained Mr. Charlier.

The CEO said that Mobilink has achieved double figure revenue growth over past 12 months and this is only the beginning of the Smartphone adoption in the country.

“We fundamentally think that the future of telecoms in Pakistan is ahead of us, particularly with 200 million inhabitants and a very young population that wants to open up to the world, we see significant growth opportunities”, said the CEO while commenting on the way VimpelCom sees Pakistani telecom market.

VimpelCom CEO termed Mobilink-Warid merger a win-win-win, by saying:

1 – It’s a win for consumers in Pakistan to have one leading operator with better services, expanded coverage, more 3G and 4G networks across the country that will be accessible for over 50 million customers.

2 – Then it’s a win for Pakistan as a country because infrastructure is key to the economic growth of Pakistan with having a leading network operator – that has the vision of building extensive 3G and 4G networks across Pakistan – as a major milestone that will attract further foreign investment in the future. This merger will also potentially mean a foundation for a new digital economy in the country.

3 – Then thirdly the merger is a win for both the Mobilink and Warid Telecom by forming the leading network mobile operator in Pakistan with combined efficiencies

media

Jean-Yves said that both Mobilink and Warid are merged with an ambition of building the best network, the widest coverage, the most advanced 3G and 4G LTE network as an outcome of the transaction.

CEO VimpelCom said that this merger will bring new services to the consumers across Pakistan and that’s exactly how merged company will grow its efficiencies and ultimately the revenues.

He said that instead of increasing prices – very usual after mergers – Mobilink-Warid merger will instead mean more digital services for consumers and businesses alike.

While commenting on the future of employees, Jean-Yves Charlier said that a big objective of this overall strategy is become an employer of choice.

“Obviously in a merger there are changes in organizations, which are necessary, but we want to remain – if not to enhance – as an employer of choice”, said the CEO.

“We are considering centralizing some of our global services here in Pakistan as a hub to serve other VimpelCom subsidiaries across the world. Furthermore, we are also looking at possibilities of exporting talent from Pakistan to other markets where there is a requirement to ultimately create more net jobs in next few years”, commented the VimpelCom CEO.

When asked about the brand name of the merged company, Jean-Yves Charlier said that they haven’t decided anyone on it yet.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK


  • Zaiton Kharacha

    Please stop sucking the blood of Pakistanis. There is not only locally owned and managed telecom company in Pakistan. All profits are sucked out. We need to keep profits in Pakistan

    • aamir7

      For that Pakistanis will have to invest in Pakistan, instead of Panama

      • Aon Bilal

        Aamir Bhai Telenor 4G Kidr Reh Gai

        • Muhammad Shoaib

          Telenor 4G Nahi Ayega :P

      • Abigail Gantro

        Very right. But factually misleading. The amount stashed away by Pakistanis not much compared to others companies with similar local investment.

        Look at India, maybe 100x more invested in Panama but still largest company is Reliance and Bharti and Tata Telecom. Look at China. Look at USA. Look at Saudia where there is no currency restriction so invest 100000x more in UK US assets. Still local companies are owned by local.

        You cannot have progress in country which largest parts of economy are controlled by foreigners.

        • aamir7

          What’s your point? Is it bad for foreign companies to invest here, or is it bad that Pakistanis don’t invest here?

          • Abbi

            Read above. I’m agreeing with Zaitoon lamenting that there is no local Pakistani company various reasons because of fault of Pakistani investors instafone group for example and also because of poor and misguided policies of government which prefers foreign to local investors.

            And your comment about Panama is irrelevant. No doubt there are tax evaders but this is a small number of people. Also look at other sectors such as banking where Pakistani banks have thrown out foreign banks. Same case is with cement industry, textile and insurance. Sadly largest industry telecom still owned by foreigners.

            • incoherent

              When you open a meat shop here, you have to throw meat and bones regularly to dogs. Thats the reason, most local entrepreneurs slip abroad the moment they are able to. Whether they scale afterwards, or not, matters not for PK. On the other hand, our people are corrupt themselves. Havent you seen investors of real estate squealing like pigs as soon as govt decided to collect tax on real value of a piece of property? Do you know that a 1K house in major cities costs much more than an equivalent house of better (if not the best) states of US?
              I dont really know, who to blame. People, or, the government. Sorry for such an incoherent comment. :(

              • Real Estate PK

                Really incoherent and nonsensical argument. Prices of 1K house in major cities in Pakistan costs more than a house of better (if not the best) in the USA? Are you serious?
                Lets compare:
                Karachi most expensive house on Zameen.com DHA Phase 5, 4000 square yards. 60 Crores. That is 6M USD
                Shall we compare this to New York or San Francisco?
                I’ll be nice an take a 2000 sq foot apartment in New york with 6 bedrooms. This costs $7.995M
                http://www.trulia.com/property/3237654120-326-W-19th-St-New-York-NY-10011

                In San Francisco 7 bedrooms, $14.5M
                http://www.trulia.com/property/3234638943-26-Presidio-Ter-San-Francisco-CA-94118

                You are comparing Karachi Lahore and Islamabad which are heavily populated cities with limited area to non-prime areas in the US and crying about it. If you want to compare Arizona where this plenty of land compare it to Interior Punjab Sindh or KPK. For crying out loud, Mumbai has more expensive real estate than New York because there is just no space available unlike suburbs of Pakistan or India or USA.
                Totally baseless comparison.

                And if you talk about Indians and Indian companies, Mumbai and Dehli have the worlds most expensive real estate and the corruption is worse than Pakistan and still the majority large corps are owned by locals. So your arguments hold no water.

                The difference in India is that the government is biased *towards* local ownership while in Pakistan it is biased *against* local ownership. This is one of the reasons why our country and its people will never have the self esteem and confidence needed to scale globally and be in charge of our own destinies. We will continue to suffer from low self esteem.

      • Raja Maja

        dear aamir kindly come out of your shell and start thinking positive. analize the situation on technical and social ground…………….instead only political grounds………….i have seen you always be a criticizer of politicians. THINK OUT OF BOX.

    • Naeem

      Please welcome all invesmtnets including foreign investments, create welcoming atmosphere. what we need to do in all deals to focus on localization & technolgy transfer in Pakistan.
      Always think win win situation, otherwise no one will come to invest in the country, why UAE, China, UK are success because their deals are based on win win situation considering long run impact on countries development.

  • Ummad

    Very very right saying .

  • Muhammad Faheem

    Good points… One billion dollars contract with Ericsson… Good to know

  • Zafar Abbas Rizvi

    I wounder How Mobilink will manage to provide 50 Million customers better 3G services with 10 MHz spectrum. Kahin es ka haal b Telenor aur Ufone 3G wala na ho jaye.

  • Tayyab

    bhai point buhat clear hai… Mobilink Warid Merger ki tou mjhe samajh nahi lagi… Pakistani har woh kaam kar raha hai. Jo Allah k hukam k khilaaf hai. Banking Sector Soodi Nizam. Dukandar or Tajar Naap Tool my kami, Haram Khoori, Kala Dhan (Black Money), Chez ko stock kar k uski demand barhana, Kisaaad bazari. Smugling. Yeh thoray sy wo jurm hain jo yahan allowed hain…. Mulk ka bus Allah hee Hafiz hai..

  • GayleProFucker

    Good job bussiness is about people

  • Ahmed

    they are buying 10Mhz lte band which is still not sold

  • saeed

    We Pakistani are lucky that foreign companies are investing and they created lot of jobs in Pakistan. Our billionaires are only interested in realestate or UK property or Dubai. They don’t like to open up new businesses or take a risk.

  • ysk

    Even a news about merger and investment leads to discussion about politics and religion. Pro stands for Professional not Pro-Fav party. The admin himself encourages such discussions. I don’t know why it is so difficult to resist political discussions for us.

  • Abdul Wahab Butt

    $5 invested in Pakistan. Ok welcome. Now answer, how much you take out of Pakistan. I’m not against foreign investment. but these investors showing attitude like we needed them and they donated us.

    Common, you guys came for business and got good returns so you guys are still here.

    Do good work get rewarded in terms of profit and stay happy.

    • AbdulB1

      everyone invests to make money, it is our stupid govt which does not want to create conditions for local investors.

      • Abdul Wahab Butt

        My comment was never against any investment foreign or local. My concern is why Vimplecom look so high while declaring their investment amount. When they completely understand, they are going to make it double/triple within this time period.

    • Aamir Saleem

      Ufone is owned by PTCL, and government of Pakistan is owner of 74% PTCL shares. We as Pakistani have to become a part of Ufone customers if we want to strengthen our government institutions

      • Changaiz Khandal

        Totally agreed. Ask them to get 10Mhz more bandwidth

      • Abdul Wahab Butt

        In this case people only prefer service. The one give better service will gain more.

  • Naeem

    Welcome VimpelCom.
    Appreciate your investments in the country Pakistan and growing footprint by centralizing some of your global services here in Pakistan as a hub to serve other VimpelCom subsidiaries across the world. I am sure you VimpelCom will amze with Pakistani IT talent. Second idea of exporting talent from Pakistan to other markets where VimpelCom operates is great. Keep up the good work.