Jazz Takes Facebook, Whatsapp, Amazon and AliBaba as Competitors: VimpelCom Co-Founder

Jazz is no longer in competition with local Pakistani operators; instead, it is set to take on with Google, Facebook, Whatsapp, Amazon and other tech giants, said Augie K Fabela, the co-founder and Chairman of VimpelCom.

VimpelCom is boldly transitioning away from a traditional telco to an internet tech company, Mr. Fabela said while speaking with media in Islamabad today.

He is on a two day visit to Pakistan, primarily to be part of inauguration of National Incubation Center in Islamabad tomorrow.

Mr. Fabela is an entrepreneur himself and co-founded VimpelCom when he was just 24.

While outlining the digital strategy of Jazz, Mr. Fabela said the Pakistani arm of VimpelCom will be able to lead a trillion dollar industry by virtue of the fact that it is going to turn the model away from conventional telecom company — that used to provide connectivity only — to become a company that will offer irresistible services to its consumers.

“Re-positioning and re-birth of Jazz is to bring back the entrepreneurial spirit, pioneering zeal and innovation culture that is true to what our future is going to be like!”, said Mr. Fabela.

VimpelCom Chairman said that Jazz — which is single best performing company in VimpelCom group — will ultimately be able of offer all sorts of services that its consumers will need in a digital world.

He said that the trust that Jazz has earned over the years is actually enabling the company to offer consumers with much more richer experience than just the connectivity.

When asked about how these new services — through which Jazz wants to compete with Facebook, Whatsapp etc. — will look like, Mr. Fabela said that his group will offer products and services that will be more tailored, with better understanding of each of the local markets where VimpelCom operates.

He explained that Whatsapp cannot know the Pakistani people and their behaviors better than Jazz. “We will have a platform that will have a local taste with global reach, it could have a lot of similarities but will come with a whole lot more offerings,” he added.

While detailing further, the co-founder of VimpelCom said that his group will offer array of services, including basic communication, entertainment, health, education, financial services and more revolutionary things that will be tailored to what the people need rather than “one size fits all” stuff.

“We don’t think one size fits all is the future and this is how we are going to gain the trust and affinity of the consumers”, he added.

When asked about how Jazz will monetize such services when there are free alternatives available, Mr. Fabela said that Jazz plans to deliver such value for the consumers that they will ultimately move away from free services.

“We have a vision on how to get there, and if we don’t get to that then we won’t be able to monetize such services, which will be pretty much end of it”, said Mr. Fabela.

He agreed that its a huge challenge because companies that Jazz is competing with are giants “and yes they are offering services for free for now but we think we will have a proposition and value that consumers are going to stick with our services as compared to any free alternatives”, he added.

When asked about how Jazz is going to deal with low consumer readiness, i.e. what if they have the smartphone, 3G or 4G connectivity but don’t know how to productively use it,  Mr. Fabela said that his group will keep investing on user awareness.

He said that consumer readiness is not a local challenge but in fact his group is dealing with it in other markets as well. “We can actually take the digital divide and turn it into strong digital dividend for the people of Pakistan”, said Mr. Fabela.

Mr. Fabela recognized that Jazz has advanced tremendously in digital transformation. “We actually have taken people from Jazz up into the group headquarters to help us lead the transformation”, he added.

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


  • Than friends he did not had any idea what he was talking about. What mobilink have against google,fb,whatsapp, amazon or alibaba. To compete with google they need to setup a search engine, for FB they need to take social media traffic away for FB to their own network, plus neither they have a ecommerce platform nor a massenger.. So its tree what in another comment @ehteshamulhaq:disqus said. :-)

    • I am really not sure if Mobilink is market ready for the services listed in this article however the market is definitely ready. Tailored social media platform coupled with communication tools and ecommerce is need of the hour.

  • Mobilink is no more, it is acquired by VimpelCom Ltd. a Gaint of telecom industry, and rename to Jazz.

    VimpelCom Ltd. is a global provider of telecommunication services incorporated in Bermuda and headquartered in Amsterdam. It is the sixth largest mobile network operator in the world by subscribers (as of April 2012) with 214 million customers

    Jazz is just a fraction of vimplecom

    Revenue USD 9.78 billion (2016)
    Total assets $33.85 billion (2016)

  • Alibaba Revenue = 101.1 Billion Chinese Yuan
    FB Revenue = 17.93 Billion Dollars
    Amazon Revenu = 107 billion Dollars
    Mobilink Revenue = 101 Billion ( Rupees )

  • Moaziz Saarif, 15 Feb se Champions pkg pe apka call rate Re1 se Rs1.2/30sec aur SMS rate Rs1.5 se Rs1.8 kia ja raha hai! JazzWarid bundles k liay *630# milaen

    I received this message from JazzCalls. This is what happened When one operator quits the market. Time to switch some other network. Warid Quality will soon be no more.

  • A company who have a 1 star service in suburbs of Islamabad is talking about taking Facebook, Whatsapp, Amazon and AliBaba as Competitors. Ehtisham ul Haq is 100% right. Dear Jazz/Mobilink please improve your service first then talk about competition I have thrown my Mobilink Sim due to poor service in area where I am living. Thanks


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