As the global economy enters a digital era, telecom operators need to evolve and develop new capabilities to remain relevant and survive disruption. Some telcos have already taken steps to do so, with the creation of new business units and titles such as “Chief Digital Officer”. The Axiata Group is one such company, and with the formation of Axiata Digital, looks to becoming a New Generation Digital Company through the creation of new sources of value and long-term partnerships and acquisitions in the digital ecosystem.
We caught up with Zoran Vasiljev, Chief Strategy Officer at Axiata Digital recently, and asked him to share his thoughts on this evolving ecosystem and the role of telcos today.
Q: Hi Zoran, please tell us a bit more about yourself
A: I am originally from Belgrade, Serbia – but in Asia for the past 16 years. I am the Chief Strategy Officer at Axiata Digital and responsible for the design and implementation of the overall strategic direction of the Axiata Digital as well as portfolio management of the Axiata Digital assets. I am a big sports fan, enjoy traveling, meeting new people and mentoring start-ups.
Q: In one sentence, how would describe the role of telco’s today vs before?
A: Today telcos are challenged with continued change and disruption; hence their primary focus should be in providing superior experience on their network and be in tune with their customer behaviours and needs.
Q: How is Axiata Group meeting the challenges of digital disruption?
A: Axiata Group formed the entity in which I work for today, Axiata Digital. Our mandate is to invest in digital disruptors and learn from them as we add value to the core business. We are allowed to form and invest in digital disruptive models which can eventually hurt our own core business, and if we don’t do it, someone else will.
Q: What do you think is one fundamental change that telcos today need to undergo in order to remain relevant and be more than a “dumb pipe”?
A: Change the mind-set of the Board from accountants to digital natives, and attract and retain more non-telco talent.
Catch Zoran and other leaders from the region’s telcos in the panel on “Leading the digital revolution” on Day One of Telecoms World Asia 2017 as they discuss the readiness of telcos to meet the challenges of digital disruption, new opportunities for growth and creating a sustainable digital-oriented business.
Keen to be involved? Get in touch with the team: