People in Business
As you walk into the reception area of the headquarters of 2degrees Mobile Limited in New Market, Auckland, you will be struck by two factors – the simple ambience and an air of friendship. Moments after you register your name, the official with whom you have an appointment (including Chief Executive Stewart Sherriff) will greet you and guide to the meeting room.
That is the Corporate Culture of one of the fastest growing companies in New Zealand.
“Human values are rated high here,” says Shamal Kumar, National Dealer Manager (Business), who joined the Company just three years ago.
Born in Fiji and raised in New Zealand, Mr Kumar is a source of endearment to his small family of loving parents, an older sister, a brother-in-law, two nephews and a partner, all of who, he says, lighten his life.
Obtaining his graduate degrees in Arts (BA) and Business (BBS) from Massey University, he began his career with Vodafone.
A Growing Player
The desire for change led him into the portals of 2degrees Mobile Limited in 2014.
“The key motivation for the move was to spread my wings on the telecommunication horizon with a growing player in the market. 2degrees is the first company in the telco industry to bring real value and change,” he said.
As a motivated professional, Mr Kumar extends and expands the role of 2degrees to an increasingly competitive market.
His role includes daily management of business dealers, who in turn deal with corporate and small and medium enterprises.
“The dealers manage a base of existing business customers as well as focus on the acquisition of new business. They are the channel through which we reach out to existing clients and work hard to enlist new customers,” Mr Kumar said.
The Daily Challenge
Customer satisfaction is an elusive phenomenon in a market that is characterised by flexible or in some cases no contractual obligations, easy carry-over of existing telephone number and many other incentives.
Mr Kumar said that achieving customer satisfaction under such market conditions is a daily challenge, the key to which is the best possible quality of service.
“2degrees is a value-based organisation and its staff sincerely personify these values. The Company’s values consist of Integrity, Simplicity, Devotion and Passion. These values are at the forefront of each of our client interactions to the best of our ability. This level of passion and dedication has seen 2degrees win multiple customer satisfaction awards including The Canstar Blue “Most Satisfied Customers – Mobile Phone Providers” Award for three consecutive years,” he said.
Opportunity for growth
“2degrees is a growing company therefore there is massive opportunity for growth. To put this into context, when the Company was launched in 2009, it employed about 200 staff. The number has grown to 1200, not including the dealer channel. I believe that there is tough internal competition as we have a range of talented and knowledgeable group of individuals. The Company places staff in roles that are best suited to them.
Two Key Targets
2degrees challenges its management and staff in two key areas – Customer Satisfaction and growth, with each following the other as a constant sequence.
“The first target of customer satisfaction is achieved through our extensive channel of stores, dealers, care and support personnel. The second target is focused through acquisition of business telephony services including but not limited to Mobiles, Broadband, Landlines, WANs and so on. Thanks to our dedicated Business team, we have been able to successfully achieve year-on-year growth, not just in total subscriber numbers but also in revenue,” Mr Kumar said.
Culture of Appreciation
“The Company places emphasis on understanding and serving the best interests of people- customers and staff are valued equally. As a part of this corporate culture, an Awards Night is held every year at which 2degrees staff who have excelled in these values and have gone beyond their call of duty are honoured. This tends to perfectly match own values in a work environment,” Mr Kumar said.
His aim is to empower people with knowledge. He is keen to share the industry knowledge that he has acquired to youngsters joining the company.
“My ultimate career goal is to help deliver growth for 2degrees, the plan for which is before us. The success of this would ultimately be a great tick in the box for me. My goal in is life is simple – keep doing what I am on a daily basis,” Mr Kumar said.
Editor’s Note: 2degrees Mobile Limited has been a Sponsor of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards since 2011. The Company is the Sponsor of the ‘Best Medium-Sized Business Category’ of the Awards Programme this year.
(Picture by Creative Eye Fotographics)