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Why the telecommunications industry must disrupt or be disrupted


By Yong Fei Tan and Shai Ganu | June 21, 2018

Telecommunications companies need to reevaluate their strategies to stay competitive, or risk facing disruption.

"WhatsApp is killing us!"

Not the typical response one expects to the simple question, "how's business?" However, this response from the CEO of a leading telecommunications company poignantly highlights one of many challenges companies in this industry have to reckon with in today's business landscape.

The financial performance of many major telecommunications operators has come under deep scrutiny in recent times, thanks to rapid declining returns on capital invested and limited growth profitability. Over the last five years, whilst the S&P 500 index may have yielded as high as double-digit returns, a basket of global telecom stocks tracked by iShares barely managed returns in the low single-digits.

Four key aspects telecommunications companies will face to mitigate this are addressed in this article:

  1. How are they organised and do they have the right organisational shape?
  2. How can they up-skill and re-skill their key talent and employees in order to develop the right capabilities?
  3. How do they extract value from talent, and how do they hire the right people for the right roles?
  4. How do they reward talent and set the right rewards for the right performance?

Telecommunications companies need to re-evaluate their strategies to stay competitive, think, operate and compete, or risk facing disruption.

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