Dialog braces for next jump in Sri Lanka | Daily News

Dialog braces for next jump in Sri Lanka

Axiata Group Berhad Malaysia is looking at aggressively investing in the proposed megalopolis project in Sri Lanka,its Chief Corporate Officer, Idham Nawawi said

He said that in addition to mobile and data communication they want to get involved in setting up of a payment gateway. “In addition we also want to offer 5G, smart metering, IOT (Internet of Things) and other similar services.

Tracking of transport via GPS and other means too is an area we are looking at pursuing,” he said.

He said that similarly they will like to get involved in the Port City project as well.

Commenting on the investments to Sri Lanka Nawawi said they have invested over US$ 2 billion in their 21 years in Sri Lanka. “Our investment budget for 2016/2017 to Sri Lanka is around US$ 175 million.”

To date Axiata Group Berhad Malaysia is the biggest Foreign Direct investor to Sri Lanka. “Its 9.4% of the total FDI’s received by Sri Lanka and we are very proud about it. We have a permanent staff of 3,200 as well.” He recalled that Dialog started their business as the fourth telecom operator in 1995 and in four years moved to the top slot which we are maintaining till now.”

The vision, roll out plan and the prefect execution of it helped Dialog to move to the top position and a lot of credit to this should go to Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya.

“The price, innovative products drove us to the number one position in the market in less than four years.” Dr. Wijayasuriya was also instrumental in introducing innovative products which not only won globe awards “EZcash was one such tool.”

 He said the company introduced many firsts not only to Sri Lanka but to the entire region such as GPRS, 3G, HSPA and also 4G LTE.”

Asked how the company managed to compete with state patronised companies he said it was because the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission adopted ‘very fair play rules’ creating a level playing field. “We must also thank the Board of Investments for their support.”

Nawawi said said they were somewhat surprised as to how Dialog could survive and generate profits when the country tariffs are one of the lowest in the world.

He said that the company did have their ups and downs especially from 2012 to 2013. “At one point we were thinking what to do with this business and we sent a team to Colombo to overcome this. After the change of government too we faced a similar scenario but now there are ironed out.”

 


 

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