WARID SHOWS HISTORIC GROWTH

KHALID BUTT, Bureau Chief, Lahore
June 19 - 25, 2006

In less than two years of its formal inauguration Abu Dhabi based Warid Telecom has made history in Pakistan. Both with its spectacular growth and development of subscribers base which has surpassed all expectations.

The advent of Warid in Pakistan has been preceded by a firm foothold of the Abu Dhabi Group through some of its other ventures which all have shown remarkable results. These include the flagship of Bank Alflah whose presence and phenomenal growth has been one of the great success stories in Pakistan. Its other forays like acquisition of 50 percent stakes in UBL and takeover of the ABL management too have had a profound impact in local economy. ABL has already jumped to the ratings of being the third largest in Pakistan. So is the case of UBL, who has been on the road of recovery and progress leaving its legacy of multiple problems behind.

In order to update my estimation of Warid Telecom and its formidable group which all seem to be supportive of each other I visited the Pakistan Headquarters at Lahore located in the impressive EFU skyscraper at Jail Road, I happened to be present at Islamabad at the inauguration of Warid, when it was launched with great fanfare. President Musharraf had described the event as a significant landmark and chairman of Warid along with his entire team present had turned the event into a memorable occasion. Warid lost little time to live upto the high expectations and has infact given its competition a much harder time than they had anticipated.

I find the atmosphere at Warid like any modern corporate office in us-businesslike and efficient. I am met by the secretary of corporate head of marketing and sales Naveed Saeed, who is also the spokesman of the burgeoning corporation. I also find his approach, philosophy and outlook as most modern and contemporary. He is fully conscious of the valuable support extended to Warid by his powerful group notably Bank Alfalh in this present strong position. So in his to strong belief in the great role of human resource to make the big difference in the stiff challenge which lies ahead.

Naveed said Warid had started off with an impressive coverage of 28 major cities even within bare process of 8 months planning. That was a record itself for a launch made in May last year.

Today he proudly claims Warid has spread its tentacles to 120 major cities and towns besides highways and smaller towns across the country. By the end of current year they are targeting 300 cities and 5000 destinations big and small. He claims the customers base of 4.5 million plus which also put them in serious contention for the second largest network which is growing at a fantastic speed. He expects that with its superior technology, innovative approach and customer service, Warid is destined to become the leading company in Pakistan. Already its range, group and superior customer service is impacting the industry. He expects the next year as the crucial period for Warid in its relentless and determined plan to reach out for the best and occupy the top slot.

OVERALL COVERAGE CITIES/TOWNS BY MOBILE OPERATORS 
(MARCH 06)

PROVINCE WISE

MOBILINK

UFONE

PAKTEL

INTERPHONE

WARID

TELENOR

Punjab

245

165

165

64

81

168

Sindh

137

42

62

35

36

59

Balochistan

24

10

16

04

9

05

NWFP

70

23

40

13

13

59

Pakistan

476

240

283

116

139

291