Q&A: Gagun Gahir, director of carrier services Middle East and Africa, IDT

11 March 2015 |


Gagun Gahir, director of carrier services Middle East and Africa at IDT, talks to Capacity about the company's operations across the Middle East.

gagunWhat are your strategic priorities in the Middle East for 2015?

 IDT has been focussing on optimising our network for the most cost efficient and quality-focused termination of volumes. We understand our partners in the Middle East require the best value quality termination available in a hugely competitive, Diaspora-driven economy.

One could say it’s our forte at IDT too – and for that reason our strategic priorities in the Middle East include continuing to expand our portfolio of directs in order that we own the value chain for our strategic partners in the region as well as our own consumers.

As a retailer ourselves, we understand operators’ needs to drive a consumer market with the right balance of quality and cost of termination. It also means that we must constantly put customer understanding and exceeding their expectations at the top or our priority list, offer great service and value-added relationships to match our product portfolio.

 

What major trends do you see occurring in the Middle Eastern market this year?

For the wholesale market, deregulating markets will bring new opportunities – for example, with the rise of MVNO opportunities.

The burgeoning economy will continue to drive immigration into the region, which in turn will bring new opportunities for trade. Historically the major diaspora has emanated from South East Asia – now, we see it opening up into Africa as well.

We expect more trade with the Maghreb and extending down into East Africa as booming economies group together for trade growth. Better connectivity with greater capabilities at far lesser expense will drive competition in the region for consumers who want more from their handset – especially on the data/location driven content services side.

 

What do you hope to achieve by attending Capacity Middle East 2015?

As always, the IDT team puts our customers at the heart of our business.

They are our lifeblood – hence our commitment to grow with them together. Our main driver to attend Capacity Middle East is to meet with our existing business friends – reviewing business so far and how we can refine and improve our business to find more growth opportunities for the medium and long term together.

We will also use this opportunity to create new business relations with which we hope to strengthen our portfolio offering to the market. We have expanded our team in recent months and will use this opportunity to introduce our new team members to our customers.

 

What are some of the challenges of operating in the Middle Eastern market?

In some countries, the political and economic situation can make business risky, but where there’s risk, there’s also opportunity. Providers of grey routes and associated lack of quality can also be a key problem.

Fortunately, in the Middle East in general there is widespread acceptance that greater connectivity has great economic, social and human benefits but in some countries, regulatory regimes can make growing markets difficult.