The report below elaborates the issue of cultural transformation that took place with the change of ownership of a leading telecommunication operator Robi Axiata Limited. The company was formerly known as AKTEl. A revolution of this magnitude is very wide ranging. The objective of this report is to throw light upon the cultural impacts of changing brands and ownerships from a definitive perspective. The report focused on both primary & secondary data sources like published interviews of higher authority, marketing campaigns, questionnaire for current employees of the company and the existing or non-existing customers.
1. Company profile
Robi Axiata Limited is a joint venture between Axiata Group Berhad, Malaysia and NTT DOCOMO INC, Japan. Robi Axiata, formerly known as Telekom Malaysia International (Bangladesh), commenced operations in Bangladesh in 1997 with the brand name AKTEL. On 28th March 2010, the service name was rebranded as ‘Robi’ and the company came to be known as Robi Axiata Limited.
Background of the idea generation of ROBI:
Telekom Malaysia International Bangladesh (TMIB) was a joint venture organization with A. K. Khan & Company and Telekom Malaysia, a leading telecommunication provider, operating its business in Bangladesh since 15 November 1997.In terms of a subscriber base, Aktel slipped to a third position among other competitors from its second at the end of 2007. Michael Kuehner, managing director and chief executive officer of Axiata (Bangladesh) Ltd, the owning company of Aktel, explains his company's new branding move. He said Aktel was attractive in a way. "But whenever we talked to people about what was really missing, we found that customers in general could not identify what it stands for as a company or an operator." "I think the challenge is to change this position of Aktel into a new and bigger position. With the launch of a new name, we want to start all over again in terms of creating a perception or picture," he says. "In addition, it is not only that we want to have a new name -- we want to be a new company altogether. 2. Culture, from a definitive point of view
There are more than one hundred definitions of culture. These definitions form a culture by themselves. However, most of them either focus on the content of culture or on the function of culture. When scholars define culture by specifying “what culture is” or “what culture consists of”, they are focusing on the content of culture. A classic definition of culture by Kluckholm (1951, ref. Hofstede 1984:211 ) says: “culture consists of patterned ways of thinking, feeling and reacting, acquired mainly by symbols, constituting the distinctive achievements of human groups, including their embodiments in artifacts; the essential core of culture consists of traditional (i.e., historical derived and selected) ideas and especially their attached values”. The other side of the coin, the function of culture, or “what culture does”, has received less attention, although it could be even more crucial for intercultural communication. Some researchers, for example Hoebel, Terpsta and David, argue that culture, no matter how one classifies it, means shared symbols for convenient communication. “It is this shared aspect that enables communication between individuals within that culture. Cross-cultural communication is so difficult, in large part, because of the lack of shared symbols.” (Mueller 1996:872) Mueller does not define culture. However, she recognizes the issue at stake and emphasizes the function of culture, particularly, in cross-cultural communication. Rice, a researcher on consumer behavior and marketing, defines culture from its functional perspective: “the values, attitudes, beliefs, artifacts and other meaningful symbols represented in the pattern of life adopted by people that help them interpret, evaluate and communicate as members of a society” (Rice...
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