Dejan Turk, CEO Vip mobile and Si.mobil: Ten years of operating in Serbia

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Vip mobile is still one of the fastest growing operators in the region which is a result of continuing investments in the development of our network as well as the new services

Telekom Austria Group bought the license for the third mobile operator in November 2006. and paid 320 million and one Euro for it, while Vip’s commercial operations started in June 2007. We practically started from scratch and today we have more than 2.1 million customers, a market share of 22.7% and by far the biggest 4G network in the country.

This year Vip mobile is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its operation in Serbia. What has changed on the market with the arrival of a new mobile operator?

Our appearance on the market has contributed to increased competitiveness and also refreshed the existing offer. In 2007, the ratio between the prepaid and postpaid customers was 80:20, while today postpaid is prevailing. We have launched this trend by being the first ones to introduce the tariffs that also included MBs and handsets for 1 dinar as well as the first Android and tablet devices, rolled out the first HSPA+ network in Serbia and then 4G technology as well. We tried to make the mobile Internet and smart devices more accessible to the widest group of users and at the same time we educated them on how to use the benefits of new technologies.

In the next ten years we plan to maintain the position of a challenger and innovator in order to continue setting the new standards on the domestic telecommunications market in all aspects.

You are the only mobile provider still recording growth despite of the market saturation. How do you explain this?

Vip mobile is still one of the fastest growing operators in the region which is a result of continuing investments in the development of our network as well as the new services. From our point of view, success is measured by the growing and satisfied customer base and for this reason, among other things, we were the only ones to cancel the call set up fee and to introduce free calls to our customer service last year. We are aware that this has a certain financial impact on our operations, but we are also aware that in such a way we will keep our current and attract new customers who will recognize the benefits that they can only get at Vip. Hence, we are always thinking long-term.

How is Vip positioning itself on the market when in the segment of basic services all the operators are offering the same?

When I was a very young manager, I accepted as my motto one of the quotes of Rey Kroc, founder of McDonald’s that reads: “Look after the customers and the business will take care of itself”. The very care about the customers and responding to their needs is the essence of our company’s philosophy. In Vip, from day one of our operation, we have been trying to be recognized as a mobile operator offering the best customer experience in Serbia and this is what is making a key distinction between the companies from our industry.

Mobile platforms nowadays significantly exceed the basic communication packages. Where do you see Vip’s development in this respect?

The market develops at a fast pace because the customers have an increasing number of devices requiring Internet access, and thereby, higher data transfer speeds. There is a continuous demand for additional contents and digital solutions, and the connectivity itself is not sufficient any more. Digitalization is changing the way we live our lives, do business, inform ourselves and have fun.

Vip is primarily a mobile operator and our focus still remains on further improvement of network, technologies and services, but we have also recognized the need to focus on other contents such as all in one solutions and services that became an integral part of our portfolio a long time ago, ranging from cloud platforms to mobile TV and other digital services.

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