Loki suggested that I am unfair in singling out Batelco for criticism, while (s)he suggests that I should have my beef rather with the TRA.
I think I should lay out here why I do put the blame on Batelco, and why I do hold it at a higher elevation than other companies in Bahrain. This started out as a response to Loki’s comment but I thought it deserves a post on its own as it discusses other point worthy of consideration.
In the original comment (please take the time to peruse our exchanges in the Batelco feeling the heat thread) (s)he says:
Fair point, but I would argue that your beef should be with TRA not Batelco. If you were the CEO of Batelco would you actively make life easier for your competitors?
You see, this way of thinking is what I classify as “the old way of doing business“.
I think that as the business environment changed appreciably now to be more aware of their surroundings, environment and community as successful businesses actually derive their success from those factors directly and indirectly, it is therefore incumbent on the businesses to be more socially responsible to give something back to their benefactors; this will allow them to become more sustainable.
All of this is typical of “knowledge based businesses” and this is the virtually the only type of business that will survive in the future; their “value add” must be knowledge based, rather than “hardware based” where a product is sold and forgotten. Selling hardware is simply an enabler to provide an even more involved knowledge-based product: how to benefit from the product most, how to use and utilise it to make other products, etc. If one takes that approach, then no longer will the thinking be of competition, but rather cooprition where a business will cooperate and compete with others to provide a more creative and knowledge value irrespective of the hardware. Therefore, businesses will recognise that they do not have to re-invent the wheel, they will no longer have to “keep” the customer close to their bosoms (the customers are much more knowledgeable anyway) and be afraid of “losing” them.
In fact, another of my theories will come into play: the boomerang effect which I can explain as the more valuable “content” and “knowledge” you provide your customers (who should be regarded as partners anyway) and the more you actually lead them to a competitor of yours who can provide them with a better service in a specific way that you cannot (for any reason) the more they will actually come back to you and bring in more of their friends as the level of trust will increase appreciably!
Putting it rather simply, don’t you just hate sites that forces you to follow links in a new window? What does that tell you as a visitor? That they are afraid that you will leave and never come back to their site or that you are simply too lazy to hit the “back” button, in either situation it denotes a level of mistrust in themselves and you.
That is why I put the blame not on the TRA completely, but on Batelco squarely because they have had 25 years in which they could have developed the country a lot more if they embraced their role as an enabler and as a socially responsible company.
They should have talked to Abdulrahman Al-Sayyid or Jawahry for tips, but somehow I do not think that they ever will think in that way. Their social irresponsibility is so ingraned and typified in their arrogance.
That company SHOULD be broken up. We would be doing the country a big favour if it were to be broken up if only to show others coming into their traditional environment (big corp) that they have a role to place within the community and recognising that is simply good business practice.
What did Batelco achieve by their capping their bandwidth offering, for instance, other than provide the basis for other telco operators to simply copy its lead? Did it engender creativity? Did it engender competitiveness? No, all it did is allow the others to make silly capped offerings at slightly higher benefits.
And who benefits from those? No one. But if one does, they are simply labeled “trouble maker” and simply sidelined and the “drummers” continue to praise their benefactor without stopping for an instance to evaluate the position as far as the community and the country is concerned. Batelco just sets the lead and the others – even its competitors – follow like beaten sheep! And why shouldn’t they? It’s easy money, no one complains and no one demands a better service. “Good enough” is okay and the reward for mediocrity as excellence continues. This has almost become a cultural phenomenon.
Do we, for instance, have any real e-commerce solution? A gateway to accept credit card transactions?
Because Batelco has entrenched the lead in greedy and irresponsible corporate culture. There is no reason to innovate whatsoever, because they have killed competition with the government – whose main responsibility should be the raising of standards and the performance and competitive bar – aiding and abetting it.