Terzioglu plots Veon Russian services revolution - Mobile World Live

Terzioglu plots Veon Russian services revolution

28 NOV 2019

Kaan Terzioglu, co-COO of Veon (pictured) vowed to drive the development of digital services in the operator’s ten-country footprint, pointing to huge potential offered in its largest market of Russia and targeting financial services across its markets.

In an interview with Mobile World Live, former Turkcell boss Terzioglu said Russia offered an “immense opportunity” for his new employer Veon to provide a wide array of digital services. Investment in supporting infrastructure in the country’s ten largest cities is deemed a priority.

This will be the operator group’s second major drive into digital services after it abandoned its original digital platform effort in January.

Discussing Veon’s results in its biggest market, where it runs the Beeline brand, he said: “Our performance is sub-par and we can do much more. We are currently putting in plans to make sure our service offerings are meeting the expectation of our customers.”

Terzioglu noted 50 per cent of Veon’s revenue is generated in Russia and a focus on infrastructure investments in top-ten cities including Moscow and Saint Petersburg and other top-ten cities will allow the company “to be a player in digital services market.”

Across its wider footprint, Terzioglu pointed to the opportunities in financial services with operators said to be well positioned to offer “inclusiveness nobody has ever seen before at the fraction of the cost of the existing financial market structures”.

He added the company was already making “fantastic headway” in Pakistan where it operates digital wallet JazzCash. This, he noted, was an opportunity open to all markets subject to regulatory support in each country.

Formerly known as VimpelCom, Veon operates in Russia, Pakistan, Ukraine, Algeria, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and Armenia. It has a subscriber base of 210 million and its footprint covers 600 million people.

Under the company’s new strategy and leadership team, both announced earlier this year, individual country CEOs report to the co-COOs Terzioglu and Sergi Herrero, formerly Facebook’s global director of payments and commerce partnerships. CEO Ursula Burns leads the operator group.

Despite the different levels of infrastructure and digital service readiness in each of its markets, Terzioglu is confident the new structure will enable Veon to grasp the “tremendous opportunity” open to it.

“One suit does not fit all,” he added. “Our strategy may involve more partnerships, more curation than developing apps. You will see us on the innovation curve away from basic, boring telco services and to more engaging services focusing on customers’ real needs.”

“Rather than carving out a proportion of the company and saying this is strategic and the rest is not, we said we have to jointly build this plan and ensure this is not a half-hearted transformation where part of the company expects the failure of the other. Many telcos and many companies fall into this trap. Every person needs to feel there is some digital opportunity and there is a part they need to play in that strategic execution plan.”



Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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