Privatization of PTCL – PTCL’s GM Ammara Durrani Letter to Editor Express Tribune
Apropos Kamal A Munir’s “Privatisation of PTCL: a lesson for policymakers” published in The Express Tribune of March 14. The writer has attempted to write off Pakistan’s largest and only integrated telecommunications company through a skewed analysis of publicly available information about Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).
The statistics and figures selectively used by Mr Munir to argue his point is actually made available regularly by PTCL in its annual and quarterly financial reports to fulfil its statutory obligation as a transparent public company accountable to its shareholders, i.e., the government and the people of Pakistan.
It was PTCL’s privatisation in 2006, which yielded impressive impacts for Pakistan’s foreign direct investment generally, and the telecom market investment in particular. Four telecom operators, within a span of two years — regional and international — moved into Pakistan. PTCL proved the fact that when a successful telecom operator comes to a country it transforms the market.
Today, PTCL’s services are delivered at customers’ doorsteps, all creatively bundled together — wireless and wire-line connectivity, TV entertainment and broadband. PTCL was the last company which entered Pakistan’s broadband market when there were 25 operators already active on the ground. Today, PTCL is the Number One broadband service provider in Pakistan with a 90 per cent market share. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, the company is approaching the 1st million broadband customers mark. Its cellular subsidiary, Ufone, is the only mobile operator in Pakistan which is actually making a profit. PTCL’s belief and passion has been to transform itself into a world class integrated telecommunication company able to compete with 45 operators who all have new set-ups.
The dividends of PTCL’s privatisation are now becoming visible. PTCL takes seriously the testimonies of its customers as well as the competent policy authorities, such as the Privatisation Commission and the Pakistan Board of Investment, who are confidently drawing parallels between the performance of PTCL and other state-owned enterprises.
Last but not the least, the best judge of PTCL is its valuable customers, who have sustained over the years and are growing in the face of stiff competition. Those closer to the home ground know better: Pakistan has finally gained the level of business maturity where policy is now being determined by consumers’ choice as the ultimate barometer of a company’s success. PTCL is a customer-centric organisation and its successes are bespoken by millions of its customers who are using its services to bring enrichment to their lives and livelihoods.
General Manager, Public Outreach and Corporate Communications,
Pakistan Telecommunications Company
(Published in Daily English Express Tribune on March 15, 2012)