Customer Satisfaction Of Airtel & Grameenphone

1. Introduction
The introduction of the telecommunication sector has been pretty late in Bangladesh compared to that of the neighboring countries. The mobile telecommunication service has been doubling on an annual basis over the last two or three years. Now-a-days there are six mobile phone operators in the country with – Grameen phone, Robi, Teletalk, Banglalink, Airtel and Citycell. They are offering different new package and offers different value added services to satisfy the customers ‘demands. Customer satisfaction is a fundamental marketing construct in the last three decades. In the past, it was unpopular and unaccepted concept because companies thought it was more important to gain new customers than retain the existing ones. However, in this present decade, companies have gained better understanding of the importance of customer satisfaction (especially service producing companies) and adopted it as a high priority operational goal. Customer satisfaction, a term frequently used in marketing, is a measure of how products and services supplied by a company meet or surpass customer expectation. Customer satisfaction is defined as “the number of customers, or percentage of total customers, whose reported experience with a firm, its products, or its services (ratings) exceeds specified satisfaction goals.

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People in Bangladesh are becoming busy day by day and more professional than previous. They need to share more information to each other because demography has changed due to the era of globalization. Mobile phone has introduced a tremendous change in the communication sector in our country. It has changed the communication structure also. People in various occupations and income levels are using mobile phone intensively for their occupational purpose and personal purpose as well.

1.1 Basic information

The telecom sector of Bangladesh began its journey with land phone. Then SEBA was the first company to bring cellular telephone services. The telecom sector has completely changed both in terms of coverage and efficiency of services. Cellular telephone services have achieved great commercial success. For most firms, the preeminent goal is to maximize the value of the firm for its owners or shareholders. Increasing competition (whether for-profit or nonprofit) is forcing businesses to pay much more attention to satisfy customers. The state of satisfaction depends on a number of both psychological and physical variables, which correlate with satisfaction behaviors. For this majority of the firms is trying to be a customer-oriented, customer- focused, or even-customer driven enterprise. Airtel is one of the late movers in telecommunication sector of Bangladesh. And like all other telecom companies, it is trying hard to penetrate the market and get a hold of significant market share through their valued customers.

1.2 Background information

Airtel Bangladesh Ltd. is a GSM-based cellular operator in Bangladesh.Airtel is the sixth mobile phone carrier to enter the Bangladesh market, andoriginally launched commercial operations under the brand name “WaridTelecom” on May 10, 2007. Warid Telecom International LLC, an Abu Dhabi basedconsortium, sold a majority 70% stake in the company to India’s Bharti AirtelLimited for US$300 million. Bharti Airtel Limited took management control of thecompany and its board, and rebranded the company’s services under its ownAirtel brand from December 20, 2010. The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission approved the deal on Jan 4, 2010. Grameenphone widely known as GP, is the leading telecommunications service provider in Bangladesh. With more than 46.04 million subscribers (as of September 2013), Grameenphone is the largest mobile phone operator in the country. It is a joint venture enterprise between Telenor and Grameen Telecom Corporation, a non-profit sister concern of the internationally acclaimed microfinance organization and community development bank Grameen Bank. Telenor, the largest telecommunications company in Norway, owns 55.8% shares of Grameenphone, Grameen Telecom owns 34.2% and the remaining 10% is publicly held. Grameenphone was the first company to introduce GSM technology in Bangladesh. It also established the first 24-hour Call Center to support its subscribers. With the slogan Go Beyond, Grameenphone promises its customers to bring the best of communication technologies so that they can Go Beyond.

1.3 Objective of the report

The objective of the report is divided into two parts. They are specific and broad objectives. The specific and broad objective of this report is given below: 1. Broad Objective: The broad objective of this report is to find out the customer satisfaction level of Airtel & Grameenphone customers.

2. Specific Objectives: The specific objectives will be

To find out specific areas of satisfaction of Airtel & Grameenphone users To figure out specific areas of dissatisfaction of Airtel & Grameenphone users To know the overall satisfaction level of the customers

To figure out possible improvement sectors to reduce dissatisfaction To know the better service provider between this two companies

1.4 Literature Review
Airtel is the 6th mobile phone carrier to enter the Bangladesh market and launched commercial operation on May 10, 2007. India’s bharti Airtel limited bought 70% share of Warid telecom international. This is the largest investment in Bangladesh made by an Indian company. Airtel offers both prepaid and postpaid connections with lots of diversified packages to its customers. It also offers massive value added services to its subscribers. Below is a description of timeline of Warid Telecom in Bangladesh, Bharti Airtel and its taking over Warid: In December 2005, Warid Telecom International paid US$ 50 million to obtain a GSM license from the BTRC and became the sixth mobile phone operator in Bangladesh. In a press conference on August 17, 2006, Warid announced that its network would be activated two months ahead of schedule, in October, 2006. Again in October, 2006 Warid Telecom put off the launch of its cell phone services in Bangladesh until April, 2007 after its major supplier Nokia walked out on an agreement over a payment dispute. Warid had a soft launch at the end of January 2007. It gave away complimentary subscriptions among a selected group of individuals, whose job was to make ‘test calls’ and the operator adjusted its network’s quality based on their comments. On May 9, 2007, Warid in an advertisement in some daily newspaper stated that it would be launching publicly on May 10, 2007.

However, no call rate or any package details were revealed. The advertisement included an announcement for the people interested to buy Warid connections to bring the documents like ID card, etc., to the designated franchise and customer care centers. On October 1, 2007, Warid Telecom expanded its network to five more districts raising total number of districts under Warid coverage to 56, said a press release. Mymensingh, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Rajbari and Narail towns were covered by Warid network. On November 10, 2007, 61 districts under Warid network coverage. On June 10, 2008, Warid Telecom expanded its network to 3 more districts Bandarban, Khagrachhari and Rangamati. Now all 64 districts of Bangladesh are under Warid network coverage meaning Warid Telecom now has nationwide coverage. On December 20, 2010, Warid Telecom was rebranded to Airtel. Bharti Airtel Limited is commonly known as Airtel. It is an Indian telecommunications company that operates in 20 countries across South Asia, Africa and the Channel Islands. It operates a GSM network in all countries, providing 2G, 3G and 4G services depending upon the country of operation.

Airtel is the third largest telecom operator in the world with over 243.336 million customers across 20 countries as of March 2012. It is the largest cellular service provider in India, with over 181 million subscribers at the end of March 2012. Airtel is the third largest in-country mobile operator by subscriber base, behind China Mobile and China Unicom. Airtel is the largest provider of mobile telephony and second largest provider of fixed telephony in India, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services. It offers its telecom services under the Airtel brand, and is headed by Sunil Bharti Mittal. Bharti Airtel is the first Indian telecom service provider to achieve Cisco Gold Certification. It also acts as a carrier for national and international long distance communication services. The company has a submarine cable landing station at Chennai, which connects the submarine cable connecting Chennai and Singapore. Airtel is known for being the first mobile phone company in the world to outsource all of its business operations except marketing, sales and finance. Its network—base stations, microwave links, etc.—is maintained by Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Network and Huawei, and business support is provided by IBM, and transmission towers are maintained by another company (Bharti Infratel Ltd. in India).

Ericsson agreed for the first time to be paid by the minute for installation and maintenance of their equipment rather than being paid up front, which allowed Airtel to provide low call rates. Bharti Airtel began its journey in Bangladesh in December 2010 when it acquired 70 percent stock of Warid Telecom of Abu Dhabi Group. So, it can be said that Airtel Bangladesh has just completed its maiden year in the country. And within this period of time, the operator has also created a vast job opportunity in diverse segments of the organization and as of August 2013, Airtel Bangladesh has 7.97 million subscribers with 7.3% of market share. Before Grameenphone’s inception, the phone was for a selected urbanized few. The cell phone was a luxury: a flouting accessory for the select elite.The mass could not contemplate mobile telephony as being part of their lives. Grameenphone started its journey with the Village Phone program: a pioneering initiative to empower rural women of Bangladesh.

The name Grameenphone translates to “Rural phone”. Starting its operations on March 26, 1997, the Independence Day of Bangladesh, Grameenphone has come a long way. Grameenphone pioneered the then breakthrough initiative of mobile to mobile telephony and became the first and only operator to cover 98% of the country’s people with network The idea of providing universal mobile phone access throughout Bangladesh, including its rural areas, was originally conceived by Iqbal Quadir, who is currently the founder and director of the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT. He was inspired by the Grameen Bank microcredit model and envisioned a business model where a cell phone can serve as a source of income. After leaving his job as an investment banker in the United States, Quadir traveled back to Bangladesh, after meeting and successfully raising money from New York based investor and philanthropist Joshua Mailman, and worked for three years gaining support from various organizations including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus of Grameen Bank and the Norwegian telephone company, Telenor.

He was finally successful in forming a consortium with Telenor and Grameen Bank to establish Grameenphone. Quadir remained a shareholder of Grameenphone until 2004. Grameenphone received a license for cellular phone operation in Bangladesh from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications on November 28, 1996. Grameenphone started operations on March 26, 1997, the Independence Day in Bangladesh. Grameenphone originally offered a mobile-to-mobile connectivity (widely known as GP-GP connection), which created a lot of enthusiasm among the users. It became the first operator to reach the million subscriber milestone as well as ten million subscriber milestone in Bangladesh. Since its inception Grameenphone has built the largest cellular network in the country with over 8500 base stations . Presently, nearly 99 percent of the country’s population is within the coverage area of the Grameenphone network. Grameenphone has always been a pioneer in introducing new products and services in the local telecom market. GP was the first company to introduce GSM technology in Bangladesh when it launched its services in March 1997.

Grameenphone was also the first telecommunication operator in Bangladesh to introduce the pre-paid service in September 1999. It established the first 24-hour Call Center, introduced value-added services such as VMS, SMS, fax and data transmission services, international roaming service, WAP, SMS-based push-pull services, EDGE, personal ring back tone and many other products and services. In October 2013 the company launched 3G services commercially. The entire Grameenphone network is 3G/EDGE/GPRS enabled, allowing access to high-speed Internet and data services from anywhere within the coverage area. There are currently over 7 million 3G/EDGE/GPRS users in the Grameenphone network. Today, Grameenphone is the leading and largest telecommunications service provider in Bangladesh with more than 47.64 million subscribers as of January 2014. Grameenphone has so far invested more than BDT 24,300 crore to build the network infrastructure Grameenphone is one of the largest taxpayers in the country, having contributed more than BDT 35,500 crore in direct and indirect taxes to the Government Exchequer over the years. There are now more than 1600 GP Service Desks across the country covering nearly all upazilas of all districts and 94 Grameenphone Centers in all the divisional cities Grameenphone has about 5000 full and temporary employees.

300,000 people are directly dependent on Grameenphone for their livelihood, working for the Grameenphone dealers, retailers, scratch card outlets, suppliers, vendors, contractors and others. In this report we tried to discuss the comparative analysis of Airtel 7 Grameenphone over the customers.

2. Research Method
2.1 Data sources
• There are two types of data sources are used to obtain the required information.

2.1.1 Primary Data
• Direct interview though a survey questionnaire

2.1.2 Secondary data
• Commercial websites of Airtel & Grameenphone
• Online articles on telecommunication sector
• Previously conducted research papers on different issues of telecommunication Company‟s magazines, brochures, etc.

2.2. Method of collecting data

2.2.1 Selecting Sample
The population of this study are customers of Airtel Bangladesh & Grameenphone and we took interview 120 person of different age group in our study. We targeted different people from different age group. The target population were divided among following age groups- 18-30 years – 60

30-50 years – 30
50-70 years – 20
70- above years – 10

2.2.2 Procedure of data collection

After determining the target population and sampling frame we were looking forward to conduct the survey for collecting the information. As our extent of the target population was preplanned and structured, therefore, we did not have any trouble to collect the information from the fieldwork. Whenever we found a student who was sitting idle or gossiping with their friends we went to them, cordially introduced ourselves and asked them whether they were using airtel or GP. After receiving a positive response, we provided a questionnaire form and asked them to participate in the survey. Fortunately, no one denied participating in the survey because it did not take more than four minutes to finish. Moreover, every respondent was looking enthusiastic in taking part and some of them were very cooperative and supportive. They also assisted us to find out active airtel & GP users. By this way, we collected data from 100 respondents. Rest 20 set of questionnaires were given to my friends and the neighbors who were the Airtel or GP users.

2.2.3 Method of analyzing data

After completing the research survey, we started the data preparation for the project. As soon as we received the questionnaires from the field I kept all the information in Microsoft Excel program. Since, this is a descriptive research and the data analysis should be done quantitatively. For this reason, we used MS Excel software because we have enough insights of using this program. In the beginning portion of the questionnaire, there were some general questions to aware of the some information about the respondents, for instances, gender, age, duration of the network age and some direct question related to their usage pattern. This information is analyzed collectively rather than individually. Here, no statistical tools have been used. The next section of the questionnaire contains 13 statements. Each of the statements has been arranged in such a way which is directly related to the customer satisfaction factors.

2.3 Limitations of the study

The survey is subjected to the bias and prejudices of the respondents. Hence 100% accuracy can’t be assured. The researcher was carried out in a short span of time, where in the researcher could not widen the study. The study could not be generalized due to the fact that researcher adapted personal interview method. It is so difficult to survey questionnaire among target samples.

3. Result & Discussions: Findings
3.1. Findings on respondents’ analysis
The general analysis of the 120 samples is presented in this section. The main objective of the respondents‟ analysis is to get the overview about respondents. Here, respondent‟s gender, age limit, duration of their network, and usage pattern, etc. have been discussed briefly. There is no statistical tool used to analysis the respondent’s overview because this information will not affect directly to the customer satisfaction factors. For collecting data from the field, the research survey has been conducted among 80 male and 40 female users of airtel & GP users. Thus, the ratio of male user is 60% and the ratio of female user is 40%. We have conducted the research on 18-30 years – 60

30-50 years – 30
50-70 years – 20
70- above years – 10

From this scenario, it can be said that most of the airtel is more polular in urban areas & in young generation. There were also two direct questions asked to the respondents to know the reason of using Airtel and to know which of the value added services are used by the respondents. Research findings show that 40% of the respondents use airtel only for the lower cost. 20% of the respondents use airtel for the highest FnF benefits. 10% of the respondents said they are using airtel for low on-net tariffs. 30% of the respondents use GP for network, voice quality and for the brand image.

3.2 Findings on questionnaire analysis

1. How many sim do you use?
Most of the respondents use 1 sim. Rest others use 2 sims for various purposes.
2. Which company’s sim you are using now?
Most of the respondents use Airtel. Those who use 2 sims, they have Grameenphone, teletalk, Robi & Banglalink sim. 3. What is the reason behind of your choice?
Most of the Airtel users use Airtel for the lower call rate. Grameenphone users use it for better network & service.
4. Who is following better business strategy?
Most of the Airtel users think Airtel is following better business strategy at this moment to attract new young generation. Grameenphone users think GP should obtain more attractive business strategy to retain the existing customers as well as draw interest to new customers.
5. Who provides more facility for their customers?

In this question, most of them think Grameenphone is providing more facilities to its customers. With their network, service & customer care outlet around the country Grameenphone is far better than Airtel.
6. Who is more responsible for social welfare? Most of the respondents expressed that being the most popular & largest telecom company, Grameenphone is contributing more for social welfare of Bangladesh.
7. Call Rate Most of the respondents are satisfied with the call rate of Airtel. Few of them think it is moderate. On the other hand, most of the respondents think call rate of Grameenphone is highly expensive. They are dissatisfied with
8. Service. In service issue, most of the respondents feel moderate with the Airtel service but Grameenphone have many satisfied clients in this regard.
9. Network. In network issue, Airtel has dissatisfied customers. The respondents are not satisfied at all with the striggling network of Airtel. On the other hand Grameenphone is reigning the telecom scenario with their operative network.
10. Bonus Offer. The respondents are satisfied with the endless bonus offers of Airtel. Most of them are agreed with that. Contrariwise Grameenphone’s bonus offers are not so much satisfactory to its clients.
11. Bundle Offer. Most of the respondents are satisfied with the bundle offers of Airtel. A small number of them are moderate with that. Inversely the bundle offers of Grameenphone are dissatisfactory to its clients.
12. Which company’s sim you will suggest for using to your friends? 60% of the respondents told that they will suggest Airtel sim to their friends. Rest of them stated that they will recommend Grameenphone to their friends.

3.3 Best According to Customers

3.4 Reasons of the First Choice: Grameenphone

3.5 Reasons of the First Choice: Airtel

3.6 Competitive Advantage of Grameenphone & Airtel

3.7 Customers Recommendations
In the respondent‟s opinion and suggestion section, 12 respondents did not put any opinion. However, rest 108 of the respondents shared their valuable opinion regarding Airtel & Grameenphone services and those are given below accordingly: Most of the respondents suggested Airtel to upgrade its network coverage as soon as possible. The also suggested Grameenphone to reduce the call rate. Some respondents also suggested to:

Stop sending unwanted SMS
Reduce VAS tariffs
Increase the validity for bonus talk time
Offer attractive handset bundle package

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