Maplewave’s Amplifier consulting services helped Progresif, a mobile network operator in Brunei, Southeast Asia, transform their retail experience. Our Benchmark Assessment scored the young telco at 27% on their overall retail capability and identified 28 recommendations. Two-and-a-half years and a global pandemic later, Progresif have applied the recommendations, created a funky new store design, built their first stores, and are winning industry awards in the process.
Progresif are a Brunei-based telecommunications company. Progresif's business ranges from post- and pre-paid residential mobile communication services to enterprise solutions for commercial entities.
Progresif officially launched in 2015 as a brown field turnaround of the formerly restructured bMobile. The Progresif business and brand was to be positioned as a disruptive challenger in the telecommunications sector.
Brunei’s telecom industry has undergone a consolidation effort where the infrastructure of all three telecommunications companies (Progresif, DST, TelBru) were brought together under a new wholesale entity called United National Network.
In doing so, all three existing companies were re-established as virtual network operators or sales companies, each with access to the same infrastructure. This means that all operators have 3G & 4G mobile services and access to Fibre for home fixed line and broadband services. This also means that competition is no longer based on network access, speed, or quality; the new battleground is for customer experience and simplicity of collaboration.
As a small operator in a land-locked island nation, Progresif suffered a talent drain after the restructuring. They needed help with their strategic vision, navigating the new model, and capitalizing on the opportunities it would bring. Despite having a youthful and philanthropic brand position, they suffered from an outdated retail experience. With the lack of a thriving device commercial model, it was hard to bring their various products and services to life.
The restructuring added new lines of business and gave Progresif a great opportunity to re-launch as a holistic telecoms provider. However, their tired, old-fashioned store fronts made it difficult to bring this vision to life.
Brunei’s unusual “MVNO-like” model where all market operators have access to the same products and services is unique and required some thought as to how Progresif could differentiate themselves.
Brunei’s two-tier social construct was also a prevailing challenge. Savvier Bruneians are able to source their technology from regular trips to Singapore, while the migrant worker population accesses low-cost devices from the nearby Malaysian and Indonesian provinces on the island of Borneo, which they all share. This left the MNOs in the unenviable position of having to sell telco products and services on speed and cost alone, and without the bundling advantages of a thriving device and accessory market.
We kicked off the project by conducting a Benchmark Assessment as a fast way to connect with the market and understand the challenges ahead. This assessment is a unique offering in the telco space that gives telcos practical advice on what is needed to drive CX improvements and cost effectiveness programs that impact the bottom line. The telco’s retail, digital and channel capability are scored and benchmarked against their domestic peers or international equivalents for a truly contextualized picture. We then provide an action plan that helps bring the vision to life.
We conducted Progresif’s Benchmark Assessment over a 4-week period from January to February 2020. Progresif scored a lacklustre 27% on the assessment. We identified 28 recommendations that included “quick wins” and other “blue sky” directional work streams that could be implemented over a longer time frame.
Progresif began working on their first task - a full store re-design project - which commenced in March 2020. A further period of discovery and in-market workshops were completed with Maplewave’s full-service brand and design partner, Shikatani Lacroix. A modular retail identity was re-imagined, including a new flagship experience store, as well as neighborhood stores, pop-up mall kiosks, and even a mobile retail vehicle that could be used for events across the entire state.
Other recommendations included implementing a paperless transactions solution, busting store queues with self-service kiosks, and improving their self-care applications to better serve customers of all ages and demographics. A series of small, detailed work streams around retail operations were also presented, to be realised alongside the store-redesign project and rolled out as new best practices.
The new store design was finally realized in March 2021 with the launch of the Times Square flagship, pandemic delays notwithstanding. The new store doubled the size of the previous over-served unit in this location.
In their press release, Progresif’s Chief Sales Officer, Junaidi bin Bahrum, summed up the approach of the new stores, saying “Those who have been following our retail transformation would be aware that since March 2020, Progresif has been modernizing the ways we interface with customers, as well as making our products and services more accessible through digital channels. From online subscription to our services with to-your-doorstep delivery, to mobilizing our sales staff into Street Teams that visit customers in their own communities, to roadshows and pop-up stores, Progresif has made a big effort to make our services more accessible, affordable and convenient. It’s a customer first mentality that prioritizes their experience, and begins a transformation of Brunei retail that aims to progress the nation towards our 2035 national goals”.
This dynamic and ambitious MNO then went on to win Mobile Operator of the Year in 2022 because of their transformation, as well as many other improvements driven by Progresif CEO, Hajah Nurul Haniah Binti Hj Jaafar. This included the re-modelling of the communication and distribution landscape across Brunei, the adoption of new self-service kiosks, and driving improvement in their customer-facing applications, such as Progresif Care+.
Maplewave gave Progresif a strategic roadmap for the next3-5 years that would help them grow their customer base and profitability. We were able to deliver some of the recommendations in the second phase of the project, including the new store design. While we did not deliver every single solution over that period, the influence of our strategic knowledge is therefor all to be seen in their award-winning re-birth in their market.