Farhan Irshad

Work History

Work History

Client: Mobilink, a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom in Pakistan

nResponsible for handling the entire portfolio of Mobilink – the biggest telecom company in Pakistan

Brand Management

-Creation of sustainable communication plans and providing leadership support on complete Mobilink portfolio

-Cultivating exceptional relationships through solution-based ideas and delivering value-added services

-Suggesting & participating in consumer research to understand the behavioral aspects and usage habits of target market

-Segment(s) identification & developing brand positioning

-Developing detailed communication strategy for both post and pre-paid target segments

-Monitoring brand indicators i.e., ITB; KPIS; Brand Equities; ARPUs; perception and recalls

-Facilitating client service, creative, ideation, production team to provide all kinds of communication tools to increase acquisition, usage and retention of brands

-Launch and management of holistic campaigns (consumer research, advertising development, media placement, partnerships & alliances, direct marketing, in-market execution and post-launch analysis)

Human Resource Management

-Identifying & locating the human resource need of the company and the client

-Managing 30+ refined professionals dedicated to Mobilink

-Management of HR needs of the team

-Educating the team to gear them with the attitude of winning and nothing is impossible

-Liaison with the back up support team in Karachi on Mobilink

Projects

nLed the Team that conceived the idea of “Mobilink - Reshaping Lives” from reshaping communication, thus shifting the paradigm to empowering Pakistanis and positioned Mobilink as the enabler for betterment rather enabler for communication. Being the largest telecom in Pakistan, Mobilink Communication shifted more towards Corporate Social Responsibility aimed at connecting the unconnected. Major initiatives were:

-Launch of Mobilink PCO – An employment generating scheme for the empowerment of unemployed / retired Pakistanis - Mar ’07 to date through thematic & insightful TVCs and supporting collaterals. Developedand shaped the idea of one-box solution, so that anyone can start earning immediately. Positioned at unemployed, retired personnel and housewives for extra earning.

-Launched “prepaid top-up solution” on Mobilink PCO adding secondary means to earn business for rural population

nConnectivity and signals was and is a major problem with all telecom operators in Pakistan. Since acquisition is the primary goals for each operator, therefore, as a communication partner, we suggested Mobilink to enhance their connectivity and start claiming as the most reliable network along with coverage messages. This later on was endorsed byPTA being the best from the rest. This strategy helped us in changing the poor connectivity perception in the mind of subscribers thus resulted in increasing SOM.

nPrepaid segments being the largest in terms of subscription base, with clear cut Jazz leading the market share followed by Telenor TalkShawk/Djuice, Warid ZEM and Ufone prepay in that order. After the emergence of Warid and Telenor, dual sim phenomena increased in urban centers while the rural segment is still on one sim. Jazz being perceived as the biggest and most expensive brand as compared to Warid, Ufone and Telenor, due to this perception the price conscious segments started to switch from Jazz to competition. At this point, we devised a long term strategy to retain the existing base by giving existing customers on net calling advantage and value added services. On the other hand to increase acquisitions in rural and remote urban centers we promoting the new cost effective package “Budget” that suits their daily calling needs. This helped us in gaining more subscribers and gave Mobilink Jazz an on-net advantage.

nOn the other hand Warid did well in creating buzz around pricing and positioned them as the lowest call rate brand and was able to capture a considerable market share. This pricing strategy compelled Jazz to restructure its pricing and retaliate with better cost effective plans and hammer on net- calling to the extent of saying that every second call made from any network is to a Mobilink number, therefore, why not call from Mobilink to Mobilink, which is more economical. Similarly, Warid’s inconsistency in communication was en-cashed by Telenor to position Talkshawk in the price conscious segment. Talkshawk not only offered good voice rates but was able to establish a good brand image, consistency in communication resulted in capturing a considerable market share in urban population . To counter Telenor Talkshawk, we developed a strategy to take price point head on and placed one hour for Rs. 5/- along with advance credit facility which created ripples in market. In the mean time Warid kept quite and China Mobile was launched and took the position as a very cheap brand with tacky image and communication. According to our findings, initially ZONG sales picked up but due to major poor connectivity issues and limited services, Zong subscribers were highly disappointed and dissatisfied with the operator.

nRecently launched JAZZ thematic, with multiple brand offerings, i.e., Good call rates, VAS offerings, coverage and provides the freedom to talk, express with no barriers. Brand indicators showing positive trends in terms ITB, KPIs and recall.

nOn the postpaid segment, though Warid Zahi claims to have the largest customer base in terms of subscription but that is because Bank Alfalah Account Holders / Card Holders were given complimentary sim packs with supplementary sim card offerings.But unfortunately, most of the connections are inactive, therefore, there claim was not something that was taken as a serious threat. Having said that, Indigo still being the highest ARPU brand in category and enjoys high recall and ITB. To sustain this position, in 2006-07 Mobilink launched Indigo thematic TVCs based upon consumer insight “indigo Brings People Closer” followed by “indigo – for all your today’s and tomorrow’s”.This communication helped the brand to not only retain the position of being the most preferred life style brand but also increased brand recall. In 2008, we introduced service ICONS and for the first time a bouquet of services were launched in print campaign thus making the subscriber feel the true & complete essence of the Indigo Experience. For this, the brand key was revised from “enabler of success” to more customers centric “Indigo - going an extra mile”. Both tangible and intangible benefits were given to consumers so that the consumer should feel the difference from the rest. An in-depth research was conducted to understand the consumer psyche, their needs and expectations. New offerings were designed on the basis of the research findings to cater not only to their needs but to exceed their expectations.

nThe future of GSM business will rely upon Value Added Services. The current market situation is quite alarming because pricing war has brought all operators to rock bottom rates with market close to saturation level, economical drivers are un healthy, political situation unstable, therefore, and number gaining game will not last long. In this situation, VAS portfolio will become the key driver in choice of the operators. When we were assigned Mobilink business, Mobilink VAS portfolio was under another brand, “Mobilink World” . We developed a long term strategy to bring the entire VAS portfolio under pre and post paid brands. This will help in value reframing as well as it will shift the focus from the price game with a strategy of putting Value Added Services under Jazz and Indigo because at the end consumers buys jazz or indigo sim and not Mobilink. This helped us in value reframing and researched proved that now majority of Mobilink subscribers feels the difference.

Additional Business

Recently, we have been awarded Mobilink Cricket and Broadband Business. Since strategies are being developed it is

Confidential to share.

Resident Director

April ‘06 – to dateIAL Saatchi & SaatchiIslamabad

Client: Mobilink, a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom in Pakistan

nResponsible for handling the entire portfolio of Mobilink – the biggest telecom company in Pakistan

Brand Management

-Creation of sustainable communication plans and providing leadership support on complete Mobilink portfolio

-Cultivating exceptional relationships through solution-based ideas and delivering value-added services

-Suggesting & participating in consumer research to understand the behavioral aspects and usage habits of target market

-Segment(s) identification & developing brand positioning

-Developing detailed communication strategy for both post and pre-paid target segments

-Monitoring brand indicators i.e., ITB; KPIS; Brand Equities; ARPUs; perception and recalls

-Facilitating client service, creative, ideation, production team to provide all kinds of communication tools to increase acquisition, usage and retention of brands

-Launch and management of holistic campaigns (consumer research, advertising development, media placement, partnerships & alliances, direct marketing, in-market execution and post-launch analysis)

Human Resource Management

-Identifying & locating the human resource need of the company and the client

-Managing 30+ refined professionals dedicated to Mobilink

-Management of HR needs of the team

-Educating the team to gear them with the attitude of winning and nothing is impossible

-Liaison with the back up support team in Karachi on Mobilink

Projects

nLed the Team that conceived the idea of “Mobilink - Reshaping Lives” from reshaping communication, thus shifting the paradigm to empowering Pakistanis and positioned Mobilink as the enabler for betterment rather enabler for communication. Being the largest telecom in Pakistan, Mobilink Communication shifted more towards Corporate Social Responsibility aimed at connecting the unconnected. Major initiatives were:

-Launch of Mobilink PCO – An employment generating scheme for the empowerment of unemployed / retired Pakistanis - Mar ’07 to date through thematic & insightful TVCs and supporting collaterals. Developedand shaped the idea of one-box solution, so that anyone can start earning immediately. Positioned at unemployed, retired personnel and housewives for extra earning.

-Launched “prepaid top-up solution” on Mobilink PCO adding secondary means to earn business for rural population

nConnectivity and signals was and is a major problem with all telecom operators in Pakistan. Since acquisition is the primary goals for each operator, therefore, as a communication partner, we suggested Mobilink to enhance their connectivity and start claiming as the most reliable network along with coverage messages. This later on was endorsed byPTA being the best from the rest. This strategy helped us in changing the poor connectivity perception in the mind of subscribers thus resulted in increasing SOM.

nPrepaid segments being the largest in terms of subscription base, with clear cut Jazz leading the market share followed by Telenor TalkShawk/Djuice, Warid ZEM and Ufone prepay in that order. After the emergence of Warid and Telenor, dual sim phenomena increased in urban centers while the rural segment is still on one sim. Jazz being perceived as the biggest and most expensive brand as compared to Warid, Ufone and Telenor, due to this perception the price conscious segments started to switch from Jazz to competition. At this point, we devised a long term strategy to retain the existing base by giving existing customers on net calling advantage and value added services. On the other hand to increase acquisitions in rural and remote urban centers we promoting the new cost effective package “Budget” that suits their daily calling needs. This helped us in gaining more subscribers and gave Mobilink Jazz an on-net advantage.

nOn the other hand Warid did well in creating buzz around pricing and positioned them as the lowest call rate brand and was able to capture a considerable market share. This pricing strategy compelled Jazz to restructure its pricing and retaliate with better cost effective plans and hammer on net- calling to the extent of saying that every second call made from any network is to a Mobilink number, therefore, why not call from Mobilink to Mobilink, which is more economical. Similarly, Warid’s inconsistency in communication was en-cashed by Telenor to position Talkshawk in the price conscious segment. Talkshawk not only offered good voice rates but was able to establish a good brand image, consistency in communication resulted in capturing a considerable market share in urban population . To counter Telenor Talkshawk, we developed a strategy to take price point head on and placed one hour for Rs. 5/- along with advance credit facility which created ripples in market. In the mean time Warid kept quite and China Mobile was launched and took the position as a very cheap brand with tacky image and communication. According to our findings, initially ZONG sales picked up but due to major poor connectivity issues and limited services, Zong subscribers were highly disappointed and dissatisfied with the operator.

nRecently launched JAZZ thematic, with multiple brand offerings, i.e., Good call rates, VAS offerings, coverage and provides the freedom to talk, express with no barriers. Brand indicators showing positive trends in terms ITB, KPIs and recall.

nOn the postpaid segment, though Warid Zahi claims to have the largest customer base in terms of subscription but that is because Bank Alfalah Account Holders / Card Holders were given complimentary sim packs with supplementary sim card offerings.But unfortunately, most of the connections are inactive, therefore, there claim was not something that was taken as a serious threat. Having said that, Indigo still being the highest ARPU brand in category and enjoys high recall and ITB. To sustain this position, in 2006-07 Mobilink launched Indigo thematic TVCs based upon consumer insight “indigo Brings People Closer” followed by “indigo – for all your today’s and tomorrow’s”.This communication helped the brand to not only retain the position of being the most preferred life style brand but also increased brand recall. In 2008, we introduced service ICONS and for the first time a bouquet of services were launched in print campaign thus making the subscriber feel the true & complete essence of the Indigo Experience. For this, the brand key was revised from “enabler of success” to more customers centric “Indigo - going an extra mile”. Both tangible and intangible benefits were given to consumers so that the consumer should feel the difference from the rest. An in-depth research was conducted to understand the consumer psyche, their needs and expectations. New offerings were designed on the basis of the research findings to cater not only to their needs but to exceed their expectations.

nThe future of GSM business will rely upon Value Added Services. The current market situation is quite alarming because pricing war has brought all operators to rock bottom rates with market close to saturation level, economical drivers are un healthy, political situation unstable, therefore, and number gaining game will not last long. In this situation, VAS portfolio will become the key driver in choice of the operators. When we were assigned Mobilink business, Mobilink VAS portfolio was under another brand, “Mobilink World” . We developed a long term strategy to bring the entire VAS portfolio under pre and post paid brands. This will help in value reframing as well as it will shift the focus from the price game with a strategy of putting Value Added Services under Jazz and Indigo because at the end consumers buys jazz or indigo sim and not Mobilink. This helped us in value reframing and researched proved that now majority of Mobilink subscribers feels the difference.

Additional Business

Recently, we have been awarded Mobilink Cricket and Broadband Business. Since strategies are being developed it is

Confidential to share.

Group Account Director

Sep ‘04 – March ‘06IAL Saatchi & Saatchi Karachi

Client: Procter & Gamble (Ariel; Pampers; Safeguard)

nPromoted to GAD position to handle all three major brands of P&G

nManaged all aspects of brand communication, ranging from Strategy, Advertising, Consumer Understanding, Product Research, etc.

nLaunched and managed holistic campaigns (consumer research, advertising development,)

nGenerated ad maps, concept testing, insights generation

nStrategic designing and implementation of brand plans (Market excellence programs)

nCustodian of Saatchi Intellectual Property Rights and Confidentiality Disclosure systems

nRegional alignments and correspondence, yearly master plans and budgeting

Account Director

Apr ‘02 –Sept‘04IAL Saatchi & Saatchi Karachi

Client: Procter & Gamble (Ariel)

nRecruited as AD to handle one of the major granule brand of P&G

nManaged all aspects of brand communication, Advertising, Consumer Understanding, etc.

nLaunched and managed holistic campaigns

nGenerated Ad maps, concept testing, insights generation

nStrategic designing and implementation of brand plans (Market excellence programs)

nRegional alignments and correspondence, yearly master plans and budgeting for Ariel

Group Account Manager

May ’00 – Feb ’02ACC AdvertisingJeddah/Riyadh

Medium size progressive advertising and communication agency based in Jeddah/Riyadh and Dubai

Client: Al-Faisaliah Group (Awalnet, Zahi Computers)

nCreated and implemented communication proposals

nPlanned and coordinated regular press advertising

nBuilt and managed local team

nTracked marketing trends and monitored billings

nFacilitated creative and account team through training and coordination on product knowledge, market analysis, promotional campaigns and customer segments

Early Career Assignments

Account Manager

Jan ’97 – Dec ’99Manhattan Leo Burnett Karachi

Clients: Aventis Crop Sciences, Yamaha Motor cycle, Qarshi Industries

Account Executive

1995 – Jan ’97Circuit FCB Karachi

Clients: Ciba Geigy, Lakson Tobacco

Account Executive

1993 – 1995Argus AdvertisingKarachi

Clients: Fuji Film, Attock Cement

Core Strengths

nEffective project management capability

nStrong control over on-spot decision making

nExcellent inter-personal, presentation, oral communication and written skills

nEffective negotiation skills and consistency in performance over a longer period of time

nIn-depth business and category knowledge

nEfficient administrative and human resource handling

nProficient in MS-Office and MS-project

May 2006 - Present

Resident Director

IAL SAATCHI & SAATCHI

Education

Education
Aug 1997 - Jul 1999

MBA

Preston Uninversity

Objective

To be able to utilize my vast experience of media, advertsing and management towards building and leading a brand that will become a benchmark of excellence, nationally and internationally.

Interest

Areas of interest

nStrategic development of brands

nResearch focused on consumer behavior and concept evolution

nClient-Agency working module