Business Profiles

Keeping the Lines Up for the Nigerian Telecoms Industry: Biswal Ltd.

Biswal Limited is a Support Service Company with bias for the Telecommunication industry in Nigeria. It is a company whose aim is the effective acquisition, development and deployment of competent resources capable of delivering quality services for the Telecommunication industry. We spoke with the CEO Adebisi Adebutu about his history with the company that he founded.

Adebisi began Biswal on his return to the country after schooling in Ireland and the company was formed at the time that GSM licenses were granted to 2 networks by the Federal Government. For him, what began as a business selling GSM handsets has since evolved to the telecommunication services provider that it is now.

“My previous experience can be described as hands-on on the field experience as the Company basically grew in tandem with the telecommunications industry in Nigeria,” he says, “The company was responsible for sourcing some of the networks most difficult cell site locations, we were also able to achieve this in record time to meet with the network’s aggressive roll out plans at the time.”

Strong growth driven by innovation

Adebisi explains that Biswal is a telecommunications infrastructure deployment and maintenance service provider that is currently responsible for supporting the business of Africa’s largest and most innovative provider of mobile telecommunications systems. A strong rate of growth has been enjoyed and recently the company had to commission an assembly plant to meet the needs of their customer’s strategic long term maintenance plans, “With our assembly plant’s current capacity, it enables us to assemble a minimum of 150 generators per day. We also have the logistics capability to deploy a minimum of 20 generators within a week.”

Biswal is unique in the industry, Adebisi tells us and that uniqueness is due to the ability to meet and anticipate the customer’s needs. With a product offering that is second to none in the Nigerian telecommunications industry, their ability to provide extraordinary support to their customers. in a seamless manner, is what makes Biswal stand out from the rest.

Business is a booming and Adebisi tells us that the buoyant industry in Nigeria is one that can currently be described as dynamic and steadily evolving to the realities of business; there is an intense rivalry amongst the network providers, he reveals, as each network seeks dominance and sustainability in the current clime.

“But the industry demands innovation and diversification from the suppliers into new areas to meet the demands of its customers. The possibilities that will be created in the industry are endless,” he says.

The right staffing and structure to overcome all challenges

Not that it is all sunshine and roses. As strong as business is at the moment, there are still issues arising from the uncertainty of Government regulations, access to long-term financing and the lack of skilled labour choosing to remain in the country that can be better used to meet the demands of their ever growing customer base. It is due to such things that the company has to dedicate strong attention to the retention and training of staff. With over 500 staff members in the company, training has to be taken very seriously and to assure that all staff work to the right standards there is a mandate that all employees adhere to the highest standards, as contained in the Company’s policies and code of conduct.

“All our policies are directly linked to the company’s strategy to be the best in class service provider supporting the customers over and above the customer’s expectations,” he says, “On the training side, the HR department is responsible for determining the specific training requirement of the staff as well as systematically reinforcing the company’s policies in a variety of contexts.”

He goes on to add, “We recognise that our people are our greatest resource and each individual’s development is of significant importance to the company. This is why we ensure that we equip each individual with the necessary jo- specific hard skills as well as softer skills that serve them well as individuals.”

On the other side of the coin, when it comes to their customers, Adebisi reveals that he is a firm believer in building relationships, “We have worked with most of our customers for over 10 years and can confidently say that we know the voice of our customers,” he says, “Our customers have dedicated account officers in our teams who are responsible for following up with the key customer contact person to ensure that the needs of the customer are met and any issues are addressed in a timely manner.”

“We see ourselves as partners to our customers. By constantly analysing our customer’s needs and wants, we are able to maximise their productivity through tailor made value creation.” He says.

First-rate after sales, and an unrivalled commitment to the customer

With all the competition for the market in Nigeria, there must be a continuous pull on their customers from the other providers and this is where the extra touches become so important. Things that are often so overlooked, such as aftersales and customer service, “We have an excellent after sales team who follow up with each site to ensure that our equipment and services are at par with our company’s strategy. Customer commitment is essential, as without the customer, we have no business being in business. “

This is why they are able to keep ahead of their competition. By fully knowing who their competition is and what they are capable of and then positioning themselves to offer a better service. To emphasise this, there are a lot of new developments that will be keeping the company quite busy leading into 2017, including expansion plans for the assembly plant and the possibility of assembling generators for external customers, also, a new training facility to increase and close the knowledge and skill gap in the industry and an overdue company rebranding and repositioning.

“The potential to expand the assembly plant naturally increases the revenues of the company and institutionalises the product in the market,” he says, “In today’s highly competitive markets, where clients constantly demand increased project quality that only those contractors with trained and skilled workers are capable of meeting, we have to be one of them. This is why the establishment of a training facility is essential for our company in our quest to be the best in class service provider in the industry.”

He finishes up by saying; “Our rebranding exercise gives us visibility in the market and aligns with our mid to long term strategic plans to be Africa’s service provider.”