Avea is one of the quickest growing companies in the GSM sector. It was created one year ago as the result of the merger of Aycell and Aria. The company’s CEO Cahit Paksoy says that, despite this difficult merger, they have done amazing business. He says that they have brought competition to the sector and increased their market share from 11 percent to 17 percent. He believes that the GSM sector will grow rapidly and that within three years penetration will approach 70 percent. Avea will take the lion’s share of this growth.
Competition in the Turkish GSM sector involves three companies. Avea, which was born as the result of the merger between Aria and Aycell, has recently considerably stimulated this competition. Avea has been quick and aggressive and begun competing with rival companies to provide new services.
Avea’s CEO is Cahit Paksoy. He says: “It is not easy to merge two operators. They have different infrastructures. Their vendors use different technologies. The merger of the infrastructure takes time and we have only just completed it.”
We spoke with Avea CEO Cahit Paksoy about that the stage reached by Avea, which is about to complete its first year, competition in the GSM sector, future targets and the future of the sector.
What kind of statistical changes were there after the Avea brand entered the market?
50 percent of the Turkish population currently uses mobile services. At the beginning of 2004 this figure was 39 percent. No one expected this much growth in 2004. Growth was 25-30 percent more than the forecasts. There were two main reasons for this. The first is Avea and the change and innovation that Avea brought to the market. The second is the change in the macroeconomic balances. The market is continuing to develop at the same pace. This is the situation of the Turkish market.
In 2004 we grew faster than the market and we took our share of a growing market. As a result, we increased our market share, which had been 11-12 percent on the day that we merged, to 17 percent. We are continuing to grow and our medium-term goal is to reach 30-35 percent. In order to do this two things are needed. The first is that we need to take more of the new customers entering the market. And we also need to take a share of customers who are not satisfied with the current situation.
There are currently three firms competing in the GSM sector. Which is the most aggressive in terms of gaining new customers?
When we were promoting our new brand in June we said that telecommunications were not a luxury, they were a need and we promised to bring innovations to the market. This is what we did. In addition, even though our market share is 17 percent, in terms of monthly movements we have always taken shares of more than 20 percent. Avea created a competitive environment in the sector. We gave people the chance to choose. In the past people were taking a lot of services which they did not need. But we produced services designed exactly for them. We have separate services for family, student and personnel. All of our personnel know that this company’s sales-marketing is dictated by customer requirements.
N. ASLI TEKİNAY