a day at dtac ChiefOpE:D

Why we must embrace disruption as part of digitalization

There’s still a lot of confusion as to the two-letter difference between digitization and digitalization. Digitization is an old phenomenon. Can you believe Google is turning 20 next year? Digitalization, on the other hand, is a new word to describe the deep transformations and radically new business models that digital connectivity enables. Digitalization is at the core of dtac’s transformation to better serve our customers and empower society. It’s also what can propel Thailand 4.0. But we can only embrace digitalization if we also embrace the disruptions that come with it.

Let me stress that digitalization is more than the digitization of age-old services. Email, for example, is “just” electronic mail. But take a startup like dtac accelerate’s DriveMate, which can take your unused car and rent it out through an app—that is digitalization. Digitalization is transformation on a whole other scale. And, of course, it challenges existing business models. In DriveMate’s case, car rental companies better watch out.

“Digitization was disruptive, but digitalization will be even more so. It cuts so many pain points out of our lives that the old ways of doing business are threatened by it.”

Digitization was disruptive, but digitalization will be even more so. It unleashes services so practical and cuts so many pain points out of our lives, that the old ways of doing business are threatened by it. That’s why consumers want disruption. They want the formidable benefits of truly innovative digital services that dramatically simplify their lives or unlock value where we didn’t even know we had any. It’s also why some businesses are lobbying against digitalization.

In line with the government’s goal for Thailand 4.0, we at dtac believe regulation should create an environment where digital disruptions are encouraged, not punished for challenging the status quo. Secondly, we also need to ensure every level of Thai society can access these innovations thanks to affordable internet connectivity.

dtac currently offers the best value for money in Thailand. We will also continue to innovate and provide our customers the best experiences. Line Mobile, the mobile service we have launched in collaboration with Line, is one such example where we can offer lower prices to our customers by sticking to a purely digital model. Such innovations are only possible when regulations and policies support digitalization and are consumer friendly.

“As more and more consumption of digital services happens, future-looking regulation and policies will further fuel this growth.”

As more and more consumption of digital services happens, future-looking regulation and policies will further fuel this growth. Not only will there a need for greater amounts of reasonably-priced spectrum but the industry will need to embrace full digitalization, such a e-receipts and eKYC (which stands for “know your customer,” the process by which we identify our customers).

With this first edition of a day at dtac, the a day team is looking at dtac from the outside in. What they’ve seen is the incredible empowerment that comes with digitalization. At Insects in the Backyard, you can eat fresh produce from our SmartFarmer Projects. Our digital group shows how even large corporations can embrace self-disruption. And our technology group is hiding base towers in plain sight, turning eyesores into valuable contributions to local communities.

My favorite story is about our technicians and engineers who worked tirelessly to boost the coverage around Sanam Luang. Hundreds of thousands of mourners from all four corners of the kingdom are converging on the funeral grounds to bid a final farewell to our beloved late King Bhumibol Adulyadej. This is a sad moment, but it is also a moment of great unity. It is therefore a source of great pride to know dtac has contributed meaningfully to keeping everyone at Sanam Luang connected to friends and family back home. As we grieve the loss our great king, the nation coming together as one serves as a powerful reminder that unity was perhaps his greatest contribution to Thai people.

Rajiv Bawa is Chief of Corporate Affairs and Business Development at dtac.


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