Thursday, July 31, 2014

Wateen Success Story: Naeem Zamindar

Thursday, July 31, 2014
Building a billion dollar company, look at what is achieved

Strategic Realignment (2011-­‐2013)      
•    1st Debt restructuring completed             
-­‐     Reduced interest rates significantly and pushed out repayments for 3 years to give company room to stabilize and grow
•    Organizational restructuring initated      
-­‐     Current Full Time Employees 698 vs 1,356 in December 2010      
•    Long standing agreements with Warid signed off
-­‐     Bilateral payment issues settled
•    Operating costs reduced to half while increasing revenue
-­‐     Network costs reduced through renegotiations
•    Delisting and share buy-­‐back completed - Gracefully managed      
•    WiMAX consolidation and spinout
-­‐     Instead of having to shut it down, saved not only jobs but now creating a valuable business

Massive Disruption Managed (February 2012)
•    Head Office fire crisis managed
-­‐     zero loss of life, minimal impact on customers, business continuity

Business Stabilization (Current)             
•    ICH formed – $60m value (negotiated 4th largest share: after PTCL, Mobilink and Telenor)      
•    Now #2 LDI from #8 – only company with all 5 GSM operators as its customers
•    HEC long haul contract for $10m signed and delivered – connecting all the universities
•    Dominant Metro Fiber Company: 75% market share of market in 2014
with entire business of Zong and Warid and majority of new 3G metro fiber 
contracts for Telenor
•    Now #1 Enterprise fiber connectivity company from #3 with 200+ corporate
•    $15m worth of USF projects completed and in the process of completing all 
fiber projects
•    Close to breakeven on Satellite business by managing difficult legacy  supplier relationship
•    Leading cloud managed services and system integration company
•    Launched Pakistan’s first Wifi hotspot service
at airports
•    Tripled HFC triple play network revenue and made it profitable

From Negative ~$20m/annum to Positive EBITDA of ~$10m/annum

Long term Strategic Readiness
•    Current debt structuring allows financing for growth
•    Developed organizational capability around Customer Centricity to successfully manage broadband operations – USP
•    Synthesized clear strategy, focus and organizational alignment to grow billion dollar business

Naeem Zamindar's last message as Wateen CEO

I will be stepping down as CEO and Board Member of Wateen on the 31st of July.  I have loved working with all of you to turnaround Wateen!

These last 44 months have been extremely challenging but also fulfilling as we all remained united and focused on taking Wateen upward.  We worked diligently and intelligently towards making Wateen successful.  I have put together my perspective on our journey that I have already shared with you in the past, it is truly remarkable what we have achieved together.  Over the last few months I felt that we have all merged in our perspectives and finally come together and become aligned as a winning team, that we are truly standing shoulder to shoulder to making Wateen great.  Wateen is poised for great success and I am now and will always continue to be proud of you all.  You have now become a part of me and I am always available for any of you; I’m sure our paths will cross again.

I want to firstly thank HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and HE Sheikh Mohammad bin Nahyan Al Nahyan for giving me this opportunity and supporting me throughout this process. They staked their money by investing around Rs. 9 billion in us to revive our company and bring it to the position where we are now poised for growth.  I thank them for the confidence in me and their trust.

I am personally grateful to the following people:
•         Zouhair A. Khaliq, who as Executive Director mentored and enabled me and is the architect of our success.
•         David Burlison for providing the operating oversight and leadership on behalf of the shareholders and guiding us in restructuring the company – he has played a critical role in our success
•         Wateen Board of Directors – whose maturity and leadership has played a very important role in providing us with the necessary corporate governance for this exceptional achievement
•         Wateen Senior Management team – each of them are exceptional and have worked together, sincerely, intelligently, maturely and diligently to get us here.  This leadership team is truly battle hardened and ready to win the war.  They are all amazing people who really care about this country, the company and its people– for them this is a work of passion and they have put their heart and soul into it

The company has a great future.  We are poised to dominate the metro fiber and enterprise connectivity business, and projects like Safe Lahore which utilize our unique capability of being able to provide end to end system integration and connectivity – we have a world beater team and assets that deliver this capability.  Building upon this infrastructure we are now using our learnings from DHA to rollout out fiber to the home and SME business to cost effectively provide our customers with true broadband services, tapping a very large business opportunity to land grab a million homes and businesses over the next few years.  On top we have a plan to leverage this network to provide carrier grade wifi and cloud services.  We are preparing to develop our international connectivity business with the prospects of getting approval to connect with our neighbors and becoming a part of the international undersea cable consortium.  And our partnership with Inov8 is leading the way in defining the new era of financial services and internet/cloud based services.

With these initiatives maturing, I am confident that Wateen will become a dominant and dynamic leader in the ICT space of Pakistan – Wateen will lead the way into making Pakistan a massively and ubiquitously connected society with bright future prospects! 

I am proud to have been a part of your success story.  May we serve our people and enable their lives :)  Ameen

I wish Rizwan Tiwana the best of success in leading Wateen to even greater success.


  1. other side of story

  2. If Naeem was so good then why did Abu Dhabi Group terminate him after refusing to renew his contract? And let's not forget that Wateen's board was skeptical about Naeem's contract renewal since Dec 2013. So obviously, he must have done something wrong. Also, the last week was very crucial as it disclosed true faces of Naeem Zamindar and Asad Rizvi. Both of these "best friends", started acting like dictators and tried to remove all those from their management who resisted their incompetent authority. They literally went on a firing spree, starting with their marketing head Sohaib Shaikh, then Media Head; Naila Bhatti and finally the nail in the coffin for both Naeem and Asad was their Admin head; Zafar Iqbal. Only after firing Zafar, the board reliased the poor judgement and this very quickly led to terminating Asad along with Naeem and reinstating Zafar Iqbal as GM Admin & HR.

    Obviously, these pathetic blogs wont reveal the true story, especially not when they are linked to Asad and Naeem!

  3. “Eocean is a leading Mobile Value added Services company that provides comptetitive edge to enterprises by blending the power of mobile communication technology with mobile/web applications..”


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