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Robi commits to fighting Corona virus all the way

Dhaka, 11 May 2020: Outlining its position with regards to fighting Corona virus, Robi made a strong commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder with the society till the end of the ongoing pandemic. While detailing the initiatives it has already taken the company made it clear that it does not mix its market driven initiatives with the corporate responsibility initiatives.

Even though both play a key role in the company’s overall fight against Corona virus, the company doesn’t feel that both should be bundled up since each of these components primarily address two separate concerns- the market driven initiative is essentially a business decision and the sustainability initiatives are the ones that purely looks after society’s concerns.

Robi’s Managing Director and CEO, Mahtab Uddin Ahmed clarified the company’s approach in fighting Covid-19 at a digital press conference. Robi’s Chief Corporate and Regulatory Officer, Shahed Alam along with members of the company’s Management Council were also present at the programme.

Mahtab informed that despite having revenue shortfall of around 4 crore taka every-day (16% reduction on daily revenue), Robi went ahead with its decision to reduce data price by as much as 60% in selected packs, voice price was also revised downwards considerably. He claimed that Robi is offering unmatchable pricing offers from cost-value proposition at the moment to survive in the competition.

Mahtab informed that if all its market and sustainability related initiatives were accounted for, the company has already spent more around 170 crore taka (90 crore taka as pure CSR & Sustainability initiatives and another 80 crore taka as marketing led initiatives). But he felt that the figure is not important, what counts more is that Robi is determined and committed to shoulder the burden of this crisis standing right alongside the people of the country till the very end of the pandemic.

However, Mahtab stressed on the need for creating a competition landscape that protects the smaller players from predatory instincts of the market leader. Because, he felt that the market leader by disguising its market focused initiatives as CSR has sought to destroy the competitive equilibrium.

Mahtab expressed utter dismay over the Regulator’s approval of offer introduced by the market leader that allows high value subscribers like medical professionals to get 30GB data for only 1 taka. He alleged that the market leader is out to grab market in the pretext of Covid-19 crisis. He identified this atrocious offer as a clear example of price war declared by the market leader.

But Mahtab firmly expressed Robi’s determination to take on the market leader by reciprocating their offer. Some of the reciprocation was already underway, like providing 10-minute talk-time and 50 MB data for free to subscribers who used to recharge regularly but have ceased to do so following the Corona crisis. Robi will further pursue aggressive data

bundle offers to counter market leader’s move. Meanwhile, Robi has already chalked out a detailed plan to support the stakeholders in the company’s sales and distribution channels with food supply, credit facilities and even health insurance.

However, Mahtab warned that if the Regulator does not step to discipline the market leader, it will continue to exploit the Covid-19 crisis to further advance its business interests. Unless the Regulator and the Government believes that the country’s interest is best served by having only one telecom operator in the market, they ought to make their move right now, because we won’t be able to sustain our business if market leader is not made to adhere to SMP regulations now.

Mahtab also detailed the company’s CSR and Sustainability initiatives at the press conference. He announced that Robi will provide food to 10,000 families in remote parts of the country with support from Senakalyan Sangstha. It will also set-up disinfection booths in the crowded public places in Dhaka and Chattogram. Mahtab also highlighted Robi’s contribution in setting up and operating 333 hotline which as the emerged as the key in fighting against Covid-19 for the Government. He also noted the tremendous role played by Robi-10 Minute School in this ongoing crisis.