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Telecom and Retail Industries’ Impact in Technology & the Customer Experience

Canadian Online Event (CoE)
Event Highlight


PMI Toronto’s Canadian Online Events (CoE) series continues with another successful Fireside Chat with Glentel Inc., President & CEO, Ravi Nookala. Each CoE addresses various topics of interest in different industries. During this CoE we heard about the success stories Glentel Inc. has had over the years. Our guest, Ravi Nookala, shared his journey within the sector and illustrated how the organization’s operational efficiency, and exceptional customer experience, positioned Glentel as a leading, connected retailer in the Canadian telecommunication industry.

The conversation was interactive and sparked discussions on different aspects of project management and how project managers can assist companies in better understanding customer needs.

Introducing Our CoE Guest 

Ravi Nookala is the President & CEO of Glentel Inc., a company jointly owned by Bell Canada and Rogers Canada. He was selected as one of the “Top 25 CEOs in Canada” in 2019—Glassdoor Employee choice award. Ravi Nookala is an innovative C-suite leader, globally recognized for transforming and developing successful business entities through a blend of vision, strategy, stakeholder management, and iterative execution resulting in increased revenue, market share, shareholder value, and profits across North American and International markets.

Event Highlights and Key Findings

Participants had the opportunity to learn more about:

> Recent trends in the Telecommunications industry

> Skills that can be transferable, regardless of the sector

> Insights into making scalable investments in an era of disruptive technologies

> Strategies to provide a consistent customer experience

The fireside chat was mainly divided into two parts, market trends and project management practices. Attendees were able to relate and potentially apply best practices within their own organizations.

Market Trends

Telecom retail was one of the first responders to the challenges posed by the pandemic. The last two years changed the way companies interact with their customers, and in Glentel Inc.’s case, how they entirely remodelled their selling processes. Some solutions were to provide social distancing solutions to in-store by rearranging store layouts, creating payment device workarounds and more. As Ravi explains “the future of telecom retail is the evolving customer experience, where customers have the opportunity to make purchases and returns without any restrictions.”

In March 2020, when the world shut down and stores were forced to close, Glentel shifted their focus. They continued to adjust to the ever-changing customer requirements but also began focusing on health and security to reopen the stores.

Buyer trends shifted during the pandemic where general shopping pivoted to an online environment. Regardless of the technological advancements, brick-and-mortar stores still remain to be an essential part of the customer shopping experience. Customers prefer buying mobile phones in physical locations even now. Similarly, when purchasing a car, buyers wants to make a purchase in the showroom, have a proper overview of the product, and get a consultation.

Retailer and telecom are fast and disruptive in nature, considering the way they change the customer experience. An example of the large innovations happening in the telecom industry would be the scope of 5G. Mainly, investments are directed towards this sector to make the experience better and Glentel plays a crucial role in showcasing the technological benefits to the public. Innovation is continuously developing, and the main question is how do we understand the worth of an investment in an era of disruptive technologies? In order to make the right decision, ask yourself if the investments are forward compatible and if it’s real to achieve? If the answer is yes, then your investments are secure.

Nowadays, we go back to the basics and simplify things, which is where investments begin. Apart from their innovations, Glentel also allocated resources dedicated to recruiting and training new employees. Improving efficiencies from different perspectives is critical because it affects the company’s growth as a whole.

Project Management Practices

Having 1700 full-time employees, Glentel is a one-of-a-kind company where all project managers all report directly to the CEO, and the CEO is heavily involved in improving and developing the right project management processes. The reason? PMOs should cover the whole spectrum because there are so many projects and stakeholders within the organization.

During the session, Ravi outlines several must-have traits that each next Gen PM professions should employ. He explains that ever PM should:

  • Over-communicate—It’s better than doing the opposite.
  • Focus more on the analytics aspect of the project. Providing the right analysis to the team is one of the key competencies a project manager should have, especially in the telecom industry where there are numerous sets of data that need to be presented in a value-added format.
  • Align your personal values and the company values. If there is no alignment then you should look for another job.
  • Ask the right questions to ensure the alignment of company and project objectives.

When it comes to project management methodologies, today with the emergence of agile, there is great emphasis on the CEOs to allocate money for innovation-related projects. However, since most of the initiatives at Glentel Inc. need a complete list of requirements beforehand, especially for the in- store related projects, waterfall methodology increases the chances of successful project completion.

Ravi left project leaders with one valuable piece of advice: Take risks. If you have 80% of it right, then surely try out new opportunities and solutions. Understanding what is important and learning from failure is the key to success. Have a little foresight about how much the failure will cost in a given project, this is something that needs to be estimated with the product owner for the right forecasts. PMs become experts on everything over time and serve as consultants for the growth of the company.



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