Over the years, technology has evolved at a rapid scale, breaking barriers and overcoming boundaries. Through these innovations, the world has progressively become more connected and accessible. Digital transformation has acted as a catalyst for reshaping various industries, which subsequently improves consumers’ experience.
In Asia, a certain company has continuously emerged as a frontrunner, consistently exhibiting exceptional performance and propelling the boundaries of innovation to unprecedented levels. Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison (Indosat or IOH), one of the leading telcos in Indonesia has successfully positioned itself as a prominent player in the Asian market, attaining noteworthy achievements that distinguish it from its competitors.
Record-Breaking Financial Results
Recently, Indosat successfully concluded an impressive nine-month period, ending on September 30, 2023, which brought to light the company's unyielding dedication to performing at the highest possible level. The company announced significant year-on-year (YoY) revenue increase as well as EBITDA enhancements, all of which are testaments to the exceptional success they have enjoyed.
Throughout this period, Indosat achieved remarkable total revenue growth of 8.5%, reaching an impressive USD 2.4 billion. This growth was predominantly powered by the company's outstanding performance in cellular services, recording a 7.8% year-on-year growth, equivalent to USD 2.1 million, in 9M23. Additionally, the MIDI experienced a 10.8% year-on-year increase, while the fixed telecom business segment demonstrated a remarkable growth of 26.8% year-on-year.
Normalized EBITDA increased by a notable 21.7% YoY, due to the combination of strong top-line growth and an unwavering commitment to cost optimization. This led to a substantial USD 1.1 billion in the initial nine months of the year and an exceptional Normalized EBITDA margin of 46.7%. The proprietors of the parent entity reported a Normalized Net Profit of USD 143 million for the current period, representing a noteworthy achievement as Indosat celebrated its 11th consecutive net profit quarter.
Indosat has shown improved profitability and a strong YoY projection with EBITDA increasing faster than revenue. Meanwhile, ARPU experienced a 2.5% YoY growth, indicating an increase in customer spending.
The company is making tremendous progress toward hitting an extraordinary milestone, which will be the accumulation of USD 400 million in annualized synergies with big-ticket merger initiatives currently in completion, such as the phased site dismantling targeted to be completed by the end of the year, while network integration has been completed. Additionally, core consolidation is so far on track and significant progress has been made on ICT and business process improvements.
A Socially Responsible Company with Remarkable Leadership
The phenomenal success of Indosat can be attributed to the visionary leadership of Vikram Sinha. Vikram’s leadership goes beyond financial metrics, encompassing ethical and sustainable practices, as well as significant contributions to society. Indosat is a model of corporate social responsibility due to its efforts to promote gender equality, digital literacy, and environmental conservation.
Thousands of young people and women in Indonesia have benefited from programs like ‘SheHacks’ and ‘IDCamp’, which aim to increase digital empowerment and education. With programs like ‘Digitalization of Mangrove Conservation’ and ‘Marine and Fisheries Conservation’, the corporation has proven its commitment to protecting Indonesia's precious ecosystems.
Furthermore, Indosat has shifted its focus from being a traditional telco into a techco which progressed Indosat leadership in tech. The company is guided by Vikram’s dedication to a higher purpose, which he calls ‘Empowering Indonesia’. As a result of this change, Indosat is now among the top 10 global firms, with close to 100 million subscribers in a single market.
Under Vikram's direction, the spirit of Gotong Royong (Mutual Cooperation) flourished because of the emphasis placed on working together to achieve shared goals. Differentiating itself from more conventional telcos, Indosat has instead focused on developing a model that is centered around improving customer’s experience.
A Leader in Digital Revolution
Indosat’s rise to prominence started with a significant merger, demonstrating the foresight and determination of the company's leadership. The merger between Indosat Ooredoo and Hutchison 3 Indonesia defied all forecasts in an industry frequently marked by unsuccessful mergers, but Indosat proved itself to be a successful merger under the perceptive direction of Vikram. The Organization initially projected a 24-month duration to integrate its network but was accomplished within half of that timeframe.
The successful merger drove Indosat to become the second-largest operator in Indonesia. In addition to uniting two telcos, it also united their aspirations and visions.
Indosat is motivated by a steadfast dedication to empowering Indonesia, which is effectively manifested through tangible initiatives. In the aftermath of the merger, a substantial network integration initiative was undertaken with the aim of enhancing customer service. This integration not only enhanced the network but also established a new benchmark in the industry by substantially improving the consumer experience. The Company aims to connect around 275 million Indonesians, 62 million SMEs and 5,000 enterprises, while staying committed to delivering a world-class digital experience to its customers.
The strategic decisions made by Indosat demonstrate the company's dedication to technological advancement and digitalization. SD-WAN solutions provided by Indosat ensure uninterrupted connections in any cloud setting whilst also boosting company efficiency. A 2021 report by Brand Finance Indonesia 100 ranks Indosat as the second-fastest growing brand and one of the top 10 most valuable brands due to the company's dedication to technical innovation.
Additionally, IDE by Indosat Business has built numerous components of its digital ecosystem, including IDE Academy, which provides entrepreneurs with free education from professionals. Wawasan IDE provides MSMEs with data-driven insights. In the same ecosystem, IDE also offers Toko IDE, a business solution platform. The company also works with significant partners including business operational software provider YOOV and digital cashier payment provider Majoo Indonesia to cater to customers’ demands.
Indosat aims to help Indonesia develop and grow through its services. In the coming years, the company plans to connect tens of millions people in rural Indonesia, bringing them online for the first time and helping to close the digital divide by unlocking infinite possibilities.
This goal is progressively achieved by consistent upgrades and new deployments of its 4G network across the country. One example is Indosat’s efforts in Nusa Tenggara in eastern Indonesia, where more than 80% of the population now have access to the internet because of investments in new and improved network transmitters during the past year. Indosat plans to add more sites in rural areas of Indonesia which could fuel the country’s economic growth.
Indosat’s groundbreaking work and unyielding dedication to transformation has revolutionized and accelerated digital transformation throughout Indonesia. This year, the company has garnered prestigious national and international awards for its contribution to the industry. Vikram was hailed as the best CEO by Global CSR and ESG Awards 2023. Additionally, TrenAsia ESG Award 2023 recognized Indosat as the Best Telecommunication Provider Company. In the whole ASEAN region, Indosat’s IDCamp was awarded with the Best Communication Use of Digital Platform during the 4th ASEAN PR Excellence Awards. Finally, in SWA Indonesia’s Most Reputable Companies ranking, Indosat secured the top position in the Telecommunications Category.
“With the Gotong Royong philosophy, what we want to do at Indosat is to work with likeminded partners. We have a clear principle of making money with our partner, not from our partner. For that to happen, we want our partner also to treat us fairly, give back to Indonesia and unlock all the opportunities here in the country,” noted Vikram.
The company has set an example for innovation and hard work not just in the country, but also in the Asian market with their stellar financial success, digital empowerment initiatives, strategic alliances, and corporate social responsibility projects.