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CONTENT

Content

Pages

1 Introduction
2 Background of Circles.Life
3 Product and Services Provided
4 SWOT analysis matrix
4.1 Strength
4.2 Weakness
4.3 Opportunity
4.4 Threats
5 Competitor Analysis
6 Circles.Lifes Competitive Advantage
7 Recommendation on Business Level Strategy
8 Conclusion
9 References

1 INTRODUCTION
This assignment consist the analysis of a new telco company in Singapore called
Circles.Life regarding its strength, weakness, opportunity and treats and its competitive
market environment. The objective of this assignment is to analyse thoroughly the current
condition of the telco market and situation in Singapore and to provide a strategic plan
and action that can be used for Circles.Life.

2 BACKGROUND OF CIRCLES.LIFE
Circles.Life is a Singapore based consumer brand of Liberty Wireless founded by
three entrepreneurs, Rameez Ansar, Abhishek Gupta and Adeel Najam who had
previously worked for Temasek Holdings, McKinsey, StarHub and other companies.
They primarily provide telecommunication service in Singapore. This corporate describe
themselves as a young, innovative and energetic digital telco. Why is it young? They had
only launched their services in Singapore on 5th May 2016 (Circles.Life, 2016).
Their mission is to re-imagine the mobile experience for the digital consumer.
Circles.Life is the local roots of Circles Asia in Singapore which provide a customer
centric mobile platform. They aim to make the customers life simpler and happier by
giving customer the power to customize their mobile needs. They realize that there are a
number of un-met customer needs due to the lack of choices and flexibility of plans.
Since the beginning, Singaporean consumers for telecommunication had been locked into
complicated contracts with heavy termination penalties, bundled plans with services they
might not even use. Consumers are also exposed to hidden charged which they have to
control on.
Therefore, they promote and encourage their customer to build their own plan so
that they pay only for what they want and not extra for not whats unneeded. Circles.Life
provide a seamless services which evolve with the customers needs. They also promise
that there will be no hidden charges in Circles.Life. Consumer will only need to pay for
what they choose in their plan. They will even delight their customer with little surprises
from time to time.

3 PRODUCT AND SERVICES PROVIDED


Circles.Life offer their customer a simpler way to subscribe to their plans for
Circles.Life. Unlike other telco company with physical mobile network operator,
Circles.Life uses a virtual software defined network which enables them to offer services
in the fastest possible time. Customers just need to head to Circles.Lifes website to sign
up, a SIM card will after that be delivered to them or customers may choose to retain
their existing number for a registration fee of $38.
Like most telco, Circles.Life also offers selling of phones, not in discounted rates
but a range of flexible, interest-free instalments which is a courtesy of Circles.Lifes
partnership with DBS and UOB bank (Circles.Life, 2016). Plus, there is no upfront
payment.
Upon receiving the SIM card, customers can manage usage, data plans and other
services through Circles.Life mobile application. There are no need for standing in
queues in mobile network centres. The customers will know clearly what they are buying
and paying for.
The basic monthly plan comprises of 3GB data with 2GB lifetime bonus data for
early bird promotion and 100 minutes talk time. New customer will get 500MB data per
month after the early bird promotion. This basic plan cost $28. The customization of
plans is add data for $6 per 1GB every month, add 100 minutes talk time for $4 and 100
SMS at $4. Otherwise, customer can just pay as they use which is a higher rate than if
planned.
Besides that, there are several services that are provided by Circles.Life as
follows:
a. Ability to change plan month to month without being tied up and according to
needs. Furthermore, there is no penalty for changes.
b. Flexibility to reduce planned usage when traveling to avoid paying for what not
needed.
c. Unlimited Whatsapp Plus which means no data is drawn from plan for sending
videos, photos, messages or voice calls over Whatsapp.
d. Ability to control roaming from CirclesCare when travelling for free.
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e. Access to 4G full speed mobile internet for free. (Circles.Life, 2016)


4 SWOT ANALYSIS MATRIX
SWOT analysis stands for the English acronym of strength, weakness, opportunities and
threats. It was developed by Albert Humphrey in 1960s and is used to analyse business
environment (Valverde et al., 2015). The business environment are further categorised
into internal and external environment. This tool is an important support tool for strategic
decision-making. However, there are limitation as well and it is in the measurement and
evaluation of prioritisation of SWOT elements (Ding-Hong et al., 2014). SWOT analysis
is still being widely used in business nowadays.

4.1 Strength
a. Offers data-centric packages which suits the current trend of usage
Nowadays user needs more data to watch movie, post on facebook, instagram etc.
Plus, most younger generation are only using Whatsapp as their communication tools
with their friends and family. Circle.Life see this needs and design their services as a
data centric service which provides 3GB service at the basic package where other
mobile services only provide 300MB in Lite plan of M1 and 100MB in Combo 1 of
Singtel in similar prices of postpaid services.
It is even more attractive for early birds as they will get a life time 2GB add on to
their data which is the cheapest to get 5GB in $28 (Circles.Life, 2016). Infocomm
Development Authority (IDA) show that Internet users consume 10 million GB of
data each months. Internet Live Statistic also shows that 80% of Singapore population
uses internet where within this population, 31% are between the ages of 25 to 34.

b. Able to launch so early, in time to attract customer unsatisfied with other telcos.
Time is money and by able to launch early means that Circle.Life holds on to
more opportunity to attract customer. Being pioneer in certain area means a bigger
market share in targeted group of customer in the future. This is because most
consumer dont get what they want in telco which is customization as well as data
centric services before the launch of Circle.Life. Once Circle.Life launch their
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services, it is a fresh new idea of customization where a not so needed SMS bundle is
taken away and substituted with data with reasonable add-ons really attract consumer
to give it a try. If others were to launch similar packages, they will be losing in time
and future market share in this segment.

c. Strong supporting team of CirclesCare


CirclesCare is a mobile application where customer can alter their accounts, check
their usage and chat with their Customer Happiness Experts directly (Circles.Life,
2016). It is an easy to use application which needs a strong support team behind it to
keep it working. Customer will feel pleased with the idea of getting everything done
online with just one or two clicks without the hassle to queue up in a store to get
things update, change or terminate a plan.
Interestingly, Circles.Life also provide a Customer Happiness Experts who will
speak to the customer who are confused or unhappy with their services directly. This
helps Cicles.Life being able to response to all possible issue and dissatisfaction as fast
as possible which will eventually builds up good reputation. It also helps the company
to build up the customer relationship.

d. It is the only mobile virtual network operator with less assets such as physical
infrastructure and stores. Therefore, less maintenance and burden on physical
assets and debts
Circles.Life do not have their own hardware infrastructure and they provide
services through an agreement with M1 through Liberty Wireless. M1 had an
agreement which enable Liberty Wireless to deliver voice, messaging and data access
to its customers using M1s advanced mobile network. Liberty Wireless is a
Singapore-based mobile telecommunication company where under its operating brand
is Circles Asia. This means that Circles.Life can use the infrastructure of M1 without
owning one. This saves Circles.Life in maintenance burden and long term debts
which will exist when acquiring assets. This enables the cash flow of Circles.Life to
be more flexible so that they can provide more innovative services without cash flow
restriction.
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e. CircleCare application for customers to do customisations and tract usage


statistics easily
CirclesCare is a one-stop-shop application in smartphones for easy management
and customization of the Circles.Life mobile plan (Circles.Life, 2016). Customers are
able to get a real time access to the spending of their data, SMS and talk time usage
each month, update their profile information and customize their add-on every month.
They can upgrade or downgrade their usage as needed which is very convenient. It is
important for customer to tract their usage so that they dont overuse the data and
packages they prescribed which will cause additional charges to their bill which are
not planned.

4.2 Weakness
a. Content of service is still limited (No broadband, no free movie or video)
Circles.Life only provide mobile services which is mobile data, voice calling and
SMS. This is just a narrow part or primary part of a telecommunication services. They
still do not have broadband services or free movie and video services. Singtel provide
a Singtel Circle which provide user free local data every Sunday for the family to
watch movie together. All other companies provide various combination of service
which includes home internet, TV packages and mobile packages. Due to the fact that
Circles.Life currently do not have their own infrastructure, they will not be able to
provide these services until they have one. This is really limited for people who have
family and would like to bundle up services which will be cheaper for the whole
family. Other telcos have more services which they bundle up to sell as a suite which
is cheaper and easier for consumer.
Singaporean spend more time using their computer (We Are Social, 2015) and
prefer to do online purchasing through computer as well. Without the broadband
services or sharing internet with computer conveniently, some customer who spend
more time surfing internet through computer may feel inconvenient for them to use
Circles.Life alone.

b. Newly established company which has no popularity and reputation yet


Being a new entrant the telecommunication industry, Circles.Life is behind other
telecommunication company in terms of customer loyalty, popularity and reputation.
Their selling point is their innovative idea of customisation of mobile packages.
However, not many people know about them and not all customer would like to
change their mobile operator whom they are used to. Therefore, Circles.Life needs to
do advertisement and other marketing to attract people to give it a try. Their first
image and testimony from their first badge customer will be very important as it will
affect perception of consumer in Singapore. As customer will always have the choice
to change telco, they have to build up customer loyalty to keep customer once other
telco keep up with their idea and provide similar choices. Customer nowadays not
only care about the price, they also care about the speed of their data, the network of
their voice call etc, which may not be a problem in Singapore as it is not a big
country.

c. Target group is too narrow which will not contribute much to market share.
The basic package of Circles.Life only consist of data and 100min talktime.
Although it is true that it is a trend now that more people are getting engaged with
internet, there are several more segment of the market where their primary needs may
not be just data. For example, businessman or in a business setting where most
companies might sign a package for their staff. These market segment may need more
talktime or even unlimited call to be attracted. Circles.Life is just starting their
business and they do not have enough type of package which will be suitable for
different segment of people. For example, StarHub and Singtel will offer their
packages to different type of user for example Lite plan for people who does not use
mobile phone much and youth for younger segment of the market who uses internet
more. M1 even provided attraction like unlimited free calls to 3 M1 numbers which
will attract consumer in family, free youth benefits and senior benefits. Circles.Life
does not have much diversification in the basic plan where their plans will only attract
data centric user.
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d. Collaboration with other entertainment and financial company still not fully
established
Most telecommunication companies will establish collaboration with companies
that provide movie streaming, bank etc. As far as the public know, Circles.Life had
only agreement with two bank and they are still making their effort to establish more
agreement with other banks. Of course, not only the bank, due to it is still new
without the collaboration with other company which most consumer would be
interested in like movie provider application which would provide movie streaming at
a lower rate would be interested. For example, Singtel provides free local data for
family on Sunday for customer to have a family time watching movie. StarHub also
provide a Deluxe HD Pack which provides channels of movie and TV show to be
stream in various device for only $26.75 a month. This will be a bonus for customer
in terms of benefits in subscribing a line of telecom company.

e. Dependent on infrastructure of M1 and leasing cost may rise


Circles.Life does not own infrastructure of its own and only had a contract with
M1 to use their infrastructure. They may have their freedom to design their package
to attract customer, however, they would not have the freedom to totally utilise the
infrastructure and therefore may have restriction somehow in expanding their
provision in their services. The leasing cost may rise too, because the infrastructure is
M1s and they are dependent on it, M1 can rise the leasing cost which would add the
cost of operating to Circles.Life.

4.3 Opportunity
a. The company has leasing deal with M1 which Circles.Life is able to utilize M1s
physical infrastructures with the idea that products is as good as M1s
As Circles.Life had just only started their business, it is an opportunity for them to
just use the physical infrastructure of M1 for call, messages and data services without
having to manage their own infrastructure which will be a burden for a new company.
Instead, using M1 physical infrastructure as a virtual mobile network provider enables
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them to provide equally good network and services to customers through M1s
established reputation while responding to the problem that most consumer faces with
their mobile packages which create resonance with some consumer who thinks the
same as Circles.Life.

b. Pricing although almost the same with other telco but offer attractive packages
compared with other existing telco.
Most telco offers packages wihich stated with a price close to $30. M1 provides a
Lite plan for $28 which offers 100mins talktime, 500 SMS or MMS and 300MB data.
Singtel instead offers 100 minutes call, 500 SMS or MMS and 100MB data for
$27.90. As compared with these two companies, the package offered by Circles.Life
is definitely more interesting as no one needs SMS nowadays but more on Whatsapp
which is free in Circles.Life. Plus, the other telco will extra charge the customer for
caller ID which will make Circles.Life cheaper.

c. No long contracts and hidden cost which had been an issue that troubles
Singaporean for a long time
There is no contracts in Circles.Life which means that customer are not bounded
in Circles.Life if they find Circles.Life not suitable for them. This make interested
consumer to be more light-hearted to try Circles.Life with the mentality that they can
switch anytime they want to other telco. Long contracts had been an issue to most
customer because they will need to pay penalty when they want to change their
package according to their changes of needs when they are still in a contract. No long
contracts, no hidden charges and no penalties for alteration of package is the one of
the attracting key point for customer because Circles.Life customer do not need to
worry about being charged with charges which seems unnecessary and unpleasant,
which the other telcos are famous for being overcharging customers.

d. No waiting time at telco stores like other existing telcos which suit the fast pace
life of Singaporean

Since Circles.Life is a virtual mobile network operator provider, they offer their
services online through website. No more waiting time is needed for customer to
queue at stores and more efficiency in managing customers account through the
mobile application ease life of busy Singaporean. Transaction could be done
anywhere and accounts can be changed anytime attracts Singaporean whom
especially are good in computer and e-banking as more and more Singaporean are
doing their shopping online. This is a global trend which is now uphold by
Circles.Life.

e. Customization of package which is an attractive innovative idea and response in


time towards the grudge of consumer towards other telco.
Although most telco offer value-added benefits whenever a customer wants, it is
still more expensive than just buying a package with everything you need in it.
Customization is an attractive idea especially when Circles.Life make it feasible and
enable customer to upgrade or downgrade according to their needs every month. It is
like putting the power to control into the customers hand and most people is very
pleasant to be able to do it. Plus, Circles.Life is cancelling charges on caller ID, a
feature that the other big telcos are making Singaporean may for $5 monthly.

4.4 Threat
a. SIM-only plans such as M1s mySIM with offerings are still cheaper
MySIM with a subscription fees of $20 offers 150 talktime, 800 SMS or MMS
and 3GB data which is offered by M1 is still cheaper than what is offered by
Circles.Life. The talktime and SMS or MMS is more than what offered by
Circles.Life in a way more cheaper price. M1 even offered to upsize data for 2GB for
only $5.90 per month. In this case, there is not much advantage hold by Circles.Life.
Additional to the price advantage of M1, M1 also offers benefits of unlimited free
calls to 3 M1 numbers (M1, 2016).

b. StarHub offering of SIM Only plan is also cheaper although there is no freedom
of customisation.
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StarHub offers a package of 150 minutes outgoing local calls, 1000 SMS or MMS
and 3GB local bundled data for only $21.45. As we can see, StarHub offerings is
more and at a lower price. This SIM Only plan also has no contract, no cancellation
fee and commitment. It offers this package in an attractive price especially for people
who do not like hassle in mixing and matching (StarHub, 2016). Circles.Life really
have no advantage here as well when competing with StarHub in the basic package.

c. Singapore is already a saturated telecom market.


Singapores telecom market is already saturated and any new entrant may cause
competition and decline in price of service. Each company can only differentiate
themselves from others through unique selling point to survive in the market. Of
course, the benefits will go to the consumer. However, Circles.Life mentioned that
they will not get into the price war as the other three big telcos offered similar
packages in cheaper price (Koh, 2016). Circles.Life can only fight for market share of
people who are not satisfied with the services of the remaining telcos. Which is, a
tough job and Circles.Life can only strive to win by providing innovative and
attractive services.

d. Customer details leaking from Singtel App in March 2016 may causes chaos in
trusting the privacy and legacy of mobile application.
Reports on social media showed people being able to log in to other peoples
accounts and see their personal details using the My Singtel app causes the app to
be suspended. Singtel said that this is due to the software glitch (Today, 2016).
Whether it is a due to cybercrime or software glitch, leakage of confidential
information from various ways had been an issue of cyber security. Since,
Circles.Life is a virtual mobile network operator, they are using all cyber application
to manage their system. In fact, the case of Singtel App may cause some customer to
be afraid to use mobile application. It is the challenge of Circles.Life to ensure that
their services and mobile application is safe to be used since the older established
companies had this problem.
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e. Other telcos recently added a new options to upsize customers data capital.
StarHub offers a Plus 3 to their package which allows adding 3GB to the bundled at
only $6 (StarHub, 2016). Singtel also offers a DataX2 which double data for just
$5.90 monthly when customer signs up for Combo 2 postpaid plan and above
(Singtel, 2016). M1 in the other hand offers upsized data of less than 1 GB of the
bundled data at $5.90 (M1,2016). Although consumer may not need so much data, it
is still cheaper in upsizing the data capital when compared to Circles.Life.

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5 COMPETITOR ANALYSIS
The tool that I will be using in this section is competitive profile matrix. This is an
essential strategic management tool which compare Circles.Life with other major players
in the telco industry in Singapore. This matrix will show a clear picture of the strong and
weak points of each company. The scoring for this matrix is measured on the basis of
some critical success factor of the industry. Each factor is measured in the same scale
which mean the weight where weight remains the same for all company while rating
varies. The rating represents the response of the firm towards the success factor. It is
better to make the rating standardised for successful analysis. The weight indicates the
relative importance of the factor for company to be success in the industry which total
into 1.0. Before starting the competitor profile matrix, the following are the condition and
response of the telcos that can be found (Kasi, 2012).

Circles.Life and its competitor


Circles.Life is in the telecommunication industry. A typical telecom industry
provides telephony services, data communication access, wireless carriers and internet
service providers. As known in the agreement between M1 and Liberty Wireless,
Circles.Life can only access to services providing voice call, messaging and internet data.
Singapore telecom industry is said to be saturated even before the entrance of Circles.Life
because of the originally existing oligopolistic market where the three players are Singtel,
M1 and StarHub, which is also the competitor of Circles.Life (Tanada, 2016). This
created a high competitive environment where mobile operator can only differentiate
from others with unique selling point. For Circles.Life, the targeted market segment is
those younger, tech-savvy demographic, which is said to be 15% to 20% of the market.
In Singapores telecom industry there are two types of licensing which first, is the
Facilities-Based Operations (FBO) License which the three major telecom company owns
and the other is Services-Based Operations (SBO) which Circles.Life is taking. FBO
owns the facility where SBO owner uses FBOs facility to provide services (IDA, 2016).
This is the relationship between M1 and Circles.Life. These happens because Singapore
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Government decided to advance the introduction of full market competition in the


telecommunications sector and removed the number of license in this industry except for
in the case of constraint in resources.

Singtel
Singtel provides a diverse range of services including, fixed, mobile, data,
internet, TV, infocomms technology (ICT) and digital solutions. It is known in Singapore
for its best reception. Headquartered in Singapore, Singtel has more than 130 years of
operating experience and played as a major communications hub. Singtel is also
strategically invested in leading companies in Asia and Africa. The Group serves over
600 million mobile customers around the world. They received various awards in 2016
which includes Most Innovative Video Service in Telecom Asia Awards 2016, HRM
Awards 2016, HardwareZone + HWM Tech Awards for Best Telco and Fibre Broadband
Service Provider (Readers Choice) etc. There are 13 outlets of Singtel in Singapore and
also operate an online store (Singtel, 2016)
Singtel currently has a market capital of $61,223.04 mil with yield 4.56% and
dividend of 0.07. Current stock price of Singtel on Stock Exchange of Singapore is $3.90.
Singtel diversified their holdings and investment. Singtel has a strong financial capability
to improve their service in many ways. They focus in providing services in various areas
and mobile services is not their only focus area. Singtel has a strong brand name and
were the first to roll into providing 4G services.
However, SingNets a subsidiary of Singtel had poor management skills and
failed to educate the importance of privacy and issue had happened which causes uproar
among consumer. Recently, the leakage of the confidential issue of customer on Singtel
Application is also an issue which would put a thorn in peoples heart. From the last
statistic available, Singtel had 37.2% of Singapores market share. It provides many
variety of plans with moderate price as compared with others. However Singtel does not
provide data-centric package at a price as low as the other telco. Combo 2 is at $38.61 for
2GB data and can only double data at $5.90 which will be more expensive than others.
Singtel also charged customer for caller ID every month.

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As for customer service, there had been reviews stating dissatisfaction on various
issue in www.customerservicesscoreboard.com. The issue includes Singtel does not
provide new SIM card for customer who recontracted with them, spike of the mobile
data, leakage of mobile data and even problem in installing a fibre broadband at home.
Worst of all, these problem are not resolved and attend to as soon as possible, even if
customer called Singapore or overseas customer service, not much action is taken. Singtel
is also said to overcharged customer and with lots of hidden charges which is the same
condition as the other two big telcos.
In www.glassdoor.com, a review from employees was done and the average
rating is 2.8 upon 5. Singtel is said to have good compensation and work-life balance
with good working environment. However, there are certain level of employees who
disagree and said that the basic pay is low and there is not much chance of career
progression.

M1
M1 Limited was formed in August 1994 and is expanding mobile telecom
business rapidly in Singapore. They operate nationwide 4G, 3G and 2G network and
offer various services which includes mobile services, mobile broadband, home
broadband and international roaming (M1, 2016). They integrate their services in a
holistic view which is their selling point from others. After the launch of Circles.Life, M1
extends upsized data to mySIM and in-contract customers for $5.90 on 9th June 2016. M1
has 17 outlets all over Singapore. M1s customer services had been putting a lot of effort
and had been one of the factor for marketing to assure people to switch to M1. Their
marketing strategies is through video advertisement and public relations. M1 is said to
give the best customer services among the 3 big telcos.
The stock market price of M1 Ltd is currently $2.57 with a market capital of 2.41
Billion and 5.95% of dividend yield. It had been a decrease when compared with 2015s
stock market. In 2014, M1 had a market share of 24.5%. M1s data bundled is quite
expensive but its mySIM plan is relatively cheaper than Circles.Life at only $20 for 3GB.
Furthermore, it has its exclusive benefits of unlimited free calls to 3 M1 numbers.

15

For M1 employee who participate in a review at www.glassdoor.com, they rated


M1 2.9 upon 5. Most mentioned that the pay is satisfying but leaders of M1 does not
really lead and are only concerned about KPI, not the staff, which is a bad culture.
However, this does not happen in all the stores.

StarHub
StarHub is Singapores fully-integrated info-communications company which
offers a full range of information, communications and entertainment services for both
consumer and corporate markets. The mobile network that it provides is of 4G, 3G and
2G services. It also manages an islandwide network that delivers multi-channel pay TV
services as well as ultra-high speed residential broadband services. It aims to provide a
wide range of data, voice and wholesale services (StarHub, 2016). It is known to be good
for its discounts and reward program. Customer service is also quite efficient for
StarHub. However, some people complained that StarHub will have problem like delayed
SMS delivery, calls cut off, no coverage and lack of reception according to a user in
sgforum.com.
StarHub has a market share of 38.3% in 2014. Its current market capital is 6.13
Billion with dividend yield of 5.65%. It has 19 stores outlets around Singapore.
For mobile services, StarHub only offers one type of postpaid packages which is
the SIM Only plans which is almost similar to Circles.Life which is contract free but it
cannot be customised. What it offers is still cheaper than Circles.Lifes basic package
which offers 3GB data, 150 minutes of local calls, 1000 SMS or MMS for only $21.45.
However, customer can add 3GB to their package for only $6 per month. This is way
cheaper than the customised add on data in Circles.Life.
StarHubs employee reviews in www.glassdoor.com rated 3.1 upon 5. The pros of
working in StarHub is the work life balance is there with official times off. The working
environment is also more flexible and good pay. There is cons too and some said that
people in StarHub are largely resistant to changes and has weak internal development
teams. Management only prefer people who listen to them with no suggestion.

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The following is the competitor analysis of all the telcos in weight and scoring.
Critical Success
Factors

Weight

Circles.Life

Singtel

M1

StarHub

Rating Score Rating Score Rating Score Rating Score

Advertising

0.05

2.0

0.10

3.0

0.15

3.0

0.15

4.0

0.20

Customer Service

0.30

3.0

0.90

1.0

0.30

4.0

1.20

2.0

0.60

No Hidden Charge

0.15

4.0

0.60

Employee Dedication

0.05

4.0

0.20

3.0

0.15

3.0

0.15

4.0

0.20

Financial Profit

0.05

1.0

0.05

3.0

0.15

4.0

0.20

3.0

0.15

Customer Loyalty

0.10

2.0

0.20

3.0

0.30

4.0

0.40

3.0

0.30

Market Share

0.03

1.0

0.03

4.0

0.12

3.0

0.09

4.0

0.12

Product Quality

0.15

4.0

0.60

2.0

0.30

4.0

0.60

2.0

0.30

Top Management

0.07

3.0

0.21

3.0

0.21

2.0

0.14

2.0

0.14

Price Competitiveness

0.05

4.0

0.20

1.0

0.05

2.0

0.10

3.0

0.15

Totals

1.00

28

3.09

23

1.73

29

3.03

27

2.16

The rating are applied as 0 for no response, 1 for poor response, 2 for average
reponse, 3 for above average response and 4 for superior response for most of the factors.

As stated above under critical success factors are factors that will affect the
success of the telecom company. The weight is the weightage of each factor and all four
telcos are rated. From the factors, customer service, hidden charge, product quality and
customer loyalty are weighted higher than the others because these affect the experience
of the customers with that particular telco which then affect the business. Most rating are
based on company profile and reviews found on internet regarding these telco except for
Circles.Life because it is too new and not much reviews can be found. Its rating is based
on facts and promises that it made that we assume that it will be accomplished by
Circles.Life.
From the above we found that Circles.Life has big chance in striving because of
its promised customer services, data speed, reasonable price and innovative quality
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product. Most importantly what it promise is the wants of most customer which now it
promise to answer. The hidden charge is especially important as it had been an issue of
being overcharged in all the other 3 companies. M1 is better in customer services while
StarHub and Singtel had the lowest score because of their poor customer service and
network problem. M1 shows the highest dividend yield and thus assume to have higher
financial profit. However, financial strength can be built up slowly eventually.
Circles.Life is behind the others in advertising, financial profit and market share.
Since it is new, it should invest more on advertising which is economical through
YouTube for example and increase its popularity. Circles.Life only had targeted group of
15-20% of the market share. And we assume that that is the maximum it can reach with
its current offerings. What Circles.Life can excel from the others is building good
reputation for what they promise and providing more option to other target group in the
future to capture more market share.

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6 CIRCLES.LIFES COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE


Competitive advantage is defined as the advantage of a firm over tis competitors
which allows the generation of greater sales or margins, retain more customers than its
competitors. The competitive advantages may include firms cost structure, product
offerings, network distribution and customer support (Investopedia, 2016). The
followings are the competitive advantage of Circles.Life over its competitor.

a. No bad record
Circles.Life is a new company with no bad record previously. Not like others of
Singtel and StarHub who had lots of customer complaints and bad customer service
record which was well known. Customer will be willing to give Circles.Life a
chance to prove that they can provide better service. So, Circles.Life has a
competitive advantage to build up good records and prove that they are good.

b. Lower cost due to no infrastructure


Circles.Life has no infrastructure that need maintenance and therefore has less
burden and fixed cost to their operation. Their financial is slim and simple.
Circles.Life has a competitive advantage of being more flexible and slim
financially.

c. Product and offerings looks promising


The products and offerings offered by Circles.Life is a response to the grudge of
Singaporean towards telecom industry all this years. They not only release customer
from contracts and all the extra charges especially caller ID, it gives the power of
customising package to the customer. It is a very promising offer that Circles.Life
had advantage on ahead of others.

d. No contractual obligation

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Most telcos will bind customer to a year or two contracts to have a more pleasing
discount and better deal in data. However, many customer had problem during the
contract with their services which is not attended to and Singaporean now has less
favour towards contract with telco. With no contract obligation, Circles.Life is at
advantage to ask consumer who are about to terminate their contract to give them a
try.

e. No hidden charge for customer


The other three big telcos all had history of overcharging customers. The promise of
no hidden charge in Circles.Life actually creates an understanding towards the
needs of consumer. Circles.Life is at competitive advantage as no other telcos
promise not to have hidden charges.

f. The whole process of purchasing and customisation is efficient and more


suitable for the technology pro generation.
No more queuing and no more physical store is one of the competitive advantage of
Circles.Life. Although all the other three telcos also has online shop, people tend to
forget that they have this services because they can see the physical stores
everywhere. Circles.Life without having physical store saves their cost of operation
and makes purchasing and dealing with customer easier virtually through internet. It
is more convenient for their target market group which is the more technology
savvy people.

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7 RECOMMENDATION ON BUSINESS LEVEL STRATEGY


Business level strategies are the strategies that a firm uses to build competitive
advantage. There are four business-level strategies which are cost leadership,
differentiation, focused low cost strategy and focused differentiation. Cost leadership
refers to the ability of a company to provide a product or service at a cost lower than its
competitor. Differentiation in the other hand refers to a company creating differences in
the product and services they offer from the competitors. Focus strategy refers to the
condition where a firm competes in a narrow scope in the industry where the company
start with a segment of market group where services are tailored for the particular group
of people. Cost focused is by creating cost advantage to a targeted group while
differentiation focused is to seek differentiation in products to its targeted market.

a. Increase market penetration through advertisement ( Cost Leadership)


There is not much advertisement yet seen for Circles.Life, only a few reports on the
internet regarding their offerings and their promises. Penetration of the targeted
market is still not enough. They can self-create some simple and short
advertisement and upload it to YouTube and other social media like Facebook
which are low in cost. This decrease the operating cost needed and are sometimes
more efficient, which is part of cost leadership strategy. Since their target market
group is tech savvy people, these advertisement will surely be able to reach these
group of people. Moreover, these advertisement do not consume much money.
They just need to hire or find someone in the company who can make a good
advertisement video or poster and upload it to the social media.

b. Lower the cost of operation ( Cost Leadership Strategy)


Circles.Life by maintaining the slim structure of its company and operating
thoroughly through network and internet provides an advantage where it can
operate in cost relatively lower than the other three big telcos. This enable
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Circles.Life to have greater margin of profit with lower operating cost. It can
provide services which is cost efficient without the burden of physical asset and
stores. This is a cost leadership strategy which is only effective if Circles.Life
maintain its efficiency of services and quality of product. Circles.Life should only
hire enough employees for their company to operate and digitalise everything to
decrease unnecessary cost.

c. Increase market penetration through benefits of registering a second and


following numbers ( Low cost focused strategy)
Besides the conventional type of advertisement, the best advertisement could be just
customer. Circles.Life can add a promotion which allows customer to get promotion
for their second and following buy. For example, a person can get promotion of free
calls between the first and the following number or 10% discount for their second
buy. Most customer may not have only one number especially of company. This
promotion can motivate customer to sign up all the needed numbers at Circles.Life,
in one company to get more promotion which is a sort of value buy. This attracts
customers as it lower the cost of purchase for the customer, which is a low cost
focused strategy.

d. Provide customer with promotion of giving them credit for introducing new
user to Circles.Life (Low cost focused strategy and cost leadership)
Circles.Life can also penetrate the market through introduction of friends into
Circles.Life buy their current customer. This can be done by giving a promotion or
benefits of crediting money into the customer accounts, lets say $5 for each
introduction of new friends. This can be achieved by adding a column during the
registration for the friend to add on regarding the phone number of their friend who
introduce them the Circles.Life package. Then, money can be credited to the
customers account. This is a way of advertising through people which is cost
effective and contributes to cost leadership strategy. It also decrease the cost for
customer which contributes to low cost focused strategy.

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e. Maintain good efficiency in solving customers problem and customer services


to build up good reputation. (Differentiation strategy)
Singtel and StarHub have problem with their customer services and with record of
not solving the customers problem. Circles.Life can make theirs a new start buy
maintaining the efficiency and speed of response of their services and resolve all the
complaints and problems that up rise. There are sure to be problems in business
which is unavoidable. Building up reputation and maintaining it is what customer
will prefer to cherish. This can be done with proper customer service training of the
staff and hirer people who are suitable for the job. They also need to hirer experts to
monitor the efficiency of the network and the traffic of the network to avoid spikes
from happening. Circles.Life should also start in designing better benefits for its
staff to motivate and keep good staff with them because these are the people who
will journey with them with better service. By differentiating themselves from other
telcos in this area, Circles.Life makes themselves different from others in their
services which is favourable to all customer. This is a differentiation strategy.
f. Increase market share by adding target group with more offerings
(Differentiation focused strategy)
As soon as the current targeted market group has been adequately being penetrated,
Circles.Life should consider in adding target group and thus expanding their market
share. Currently used by Circles.Life is differentiation focused strategy where they
target only the tech savvy group. By expanding their market means using the same
strategy for another target group. This can be done by identifying the next type of
target group, lets say the talktime prone group for business. They can redesign a
basic package for these people for example introducing an unlimited call or very
high amount of talktime with considerable lower data bundle for the same price of
$28. This allows people who need to call a lot to choose Circles.Life second basic
package with the value add-ons still costing the same. This will attract another
group of targeted market group.

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8 CONCLUSION
As we know, the telco market in Singapore is very saturated and all the telcos
differentiate themselves from the others in term of service. How Circles.Life started their
business in differentiation strategy is a good way of making themselves known among
the consumer as all the other three telcos had their own bad records. Circles.Life knows
what consumer wants and the first targeted group are heavy users for the next couple of
years. Much appreciated is the no hidden charges and customisation of services which are
most attracting. Circles.Life really have much competitive advantage to start with in this
industry and it started in a slim structure which is popular nowadays in business.
However, other telcos may follow and these advantages may disappear as time goes by.
Circles.Life should forever be working to create more competitive advantage to stay in
this competitive industry.

(7016 words)

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