The chief executive officer of Digicel Cayman, in an interview with the Cayman Compass, said the country’s diverse population presents unique challenges for the mobile phone carrier.
Martin Bould, 42, arrived in Cayman six months ago to lead Digicel’s local operations. The broader Digicel Group puts Cayman in the same category as Bermuda and Turks and Caicos, with more wealthy people, better infrastructure and a higher standard of living than most countries in the region. Some people want the latest high-end cellphones and data plans while others are just looking for an easy, inexpensive prepaid phone, he said.
There are many “high net worth users” in Cayman, he said, who want to buy the newest technology.
“Historically,” he said, the company has been “overly focused on pre-pay.”
Mr. Bould said he was surprised by how many types of customers fit into such a small population here. The products the company has to have available to suit people from the Philippines, Jamaica, the United States or Europe are all different. He said the company needs to offer “all options for all segments.”
Before leaving his native England, Mr. Bould spent more than 15 years in the telecom industry there. He spent nine years with Vodafone before moving to 02, the two largest British telecoms. His experience with the two companies involved mainly sales and marketing.
Mr. Bould’s move to Cayman puts him at the top of one of the country’s two mobile phone carriers, and doing business here has meant making some adjustments. He said working here is much more personal, more about who you know and getting out and meeting people.
There have been other adjustments too as he learns more about Digicel’s operations in Cayman. Mr. Bould said the number of people who want to go to the physical store to pay a bill is “one of the biggest challenges” he’s working on.
While it is customary in the U.K. or the U.S. to pay a bill online, long wait times are no surprise in Digicel’s Cayman stores, and Mr. Bould said the in-person bill pay is a big part of that.
He said he hopes the company can change how customers use the stores, which tends to be a negative experience, for example to pay a bill or fix a phone problem.
Digicel plans to move its George Town store out of the downtown area to a new building this summer. The current downtown store has no parking and is “in a shell of a building.”
He said he also wants to change the look and feel of the company’s three stores, based on new mobile phone stores like AT&T in the U.S. or Vodafone in the U.K. He envisions the new store as similar to an Apple store, and he wants to make it a “fun, experimental place to be,” with new technologies customers can play with, and experts on hand to help people learn how to use their phones and get technical support. He said he hopes the new store will be a “showroom rather than a mobile phone shop.”
Mr. Bould said Digicel hopes to release new products as they come on the market, such as the new Apple Watch, and tablet computers. He added that he hopes to improve Digicel’s Web presence to get people moving online for the most routine issues, such as paying a bill.