The Sultanate’s first integrated telecommunications provider, Omantel, was named ‘Best Telco in Corporate Governance’ winner by Ethical Boardroom, a leading global governance organisation. The Company competed against leading telecom companies from around the region to win the prestigious prize. The Best Corporate Governance awards recognize the outstanding leadership from boards of public companies who ensure they uphold corporate governance standards to safeguard and enhance the long-term value for stakeholders.
Corporate governance, defined as the policies, mechanisms and processes in which companies are directed, is globally recognized as a vital ethos to ensure the growth and ethical conduct of corporations. Corporate governance is founded on the key principles of; respect of rights and equitable treatment of shareholders, interest of other non-shareholding stakeholders, role and responsibility of the board, integrity and ethical behavior, and the importance of disclosure and transparency. Commenting on the award, Omantel CEO Talal Al Mamari noted, “We are proud to have won this prestigious and highly coveted award. As one of Oman’s most iconic and trusted brands and as the largest listed company in Muscat Securities Market in terms of market value, Omantel endeavors to operate according to the highest global standards of corporate governance, and this recognition is testament to our efforts. We aim to achieve the highest long-term returns for our shareholders and value for our stakeholders by operating ethically and transparently in the interests of the sustainable growth of Oman and its people.”
Omantel implemented a corporate governance framework that is focused on the role of leadership in strategic decision-making taken by the Board of Directors, on the transparency of management choices, both within the company as well as in respect to the market, on the efficiency and effectiveness of the internal control system, on the strict discipline of potential conflicts of interest and on firm guiding principles of conduct for transactions with related parties.
Omantel views corporate governance not as an end in itself but a vital facilitator to the creation of long-term value for its stakeholders. The company emphasizes an innovation-led culture, high behavioral standards and streamlined procedures as the cornerstones of the recently released 3.0 Transformation Strategy, underlining a strong corporate governance framework. “We are focused on enriching the lives of our customers, maintaining strong and stable relationships with our employees and suppliers, and in doing so ensuring that we manage our risks and resources appropriately. In building our corporate governance framework, we constantly review the external factors that present risks and opportunities for our business in order to ensure our strategy is appropriate.” Talal Al Mamari added.
Omantel has delivered consistent value for shareholders and stakeholders over the past year. Last year, Omantel Group revenue grew by 6.9% to RO 514.5 million compared with RO 481.2 million in the corresponding period of 2014, an increase of RO 33 Mn. Mobile and Fixed Broadband services were the key drivers for growth at Omantel, increasing by 10% and 33% respectively. Omantel’s domestic subscriber base also witnessed a 1.3% growth as of December 2015 (including mobile and fixed businesses) reaching 3.384 million (excluding Mobile Resellers) compared to 3.341 million of the corresponding period of the previous year.
As the demand for broadband services in Oman grew significantly in 2015, Omantel invested more than OMR 120 million towards the modernization and expansion of its country-wide network. and investment average as a revenue ratio. Where the ratio was 2015 for Omantel (23.8%) compared to the average in the region (22.4%) and global average (18%). It shows Omantel commitment to investing in the telecom market in the Sultanate to exceed customers’ expectations and lead the digital transformation for the Sultanate.
In the past year Omantel also experienced gains in the wholesale arena. The company recently landed a number of prominent sub-marine and terrestrial cables linking Asia, Africa and Europe passing through Oman to meet the international capacity requirements of customers locally and internationally and helping to position Oman as a communications hub of the region.
The company also works closely with community groups and organisations to make a meaningful difference to the future development of the nation. Omantel places considerable emphasis on youth development in the Sultanate, and supports numerous education initiatives, youth sporting groups and student internship and training programs. During 2015, the company invested a total of OMR 2 million in a number of community support initiatives, events and CSR programmes.
‘Best Corporate Governance’ is the latest addition to a growing number of awards and accolades won by Omantel in the last year. Recently, Omantel was also recognized as top MSM listed company by Oman’s leading economic and business publication, the Oman Economic Review (OER), at the OER Top 20 Awards. The company was also voted as the ‘The most valuable brand in Oman, and the only Omani brand in the MENA Top 50 Brands’ according to study published by Brand Finance, one of the world's leading intangible assets and brand valuation independent consultancies. In 2015, Omantel was also voted as the ‘Most Trusted Brand’ in the telecom sector in the Sultanate as per the annual brand survey conducted by OER magazine in conjunction with the Arab Research Bureau.
Investing in the future of the nation, Omantel connects even the most remote communities of the Sultanate to each other and the rest of the world. Omantel is the Sultanate’s first and leading integrated telecommunications services provider, enabling the digital society to flourish, allowing new ways of doing business and delivering a world of information, news and entertainment. Today, Omantel boldly innovates to deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction, the broadest and most reliable nationwide network while investing for Oman’s future development.