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Wed 23 Aug 2006 04:00 AM

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Helping Hand

Technocare is a company that offers customer care and technical assistance services to three international mobile handset manufacturers in the Middle East region.

|~|technocare200.jpg|~|Pramod Kattel, Technocare's general manager, says businesses like his are becoming essential in helping manufacturers to better satisfy subscriber needs and differentiate their product proposition.
|~|CommsMEA: What is Technocare's primary business activity and history?
Pramod Kattel: Technocare was created in 1998 as a member of the Koohiji Group of Companies to provide an efficient after-sales service for mobile phone end user customers in the UAE, Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Headquartered in Dubai, Technocare supports 28 countries in the MEA region - equipped with state of the art test and measuring equipment, which helps to complete repairs faster and more reliably. The company has a highly competent technical and commercial team, trained to support customers and the products.

Technocare also has strong know-how and expertise in the field of customer care, repair support service, call centre support and spare parts logistics for consumer telecoms products especially for cellular phones. We always strive hard to create an environment, which gives a positive experience to our customers in all their dealings with us. This adds a great value to the brands we represent and helps them to achieve their goals in the areas of customer care and repair support.

CMEA: What is Technocare's staffing level?
PK: We have 48 employees based in the UAE, and I expect that number to grow to 58 by the end of the year. In all the other countries that we are present our partners represent us.

CMEA: You represent Motorola, BenQ-Siemens Mobile and Sony Ericsson. Are you looking to expand the number of handset suppliers you provide services for, and if so, how soon would you expect this to happen?
PK: Yes, we are planning to expand our activities to more countries in the MEA region. We will do so by offering more value-added services to our existing brands and will also strive to create associations with new brands. As of now, that's all I'd like to say on this subject. I can tell you, though, that we are well into the process of expanding our activities into some Asian and European countries. Wait till the beginning of 2007 and I will have some exciting news for you.

CMEA: Do you expect to see other handset manufacturers in the region also introducing similar programmes to allow a single after-sales provider to be appointed, which handles queries regardless of which retail outlet the device was purchased?
PK: Undoubtedly. Already, an increasing number of handset manufacturers today prefer to take what we call 'the single window approach' in order to offer high quality and uniform service standards to the end customers. It's an idea for which its time has come, and nothing can stop the charge.

CMEA: What specific services do you offer to each of your existing handset manufacturer clients? How many contact centres and contact centre staff does Technocare have?
PK: We offer pre-sales product consultancy, post sales product support, call centre support, repair process management consultancy services and logistics support activities for all the brands we are associated with in the MEA region.

We have four customer care centres in the UAE and 28 partner outlets across the MEA to support the customer care activities in addition to some 65 collection points spread across all the Emirates.

CMEA: Given the development of more sophisticated data services, are you witnessing an increase in customers requiring greater access to information regarding how their phones work and how they can use them to access various non-voice services offered by the service operators?
PK: Oh yes. More customers are aware of data services today. Also, more of them are now utilising such data services for effective business and personal management. Our call centres and product consultants in customer care centres offer complete solutions to customers related to various data services.

CMEA: What is your general impression of the state of customer care in the Middle East telecoms sector, and how can it be improved upon?
PK: Things are definitely much better today than they were a few years back. That said, the fact remains that there is a vast scope for improvement in the area of customer care. If you ask me, I am of the opinion that organisations need to focus more on providing faster, efficient and reliable customer care solutions - and providing them at a single-point interface. That is what the end customer demands - and as we all agree, the customer is always right.||**||

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