Indosat Ooredoo Hutchinson, better known as IOH, is one of Indonesia’s biggest telecom providers and has just emerged from its first-year post-merger. While at least 50% of mergers in this industry fail, IOH surpassed all expectations and displayed a trailblazing performance, growing its subscriber base and revenue during a merger year. On top of having to blend two distinct company cultures and processes, it impressively managed to retain its sizeable share of cellular customers. Today, IOH is proudly part of a handful of telcos worldwide, serving over 100 million customers in a single country.
The team of passionate leaders at IOH firmly attributes its ability to set industry-leading benchmarks to its vibrant ecosystem of over 800 partners. For years, partners have played important roles as enablers. They fuel the IOH corporate story of becoming the most preferred digital telco in the region by offering its customers world-class digital experiences. In an age where value creation in the telecoms industry has been considerably disrupted, partnerships are seen as the core building blocks, especially as IOH vies to champion Indonesia’s thriving digital ecosystem.
But to truly drive the country’s IDR 1.4 trillion Internet economy, IOH had to embrace its partner-driven business model where partners play a critical role in their current and future successes. It was clear they needed a platform to recognise strategic partners for their remarkable contributions while building an ecosystem that is prepared to take the next giant leap in achieving transformational milestones for the company. A fresh aura also had to be set to attract new partnerships that would unlock the power of true transformation beyond mere integration. And ultimately, there is a need to unite all players in the partner ecosystem to pursue a collective ambition of uplifting an entire nation.
As part of a purposeful change, IOH recently partnered with twimbit to support its aspiration of delivering marvellous experiences to all stakeholders – including partners. Such an ideal was built on a holistic set of five pillars, one of them aimed at changing how partners are valued and regarded. The ethos is to serve and treat all partners like customers and to always ensure their needs are taken care of, “when you take one step, we will take two”, as Vikram Sinha, Chief Executive Officer at IOH, puts it. twimbit saw this burning desire as an opportunity to initiate something special that had never been done before in IOH, orchestrating an inaugural partner awards program that would catapult its potential to deliver marvellous partner experiences.
twimbit recognizes that this is the inception of celebrating great partnerships and offered its expertise to run the event. With its strong leadership skills and deep experience with managing similar programs, twimbit set up and coordinated an end-to-end process that engaged multiple parts of the company. From structuring an insights-based nomination process, twimbit also pioneered a two-level judging system to democratically decide on the final award winners. Additionally, twimbit advised on event tonality and developed a post-event CSAT measurement mechanism. All in all, twimbit managed to rally the support of multiple cross-functional teams and developed a comprehensive partner awards event. This event successfully established a solid, sustainable foundation for IOH to recognise and celebrate its top-performing partners.
The prestigious IOH Marvelous Partner Awards featured an evening that hosted over 60 partners, comprising of 20 verticals and horizontal categories across 8 business pillars. More importantly, it identified and featured several best-performing partners in the IOH ecosystem based on business performance and experience-related criteria. A strict procedure involving a quantitative and qualitative-based nomination process was followed to shortlist a handful of potential winners before a debate-style judging process. With twimbit as an independent arbitrator, IOH leaders ultimately decided on the 20 award recipients of the evening.
As the architect of the first-ever program, twimbit helped develop a guiding playbook that documented the end-to-end processes and procedures. This will enable the IOH team to run a better, improved version using the detailed, step-by-step instructions, key learnings and feedback from partners as well as a series of recommendations for overall improvement.
The performance-packed evening not only managed to rally the biggest partners in the IOH ecosystem but shined a defining spotlight on emerging partners who often go unnoticed in the ballroom. A competitive fervor to win the next series of awards ignited within the partners, as emerging partners saw this as a great inlet for new business opportunities, while for industry-leading names, a heartful appreciation for a job well done. Apart from the 20 winning partners going home with a golden, Oscar-like trophy (that weighed around 6 kg each), all partners felt and expressed a genuine sense of acknowledgement and recognition, particularly as it came from a well-established and reputable company like IOH.
Moreover, as the journey of recognising and building exceptional partnerships rarely materialises in a single evening, IOH and twimbit decided to share a call to action with all attending partners. In the strategic address, which captured an aspirational, forward-looking company outlook, partners were asked to submit one key idea for empowering Indonesia with IOH. And the extent to which this groundbreaking vision surpassed the corporate boundaries of IOH and into the board rooms of their partners was something marvellous. IOH now owns a powerful repository containing strategic opportunities that could take collaborative success to a whole new level alongside a passionate set of exemplary partners who are willing to go the extra mile.
On top of being a successfully merged company, IOH is a master collaborator, one that celebrates and places partners at the forefront of delivering marvellous experiences. It is only a matter of time before more exciting partnerships are celebrated and recognised as part of a continuous journey to Empower Indonesia.