DUBAI/KUWAIT: Zain, a leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, has been awarded the ‘Best Brand’ accolade for 2020 at the prestigious Telecoms World Middle East Awards for a record seventh consecutive year. This accolade was bestowed on Zain by a panel of expert judges assembled by Terrapinn, the organizers of the annual Telecoms World Middle East Conference and Awards held virtually last week in Dubai. The awards recognize outstanding performance in key telecom-related areas across the region and shine a spotlight on leading players that have contributed to making the sector one of the most dynamic globally.
Since the introduction of its inspiring brand in 2007, Zain has been the recipient of numerous brand-related awards over the years. This year’s success was driven by numerous factors linked to the company’s COVID-19 related digital innovation, corporate sustainability programs, and eye-catching marketing and social media campaigns that have captured the imagination of the entire region.
The Zain brand is valued at $2.55 billion (up 9.9 percent over the previous year) by the Brand Finance Middle East Top 50 Brands 2020 annual report, which also recently noted that Zain’s brand rating is AA. This remarkable valuation and recognition some 13 years after the brand’s introduction is testament to the investment Zain has made in this area and more importantly the quality mobile and data services that the brand represents.
Since March 2020, Zain has been on a mission-critical period as all Zain operations have been focused on providing meaningful connectivity during the lockdown to minimize the impact of the pandemic on socio-economic development. At the same time, Zain has double downed on digital transformation to better serve businesses, governments, and societies, granting increased digital access to essential medical, commercial, and financial services.
Zain has also focused on enhancing its entire network to offer the best technology and digital services across its countries of operation, developments that are positively impacting customer experience and brand recognition. Over the past 12 months, Zain has invested approximately $1 billion in expanding, upgrading, and rolling out 4G and 5G networks across its footprint, successfully rolling out 5G services in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.
Zain recognizes that now more than ever, the entrepreneur ecosystem needs to grow as the region requires the economic diversification that arises from the ensuing innovations. Accordingly, the company is focused on numerous digital innovation and startup initiatives across operations and recently opened the Zain Innovation Center (ZINC) in Kuwait, a co-working hub inspired by the success of a similar facility in Jordan.
The innovation centers offer numerous virtual services during COVID-19 social distancing, with the facilities geared to encourage young minds to think and act creatively in an open and supportive environment. The goal of these centers is to create a conducive atmosphere for entrepreneurs to generate new ideas and develop them into viable opportunities.
The strength of the Zain brand is further reflected by its growing and loyal social media audience where Zain’s social media fans across its footprint count over 22 million, with Zain’s Facebook counting 11.9 million followers; Twitter 7.2 million; Instagram 2.2 million; and LinkedIn 600,000. Zain’s YouTube channels rack up approximately 100 million views annually.
Every Ramadan, Zain seeks to present a new message that touches upon the most relevant issues in life in its television commercials. The 2020 Zain Ramadan commercial immediately amassed significant interest across social media platforms, with the 2.35-minute-long content exceeding 34 million views to date. The Zain Ramadan 2020 Eid commercial, “Open the Doors” has garnered over 36 million YouTube views, going viral along the way. Both commercials aired to millions of viewers on regional satellite and local TV networks across the MENA region.
Zain has rolled out various initiatives, creating opportunities for its people and the communities it serves. These include the ‘Zain Youth’ (ZY) empowerment initiative that focuses on creative and unique solutions in recruiting new talent to the organization and ensuring all employees work toward delivering the company’s strategy. Zain’s ‘Gender Diversity and Inclusion’ initiatives are improving the company’s culture in this regard, driving the Women Empowerment program, for example.
Zain’s far-sighted Disability Inclusion initiative ‘WE ABLE’ looks to integrate people with disabilities within the company and create opportunities for them, Zain has set a goal to be Disability Inclusive by 2022. These activities have all contributed to the further reinforcement of the Zain brand’s promise and business ethos. The company aspires to unlock opportunities for customers and for the communities it serves, remaining wholeheartedly committed to the region’s economic and social prosperity.