Carrier Episode for Electrical Engineers Australia
- My first career episode is about the experience that I gained at Rawabi Next Generation Network Solutions W.L.L. (Rawabi NGNS) while working as the Manager Carrier Relations & Regulatory Affairs between June 2010 and April 2011.The project was the design of the termination process and execution at Rawabi NGNS located at the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Here are the company details.
Address: P.O. Box 75638, Suite 203, Almoayyed Tower, Al Seef-District the Kingdom of Bahrain
- The agility of the telecommunications industry continues to increase with new competitive ICT solutions aimed at eliminating current technologies. ICT Companies held hostage as subsidiaries to a group holding, find themselves pulled in two opposing sides (market competition and higher management targets), making it much difficult to deliver their mandate. Enormous challenges in terms of funding, staffing, strategy design, marketing and integrating levels of management frequently erupt in these unpreceded industry. In this project, I designed and procedurally outlined a business termination process for Rawabi NGNS, an ICT company based in Bahrain, fully incorporated as a subsidiary to Rawabi holdings group that runs its other companies in oil fields service, contracting, industrial services and retail trade. This shutdown of Rawabi NGNS resulted from its continuous loss making, inability to grow and hyper competition from the Batelco monopolizing practices and more so conflicting management interests that cause contention, lack of proper control/command and thus poor decision making.
- I derived specific goals/objectives to act as the guideposts for scheduling the activities targeted at cost reduction and smooth exit process. I had to minimize the Rawabi NGNS organizational running costs, until the termination was complete. To assist the Rawabi holding management in prioritizing, sorting and executing the commercial, legal and technical issues related to their subsidiary company dissolution. Explore termination alternatives (amalgamation, liquidation, change of mandate and industry) and their benefit versus cost implications in both short and long runs. I had to explore business opportunities in the Bahrain Information and communication sector, specify a business plan and advise the management on present and future trends (competition, supply chain, legal, political, technological and global evolutionary changes) that could bring about a viable business opportunity. Very vital was to make precise presentation to the top management, enumerating my undertakings and advisory.
Figure 1: organization chart
- As a consultant instrumentation engineer, I was assigned the role and responsibility of terminating Rawabi NGNS by the management with the job profile as outlined below.
- Analyze the current assets setup in the company including the hardware and software composition
- Study and establish the linkage terms and conditions with sector entities, including TRA, Ministry of commerce, ISPs, VSPs, Customers, OLOs, Resellers, PPCC distributors etc.
- Design and manage the execution of cost reduction during the termination of the business, while making a smooth transition.
- Ensure full compliance in resource transfer including voice channels, voice termination routes, receivables and payables, licenses, Internet content and capacity etc.
- Compile report detailing the termination processes, tradeoffs of business dissolution methods and present it to the Rawabi Holdings top management.
- Come up with a business plan, exploring future prospects of enterprise development in the Bahrain telecommunication sector.
- Personal Engineering Activity
- In preparation to begin this project, I planned and met with the Rawabi holdings vice president with whom we discussed the performance of Rawabi NGNS for the last few years with reference to their financial statements of those years. I then held another meeting with the legal counsellor, from where I got guidelines on commercial laws governing the telecommunication industry and held a deeper conversation over the legal procedures establishing the TRA. A pre-visit to the Rawabi NGNS offices also gave me an intuition of work environment, during which I unofficially interviewed several customers.
- To execute this task, I gathered a wide range of data from various sources. I first reviewed the customer, employees and supplier contract documents, analyzed their terms and conditions and extracted useful information, guiding on what can be done and by which means. I downloaded the legislative decree No.48 of 2002 and downloaded several electronic materials from the TRA website from where I detailed the terms and conditions of their licenses, services withdrawal charges and terminations impact to consumers and procedures set thereof. After this analysis, I read the ISO 270011:2013 standards on information security management systems, in order to make sure my work conforms to these procedures. To maintain quality, I observed ISO 9000 series of standards on quality management systems. I finally made to keenly analyze the financial statements audited in the last 5 years that gave me a clear picture of losses resulting from unnecessary costs.
- Using the information had gathered, I conceptualized a flow plan and drafted a functional block diagram for the various processes I would have to undertake in order to arrive at a final solution as shown in the diagram below:
Figure 2. Rawabi NGNS Company Termination Process design
- I analyzed, designed and built individual solutions for each of the functional blocks in the diagram, combined them and made a complete solution process for the termination of the Rawabi NGNS Company.
- Rawabi NGNS Organizational Structure Analysis
The company had maintained low number of staff with the General Manager; 4 permanently employed Departmental Managers for finance, HR/Admin, Operations and Sales/Marketing; Staff members for the four departments who had been employed on contractual basis. I resolved alternatives for absorption into other subsidiary companies for the permanent employees, payment of full contract terms and termination of contracts thereof for the other employees.
- Network Infrastructure resource analysis
I then drafted the network structure topology for the resources used to ferry communication and store content in the company, audited the monetary values of the nodes hardware and software solutions modularly and sourced potential buyers at market prices as shown below.
Figure 3. Rawadi NGNS Network layout
- Creditors and Debtors solution
I designed an aggressive debt recovery methodology with a grace period of one month and recovered all the dues receivable by the Rawabi NGNS. I also analyzed creditors’ balances on loans, rents and all monies payable and agreed with each on settlement scheme with allowances for contract breaches.
- Regulatory Bodies Solution
Following the procedures laid out by the ministry of commerce regarding company terminations and TRA’s terms and conditions of service withdrawal and license renewal conditions versus terminations charges, I made a proposition for return of unused numbers, saved bandwidths by narrowing down channels to individual consumers and returned this spare frequencies and numbers to the TRA. I also drafted a licenses and contract termination process within the provisions of the law.
- During the derivation and design of the company termination process, I made calculations for specific technical and financial specifications using the following formulas/mathematical expressions:
Gross profit (%) = (gross profit/sales) *100
Return on equity = (Net profit after tax/Owner’s equity) *100
Return on Investment = ((Net profit after tax + Interest)/total investment) *100
- After designing the Rawabi RGNS termination solution, I embarked on a new wide research, business plan solution drafting and evaluation, to establish any business opportunities possible in present scenario or in future prospects. I identified problems faced by customers in most of the ISPs, widely interrelated the internal and external environment influences on telecommunication sectors, possibilities of enterprise development based on huge data resulting from machine to machine communication and did a S.W.O.T Analysis of potential competitors. I then drafted a new business plan for Rawabi holdings, with financial projections for the various business enterprise development life-cycle phases and evaluated possible political stability effects on the market. I also proposed amendments on the organizational structure with strategies for marketing/sales, Financial management, integration of technologies to improve customer service and increase employee efficiency. I made an H.R strategy that’s based on skill retention and employee knowledge exchange. I later presented this plan to the management.
- The challenges I faced while designing and drafting these solutions varied in terms of legality, technical and managerial terms. One paramount challenge was coming up with a retrenchment policy to fire employees who had worked for the company for long periods while minimizing the costs incurred in this process. Persuasive negotiations based on facts with these persons proved the most important tool. The costs for breach of contract were clearly agreed upon on a conscious will. Getting the debtors agreements to settle our creditors payables directly was also a solution designed to minimize running costs during termination.
- I made innovations in the techniques used to come up with the solutions such as flow chart conceptualization that I used as the specifications for my design. I also utilized modularization, breaking down the larger tasks in to small, simpler tasks and recombining the individual solutions to arrive at a final complete Rawabi NGNS business termination process.
- I greatly used CISCO circuit simulation platforms to model the network topologies, deriving the logical I.P address number plan, analysis, design and audit of security systems. I used Wireshark to capture and analyze packets send over international links, which was highly useful in computing traffic density and bandwidth utilization. More Important were the MS Office package that I used to analyze data and present precisely the termination process and business plan to the managers.
- Experience that I gained during this project was basically an application of units learned in university, including Engineering management whose skills I used to schedule the timeline targets for this project, Law for engineer’s lecture notes also guided me on extracting relevant information from existing laws. I also applied my engineering abilities on mobile, satellite, terrestrial and multimedia communications in auditing the Rawabi NGNS networks.
- Teamwork was the key to a successful completion of this project. I held meetings with various managers, kept updating them on my progress, made consultations with and negotiated on a win-win cases with all the stakeholders. My presentation of the final solutions was excellent and fully satisfied the managers’ enquiry. Working hand in hand with regulatory bodies while maintaining the confidentiality of the information exchanged thereof was an all-inclusive task that required managerial skills and group work coordination as I learned.
- Documenting all the findings, data analysis and design tradeoffs was a task I meant to make a record. I drafted the business plan in the correct format, with details on operational plan, Organizational structure, Marketing/sales strategy, financial plan and growth strategy. I also wrote a final report on the process designed to terminate the Rawabi NGNS business, detailing the legal obligations of the firm, contractual terms and costs minimization mechanisms for use in the execution of this task. To make my designs heard and understood, I prepared power point slides and presented my work in the panel of managers and shareholders.
- Safety in this project was required in assuring the confidentiality of information, security and access to the parties involved without leakage to the public domain to avoid tainting the image and cooperate brand reputation of the holding company. I remained accurate on customer information in our databases especially on monetary issues and observed the code of conduct outlined in engineering society and TRA regulations. More so I standardized my work with ISO quality procedures.
- In a short form, I successfully designed a complete solution for the process undertaken in the termination of perpetual, legal/commercial/technical and social life of the Rawabi NGNS. I also made a business plan regarding future possible business opportunities especially after the Arab uprising political waves calmed down and economic activity were revived. I documented all the work for future reference and knowledge creation and retention within Rawabi Holding.