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October 12, 2011

Turn-key Expertise for UAE Operator


RP International played a key role in the launch of du, a MEA challenger operator.

CEO Stuart Wilson led a team which recruited talent from the CIO down and enabled the business to launch on time.

RP International was contacted by the UAE Government body, TECOM, who was establishing a new Mobile Operator in the region.

CEO Stuart Wilson led a team to pitch successfully against a number of other international search firms for the contract to recruit the CxO team.

RP International was selected based on our unique experience of working on Operator Start-ups (this was to be our 25th) as well as our track record in supporting TECOM, who we had worked with on a number of TMT roll-outs as well as providing resources for the establishment of the UAE Government Telecoms Regulatory Authority (TRA).

The client was keen to bring on board high-level executives from established operators. However, the small scale of operations for this new entity was not necessarily going to appeal to individuals used to senior leadership within a very large operation.

There was also a requirement to hire a proportion of UAE nationals onto the project. This posed a challenge as there was a limited pool of skilled resources in the region and considerable loyalty to the PTT.

Coming on board at this preliminary stage, RP International was also compelled to play on a key role in the development of HR processes, including the creation of the compensation, benefits and salary schemes.

RP International’s solution to these challenges was to locate three members of our specialist recruitment team on site full-time. This enabled us to provide 24-7 support during the extremely pressurised roll-out period.

The on-site team, supported by a second unit located within the nearby RP International offices, conducted a global search and assembled a true ‘UN’ of potential candidates. We additionally drew upon our specialist network of launch-specific talent to recruit individuals with the niche skills required for a successful operator roll-out.

Following a request from the newly placed CIO, RP International also drew up a report on the availability and costs of implementing the billing and CRM system that had been decided on before his arrival, against another choice. Our report concluded that there was a need to change the original decision based on cost and time to market reasons.

We then rapidly put together a ‘hit’ list of the top OSS/BSS talent on the market and brought together team of 20 of the best Consultants in the industry from the US, Europe and APAC.

RP International’s ultimate engagement with the project grew from the original CxO requirements and in total we recruited 220 executive, management and technical specialists, of which over 50% were Arabic speaking. Placements included:

  • Finance – Interim CFO
  • Revenue Assurance
  • Fraud
  • Customer Services
  • IT
  • PMO
  • Marketing
  • Retail
  • Sales
  • Legal and Regulatory

The launch was completed successfully and du, as the operator was named, now has 4.5 million subscribers. 

Four years post-launch 85% of the people RPInternational placed remain in post.

Over the last seven years, RP International total turnover with du has reachedUS$33M and we continue to provide resources across their business areas.


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