Yoodo shares their journey and their digital insights on how they are bracing through the pandemic
By Poovenraj Kanagaraj
“It’s challenging at this point of time,” says the head of Yoodo, Chow Tuck Mun, referring to the ongoing pandemic that has affected nations worldwide, including Malaysia. The outbreak that originated in Wuhan has since consumed countries in crises everywhere.
Businesses in Malaysia had to face the possibility of closure and bankruptcy ever since the Movement Control Order (MCO) was announced in order to curb the virus outbreak. Yoodo was not entirely exempted from the outbreak’s impact as well.
“We were supposed to launch our key event of the year and we wanted to introduce new products ,” Chow told Business Today. The key event or better known as Yoodo 2.0 was initially scheduled to take place in March.
The MCO was enforced on March 18.
Yoodo’s vision for their key event involved inviting superfans, partners and even a concert was in the pipeline however gatherings were already seen as early warning signs for the spread of the Covid-19.
“We started noticing it in January. There was the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona and we’re going to be involved in that and by January , we decided it was probably not the best time to travel,” Chow says.
While further on-ground plans had to be shelved until the situation in the country stabilised, Yoodo, being one of the country’s only fully digitalised telco, did what it does best.
It took its plans online and increased their engagements on digital platforms.
“Rather than running on the ground, we approached the situation by increasing our engagement both online and on social media. We were pretty fluid with our plans,” he added.
“We are a fully digital telco. We have not seen a significant impact when it comes to running our day to day operations,” Chow says. He pointed out that while retail stores of other telcos may face closures for the time being, being fully digital allowed the point of communication between Yoodo and their users to completely take place on the app.
“Everything is done on the app, from the point of registration to users choosing their plans on the app. Even payments are done via the app,” Chow says.
Besides mild concerns on the delivery of sim cards, Yoodo claims that operations are smooth thus far.
More than just a telco
Like many of its counterparts in the country, Yoodo’s diversification into different field is a move that has been adopted by many telcos not just in the country but also in the region. However, its commitment towards e-sports has definitely shown the telco is willing to do more than just talk.
From advertisements online to billboards, the telco’s commitment towards the country’s budding e-sports industry is evident.
Having hosted three key tournaments in the past – PUBG Mobile National Championship (PMNC) 2018, PMNC 2019 and PUBG Mobile Campus Championship 2019 – the telco has attracted over 7,500 participants. The numbers has yet to take into account the smaller tournaments Yoodo has hosted over the years.
“We envision this number would triple if not more when taking into account spectators as well,” Yoodo says.
The rising brand has also branched into entertainment and active sports. Its partnership with the Malaysia Futsal Association and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) has made it the official digital telco and official digital broadcaster of the Malaysia Premier Futsal League. While only one match took place prior to the MCO, the partnership has allowed Malaysians watching from home to tune into the the match on Youtube.
In terms of entertainment, Yoodo has also started a number of series offering opportunities to local musicians to showcase their talents in the market to the telco’s users. Having proven successful, the telco aims to continue its commitment towards local talent with further plans currently in its pipeline.
2019 has been an exciting year for the telco in terms of growth, according to Chow. Yoodo has since recorded significant growth and awareness of the brand has also spiked not just in terms of offering customised data plans but also as an active player in different segments.
The app on the Google PlayStore has over 500,000 downloads thus far.
“We do expect the numbers to grow this year, matter of fact, we are seeing a little bit more growth than normal,” Chow says.
“We have been noted for being innovative in terms of products and with Yoodo 2.0, we have announced a couple more products and we will continue doing so,” Chow told Business Today, in regards to the telco’s plans for the second half of the year.
“Naturally a couple more new offerings are on its way in the next couple of months,” Chow said. Yoodo recently introduced further add ons for Tik Tok, Viu, Call of Duty Mobile and Boost.
However, Chow says they will continue figuring ways to continue their engagements with their users online. Positive responses thus far continues to validate the telco’s efforts in upping their engagements.
According to Chow, the company has done well in terms of positioning its brand as a truly 100 percent digital telco. He says, “Nobody in the market has the ability to customise data, voice and sms plans and with more than 350 thousand combinations, customers themselves can choose what best fits their needs.”