Ep 18 – A digital telco: Meet Yaqoot

This week’s guest

Executive Voice: Juha Korhonen, Yaqoot

Juha Korhonen

Senior telco executive

This episode of Telco in 20 is destined to be a listener favorite.

You’re about to get a behind-the-scenes look at a bonafide, digital-transformation success story – Zain Group’s launch of Yaqoot, a digital mobile operator in the Middle East.

I’m always preaching that using the public cloud requires a new mindset. It’s not about running workloads in different locations; it’s about taking a completely fresh approach to building and managing software. If you do a great job, you can get results you never thought possible. The proof is in the Yaqoot. It shows that telcos can focus on customers, save a ton of money, AND achieve massive growth.

Our guest, Juha Korhonen, was instrumental in getting Yaqoot off the ground, and he’s here to tell us how he did it. Listen to our conversation to hear about:

  • The advantage of starting with a blank sheet of paper [3:18];
  • The approaches to transformation Juha’s team considered, and which one they chose [4:56];
  • How Yaqoot turned telcos’ biggest cost drivers – sales commissions, customer care, IT management – upside down [7:43];
  • The project’s shocking effect on subscriber growth and the bottom line [20:15];
  • Juha’s advice for other telcos trying to turn their ship [22:56].

Yaqoot has a great story and I want to hear more just like it. If you’re a telco exec driving transformational change, I want you on the podcast! Reach out to me on Twitter or LinkedIn, or set up a time to meet with me in CLOUD CITY at MWC21 in Barcelona.

I’m also thrilled to announce that Telco in 20 has been included in Forrester’s 2021 list of the Top 100 Channel Podcasts. In our first year! What an honor. Help us spread the word.

Links and Resources

Author’s bio

Juha Korhonen is a senior executive with more than 25 years of experience in the telecom industry. He built, launched, and operated Zain Group’s fully digital operator Yaqoot in 2020. He has held several C-level roles, including Group Director of Digital and Innovation with Zain Group, as well as Chief Commercial Officer for Zain Saudi Arabia and Wataniya Telecom in Kuwait. Juha started his career in Europe with Telecom Finland and moved to the US to lead its mobile startup, Zed. Juha is from Flemington, NJ, is married, and has three children.

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The Telco in 20 podcast won a 2022 Gold Hermes Award and was recognized on Forrester’s 2021 list of the Top 100 Channel Podcasts and Feedspot’s Top 10 Telecom Podcasts list.

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Podcast Credits

  • Executive Producer and Host: Danielle Rios Royston, TelcoDR
  • Executive Producer: Kristin Donelson, OneLouder Marketing
  • Senior Producer: Lindsay Grubb, TillCo Media
  • Editor/Producer: Alisa Jenkins Wilson, Springboard Marketing
  • Audio Editing: Andrew Condell
  • Music: Dyami Wilson

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