The regulatory approval from ECTEL and NTRC has not been received for the C&W/Flow marriage; however, an official launch last week saw the two companies moving forward under the new Flow brand.
During a media launch at the Radisson Grand Beach Resort last Friday, Country Manager, James Pitt said the regulatory approval was not needed for the merger to happen.
“While we would have been delighted for them to say go forth, it really wasn’t a requirement for the merger to happen”, he said.
According to Pitt the two companies have been engaging each other over the last 15 months which can be considered as “a very long period in the life cycle of any business…”.
He said that not everything has been agreed in “full” and that only “a few items that we differ on in terms of timelines and so on but we were in an untenable situation where we had to proceed because we couldn’t continue running two businesses in parallel”.
Pitt stated that the decision by both FLOW and LIME to continue with the process of the merger without the go ahead from ECTEL and NTRC was in the best interest of customers.
“It really was not resulting in the consumer benefits that we wanted to get out of the merger so we were in a position where we had to proceed to the benefit of all our stakeholders and more so to the benefit of our customers,” he said.
As the two companies move forward together as one under the new Flow brand, Pitt foresees an era of growth and transformation within the organisation.
This merger makes Grenada the 11th market to be totally transformed as the new retail brand Flow.
The new organisation brings together 150 years of Cable & Wireless legacy and tradition of expertise with the innovative, agility and customer focused spirit of Columbus.
Pitt said the combination of the new companies means strength and strength will only result in benefits to customers.
“We will continue with the focus of combining the convenience of our mobile technology with the strengths of our fixed technology. Our commitment to invest to the tune of US $30 million over the next three to five years to ensure that our customers here in Grenada enjoy cutting edge technology, cutting edge technology products and services, allowing our customers to connect to what matters most to them, whether it’s in our television space, or mobile space or broadband and fixed technology spaces,” he remarked.
One of the major transformations, he said would be better service for customers at the call centres and retail stores and with technicians going out to serve customers.
“We going to own all our customer touch points. We’re going to really focus on how we going to improve this. We’ve enforced (in) some of our technicians that come out to serve our customers.
Pitt gave assurances that in the coming weeks “we are going to see a radical change of our flagship store on Granby Street” which will operate under the banner of Flow.
“… We’ll be making numerous changes to achieve the goal of providing that best customer service experience that I spoke about,” he said.
“We will see a physical change in the lay out, new technologies …just an overall comprehensive change in what the experience is going to be like, really modern, completely interactive, a little bit of bringing the modernisation of what we see sometimes at the Apple Store to Grenada and the Caribbean,” he added.
One of the initiatives and legacy LIME was known for was its support to education under the LIME scholarship Programme.
Pitt said that under the new Flow brand, they would continue to invest in sports, culture and education.
“We will expand in education, culture, sports. We have the Flow Scholarship Programme right here in Grenada. Over 25 years this programme has existed and we have over 371 beneficiaries, broadband in Secondary and Primary school islandwide, again commitment in education, in culture we have Carnival and our support to the inaugural Pure Grenada Music Festival, SGU Knowledge Bowl,” he said.
According to Pitt the area of product enhancement will be one of the things that the new Flow brand will be embarking upon under the new arrangement.
“We’re going to leverage the assets of both companies as we go forward. There are elements for instance that existed in legacy Flow in the broadband space, in certain geographic locations that were better than existed in legacy LIME. So we’re going to look at that and really build (on) our networks to ensure that customers get a better service experience,” he said.