“Incoming Global Dominance“
Malaysia’s EDOTCO Group makes headway to becoming one of the top 5 tower companies in the world.
Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and established in 2012, EDOTCO Group is the first regional and integrated telecommunications infrastructure services provider in Asia and the 6th largest TowerCo in the world as of 2022, moving up from a global ranking of 13 in 2020. It boasts a portfolio of over 58,000 towers it owns and manages across 9 countries, including Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Philippines, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Laos, and keeps at least 181 million mobile users connected within these fast-growing markets.
According to the TowerXchange Tower League Table as of Q3E 2022, EDOTCO is currently the market leader in 4 of the markets it operates in and 2nd in 2 other markets by tower count amongst global ITC players. Throughout the past 10 years of operations, EDOTCO has achieved multiple monumental milestones and between 2014 and 2022, increased its footprint by 25,000 towers and grew its revenue by at least 5 times. This is largely attributed to its firm grasp of industry needs and the tailored solutions that it delivers based on these needs.
Besides recording an EBITDA of MYR1,238M and revenue of MYR1,979M in 2022, EDOTCO, which refreshed its brand identity in 2022, has demonstrated excellence across various aspects. Amongst these include a 21% to 60% reduction in new site CAPEX, 63% reduction in carbon footprint with an aim to become 100% carbon neutral by 2030, a customer satisfaction score of 4.4 out of 5 across all of its markets, and a strong SEI score of 94%, exemplifying a solid internal culture that is higher than many global benchmarks.
It goes without saying that EDOTCO has also garnered numerous recognitions and accolades for its work, namely the Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific Telecom Tower Company of the Year Award for 7 years, the International Finance Awards 2022, and the UN Global Compact Partnerships for Goals Recognition Award. Furthermore, the company has been recognised as Malaysia’s unicorn, valued over USD1B, which highlights its growth, market leadership, and potential for further successes.
The majority of EDOTCO’s clients today consist of telecom operators and real-estate companies, whereby it partners with leading mobile network operators (MNOs) to provide them with comprehensive telecom tower solutions, such as tower construction, maintenance, and site optimisation. EDOTCO further collaborates with building owners to lease out digital connectivity assets and offer shared infrastructure services, facilitating network expansion and enhancing connectivity in their buildings.
EDOTCO sets itself apart from competitors in a multitude of ways. Firstly, its relentless focus on innovation means the company is constantly seeking new technologies and solutions to enhance operational efficiency and sustainability. Some of these advancements include native data analytic tools driven by automation and AI, like Network and Planning Analytics (NaPA) and Digital Twin, which helps clients provide rich coverage to their customers and optimise the performance and reliability of telecom towers. These tools fundamentally help EDOTCO’s clients lower the cost per GB, thus resulting in more competitive rates.
The company’s dedication to operational excellence is yet another key differentiator. EDOTCO adheres to stringent quality and safety standards, ensuring that its infrastructure is built and maintained to the highest industry benchmarks, with most of its footprint markets being ISO 45001 Occupational Health & Safety (OHS) compliant. Lastly but most importantly, EDOTCO is committed to helping nations accelerate equitable digital connectivity infrastructure, tailoring services to the unique requirements of each market.
Through the years, EDOTCO faced a trifecta of challenges: intense market competition and technological disruption in the telecommunications industry, intricate regulatory landscapes, and the complexities of managing organisational growth. Navigating through fierce competition necessitated a shift in approach to address customer concerns and invest in employee upskilling. The diverse regulatory frameworks required proactive engagement with stakeholders to advance the digital agenda. Meanwhile, managing the expansion of operations and workforce demanded meticulous attention to quality, talent acquisition, and cultural cohesion.
Employing a workforce of over 1,200 individuals spanning all of its markets, EDOTCO’s employees are cognizant of their crucial role in helping nations achieve equitable digital connectivity. Internally, the globally recognised tower company fosters a culture of inclusivity, collaboration, and empowerment, by which everyone is valued and has access to opportunities to grow personally and professionally. The global nature of EDOTCO’s business also exposes its employees to diverse countries and cultures, allowing them to build rewarding careers.
In line with its forward-thinking values, EDOTCO invests in its people by prioritising areas of learning and development that are aligned with the industry needs and evolving technologies as well as practices in the telecommunications infrastructure sector, such as engineering, project management, and safety and compliance. The organisation is also focused on transforming its workforce to become ‘Data Citizens’ via QuantHub, equipping them with skill sets like data visualisation and governance. Soft skill training, like agile mindset, negotiation, influencing, and stakeholder management, are also encouraged. As for its leadership team, its development programs are customised in partnership with reputable institutions like MIT-Sloan, INSEAD, and Asia School of Business.
Since its inception, EDOTCO has actively engaged in CSR initiatives, particularly in disadvantaged communities within its markets. Tower2Power, for example, is focused on providing electricity and solar street lamps to underserved communities. Tower2Water, on the other hand, entails offering clean water through filtration systems powered by its towers, combined with education on sanitation and hygiene practices. Lastly, Tower2Commmunity provides crucial assistance during natural disasters, with aid like house rebuilding, clean-up efforts, the distribution of relief packs, and facilitating logistics for vaccinations during COVID-19.
Acknowledged as one of ACES’ Industry Champions of the Year, EDOTCO pays homage to the collective dedication of its employees and sees the accolade as a testament of their tireless efforts. Moving forward, EDOTCO strives towards its vision of attaining a global top 5 position in telecommunications infrastructure, and aspires to set higher standards, be more prepared to embrace fresh challenges, and solidify its commitment to delivering outstanding services and solutions to its clients. Ultimately, it signifies its yearning to leave a lasting legacy of transformative leadership and positive impact.
“Eastern Communications’ talent development and career advancement programmes are put in place to determine talents who are ready for next level, leadership roles or critical roles. The organization conducts a Talent Assessment, which determines readiness; and identifies development programs that the incumbent will need to achieve and be successful in the target position.”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group