Strategy & Operations

e&’s chiefs speak at media majlis on digitalisation journey

26 Feb 2022

• Chairman lauds the successful journey of the Group since 1976 and elaborates on e&’s vision to ‘make possible’ through its business pillars
• Group CEO touches upon the importance of its transformation as first mover to shape an impactful digitalisation future
• Reputation as a digital champion is a driving force of change as it empowers societies

Abu Dhabi, 26 February 2022: Following the announcement of e&’s transformation as the global technology conglomerate, the Group has already started to accelerate its digitalisation leadership further by implementing its ambitious strategy for a brighter, digital future. Refreshing the Group’s business pillars in alignment with its objectives for geographical expansion, deeper market penetration, profitable ventures and acquisitions, exploring adjacencies will only serve to amplify business growth across all segments.

H.E. Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Alzaabi, Chairman of e&, has highlighted that the Group’s strong financial performance and stellar business results across the markets where it operates have placed it on solid footing start a new chapter of success.

The Chairman was speaking at a Media Majlis on 26 February 2022, where the Group shared how well-placed it was to drive its aspirations through specialist business pillars.

This multi-billion dollar business has seen a series of victories since it started operations in 1976 as the first telecom company in the UAE. The Group was named the strongest telecoms brand in the world in January 2022. It also took first place in the Forbes MENA Top 10 most valuable listed companies in the UAE. More recently, it reported a solid net profit of AED 9.3 billion in 2021, a 3.2% increase year on year. It’s also seen a jump of 3.0 % increase in its aggregated subscriber base to 159 million.

The Group has also been aggressive in its acquisition strategy and in its pursuit of strategic partnerships that are set to revolutionise the business landscape.

H.E. said, “Our exemplary financials and strong standing in the market demonstrate our strength and capability to take our success to new heights as we refocus our efforts in investing in breakthrough technologies, accelerating in-depth market penetrations and capitalising on solid ventures with key industry players.

“Moreover, the digital revolution and its impact on the business world has given us ample confidence to expand even further through the business pillars.”

Looking ahead, the Group is in a privileged position in the MENA region to capture regional growth opportunities while looking into markets beyond the region. e& possesses an undisputed market position across the MENA region with an ICT market size across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, three of its key markets, expected to grow by more than 15% annually from 2020 to 2025. Moreover, the business landscape has seen an explosive rate of digital disruption, with significant digital white spaces remaining in the MENA region.

H.E. highlighted what needs to happen for the Group to ride the change. He said: “Driven by our track record of success and milestone achievements we have witnessed so far, we are confident in leading the digitalisation conversation. It is our determination to accomplish more for the benefit of our customers and shareholders through our commitment to enhancing the quality of our solutions and services. We are the bridge builders who have mastered the art of combining our scalable technological competencies with our robust telecoms expertise so that we can drive positive change for our customers, unlock more shareholder value and strengthen our global presence.

“Through our main business pillars, we are creating a future-ready business model that celebrates our past and embraces the opportunities ahead of us.”

Business pillars driving the Group’s aspirations

The Group’s specialist business pillars are its strategy building blocks as it sets on its journey to build a brighter, digital future.


The Group’s growth engine, Telecoms is set to accelerate its growth to enable its expansion into new geographic markets while boosting operational performance in existing markets.

With a strong presence in 16 countries across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, this business operation will explore new geographies through building strong partnerships and scaling synergies in the telecom industry. In the age of ‘connectivity renaissance,’ its innovation, imagination and implementation of ideas will drive smart connectivity and maximise value creation for all its customer segments.

With a progressive mindset, Telecoms will drive brand equity and boost global customer satisfaction, achieve synergies of scale, expand its digital services and explore adjacent businesses, thus abiding by its promise to deliver outstanding customer experiences at all times.

e& life

This business pillar brings the next-gen digital world to the fingertips of its customers via a state-of-the-art ‘super app’ marketplace. It aims to target specific consumer segments and advance new business growth opportunities, amplifying innovative consumer digital offerings across the board.

As the major value contributor to the Group, e& life will play a critical role in driving its consumer’s digital future via a suite of carefully curated consumer products and smart connectivity platforms.

The ‘super app’ marketplace, e& life provides customers with cutting-edge lifestyle services, from online food ordering and entertainment (through majority-owned platforms) to retail, mobility and finance.

e& enterprise

Combining the agility and expertise of a digital managed and professional service company with the strength and reach of a telco, e& enterprise is leading digital transformation and accelerating digital adoption for corporates, governments and large organisations.

Through Cloud, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT), and Artificial Intelligence, it is propelling organisations and economies towards a smarter, safer and more sustainable world.

With a successful track record in designing, delivering and operating large digital projects and solutions using intelligent and secure cloud platforms, e& enterprise provides comprehensive services in consultancy, business modelling, solutions design, program management, execution, delivery and post-implementation support.

e& capital

Focussed on bringing a better, alternate future, e& capital is investing in the ideas and people that will take us there. Acquiring, growing and supporting the visionary tech businesses that are moving this world forward.

e& is working on long term financial growth, choosing technology investments that will create high returns, and companies that fit it with the Group’s aspirations.

Resilient business model underpinned by strong financials

Hatem Dowidar, Group CEO, e&, further explained the successes that the Group has had in maximising value from the core, expanding and solidifying its regional footprint leadership, as well as the strong financial results. He stressed the importance of embracing a progressive outlook, harnessing a growth mindset to see beyond the world of telecoms so as to create a bright, digital future.

He said: “Technological disruption brought with it winds of change that we’ve never seen before. Instead of us standing at the crossroads, wondering what to do next, we started to ask, “How can we capture and accelerate growth and still stay strong and successful?” The answer is plain to see. Our quest to go beyond the realms of telecom exhorted us to ideate, design and deploy solutions that would transform the lives of our customers and advance the digitalisation journey of enterprises.

“Part of this journey involved us taking massive steps to explore adjacencies, looking at how we can create focussed digital units, building strong partnerships and exploring collaborative opportunities that would attract out-of-industry partners and investors. We are pleased with the progress made thus far, indicating that the Group is ready for growth, quipped with clear strategic imperatives that will accelerate digital transformation.”

Embedding sustainability at the core

H.E. spoke at length about the importance of understanding how the work at e& changes people’s lives at every touchpoint. In his parting words, he said: “While our robust financial performance has given us a clear snapshot of our readiness to embark on this new journey, we are also constantly focussing on how our work impacts people’s lives. One of the key reasons that we have been able to rise to any challenge and stay agile constantly, is because we believe that we are making a difference in the lives of millions. Enhancing customer experiences and empowering societies have always been our driving forces in everything we have done in the past and what we will achieve in the future.

“We will continue to step up and innovate at every opportunity presented to us in a time of accelerated digitalisation.”

Commenting on the Group’s commitment to the critical role of living by sustainability principles, Dowidar highlighted that they have put several measures in place to address the footprint across the board. E&’s ESG rating was upgraded from ‘BBB’ to ‘A’ by MSCI Global Index, after it launched the sustainability framework and enhanced policies in line with international best practices.

Dowidar said: “To continue to deliver on the agenda of sustainability, we have joined ICT sectors for Paris Agreement commitments to Net Zero emission by 2050. We are also looking at accelerating the decarbonisation of activities by reducing GHG by 2030. We have a clear responsibility to drive sustainable operations for the sake of the future generations and so we will do what it takes to tackle issues such as climate change, global warming and environmental conservation.”

Moving forward, e& will embark on the next wave of core transformation in the UAE telco business to de-risk against market headwinds. Scaling synergies for international expansion will be driven by diversifying footprint risks and reducing home market dependency. Last but not least, a more transparent and agile business model is in the works to open doors for more strategic partnerships, investments, and M&A opportunities.