Singaporean telco provider StarHub has stepped into the next phase of its ongoing transformation efforts with the introduction of its so-called DARE+ program, aimed at taking the company from being a telco to one that “connects digital lives for customers”.
The DARE+ initiative was unveiled at the company’s Investor Day 2021 on 22 November and comes just a couple of month after the third anniversary of the telco’s three-year DARE 1.0 transformation program, which kicked off in October 2018.
The company told shareholders in August this year that it expected to achieve total cost savings of S$273 million by the end of October 2021. At the time, it also flagged it would outline its next phase of transformation, DARE+, in November.
Now, the details of DARE+ have emerged, with the next phase of the company’s ongoing transformation efforts set to see it expand beyond its legacy telco template.
“DARE+ is the next giant step for StarHub in our transformation journey,” CEO Nikhil Eapen said. “DARE+ is laser-focused on growth in all areas and is no less ambitious than DARE 1.0.
“StarHub is changing, going beyond telco to becoming a full-on digital life and digital services provider of the most enriching connectivity, entertainment and other lifestyle experiences, as well as innovative business solutions for our customers, with frictionless digital engagement at our core.
“We invite our customers, partners, and our community to join us on this journey, as we radically simplify everything we offer, double down on digital for maximum agility, cement our network superiority, and drive sustainable growth across all segments,” he added.
In more concrete terms, the new initiative sees StarHub work to achieve sustainable revenue growth and potential growth in dividends, with “superior” product margins from the continued introduction of new 5G products and solutions.
The company also plans to recoup further operational cost savings through digitalisation and migration from legacy systems, and attain progressive declines in fixed cost through the sustained evolution of its operating models.
StarHub is currently targeting S$280 million in cost savings, plus S$220 million in gross profit growth cumulatively between FY2022 and FY2026.
It is also claimed that the DARE+ strategy will move StarHub from “quad play” to “Infinity Play,” offering an “infinite continuum” of connectivity, over-the-top (OTT) streaming entertainment, cloud gaming and digital solutions.
In lay terms, StarHub plans to drive consumption through all-encompassing super-app platforms for customers, with an aim to offer as many services as possible on a self-serve, zero-touch basis, while achieving rapid speed-to-market and minimising cost and capital expenditure.
From a consumer perspective, StarHub is working to mesh its spectrum of products and services into all-in-one offerings, to serve customers anytime, anywhere and on any device.
From an enterprise perspective, meanwhile, the company said that business acceleration was well underway through its presence in cyber security and regional ICT, with its Ensign InfoSecurity and Strateq businesses “growing well”.
On top of this, the company flagged its proposed acquisitions of MyRepublic Broadband and the HKBN JOS businesses in Singapore and Malaysia, as also bolstering its enterprise play as it advances into its new strategic chapter.
StarHub unveiled plans in September to acquire a majority interest in the broadband business of MyRepublic in Singapore, taking a 50.1 per cent controlling stake in a transaction potentially rising to $162.8 million.
Earlier this month, the company revealed it had acquired a 60 per cent stake in the Singapore and Malaysia businesses of JOS, in a S$15 million deal designed to accelerate regional and enterprise expansion in partnership with HKBN.
StarHub’s aim, on the enterprise front at least, is to be a trusted one-stop brand for enterprises’ cyber security, cloud, ICT and network connectivity needs, leveraging its capability sets and expanding ecosystem of partners to cross-sell solutions and pull through 5G and fixed connectivity.
The company now plans to pursue further acquisitions that can enlarge its scale and footprint as well as expand its product offerings and capabilities for customers.
This month also saw StarHub partner with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to convert the potential of 5G and edge computing into a market reality in Singapore, trialling a new solution tailored for enterprise customers.
Under the banner of StarHub 5G Multi-access Edge Computing (5G MEC), the offering is designed to help enterprise and government customers leverage enhanced connectivity levels to improve performance of “time-critical workloads” such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation, data analytics and machine learning.
Effective until March 2022, enterprise customers in Singapore are invited to trial 5G MEC through tapping into an ecosystem of solutions ready for on-site experimentation, spanning security cameras with analytics, workplace safety with wearables, 3D indoor positioning, augmented reality (AR) applications, drones and robots.