Muna Al Hashemi
If you could please tell us a little bit about yourself…
I joined Batelco in 1994 following the completion of a Master’s degree in Telecommunications and BSc in Electronic Engineering at University of Bahrain. I began my career in Batelco’s Engineering Department but over the years I had the opportunity to experience various departments including Customer Services, Accounts, Product Marketing, Product Development and Customer Marketing. Such diversity gave me a wide range of learning experiences and the necessary knowledge which led to bigger roles such as General Manager of the Consumer Division and then Acting CEO. I believe that electronic engineering is a core pillar in the telecommunication sector. For me it was a natural and gradual progression as I found that the content which sparked my interest most was communications based.
What inspired you to embark on a career in the telecommunications industry?
The dynamics of this industry and the ongoing new challenges and innovation, all those aspects fit in very well with my passion. As a student I was most interested in science and analytical subjects and back then it was just the beginning of mobile telephones and the Internet, which I found very interesting. I would never have imagined that in such a relatively short span of time the amazing technologies that seemed like science fiction then, would become a reality. I still find the possibilities fascinating.
How does it feel to not only hold the title of the first female CEO of Batelco, but also to be an inspiration to young females that look up to you?
I am quite proud of the achievement of reaching this position and delighted if it inspires other people in Bahrain to follow their dreams and aim for the top if that is their goal. It is performance that will decide destiny, not anything else!
What were some of the challenges you came across in your journey to success?
I find people often assume that as a woman I encountered challenges that men may not face, but to be honest I have always found Batelco to be a very fair employer, giving opportunities to those who are prepared to work hard regardless of gender. A key challenge is the dynamic change in the customer behaviour with the evolution of technology.
What are some of the difficult aspects of your job? And what do you love most about it?
It can be frustrating when despite putting in time and effort on some projects things don’t go according to plan but this is natural for everyone and every business. When effort equals success it’s a great feeling and inspires everyone to keep on striving. I most enjoy seeing employees pulling together as one team and working together to achieve one goal. Such collaboration generates enthusiasm and energy and encourages everyone to work harder. What I love seeing is results and moving forward.
Is there a work/life mantra that you follow that has helped you on your road to success?
Balance! Everyone has a family life in addition to their work life and family must not be forgotten even if work becomes demanding. I find spending time with my family is relaxing and clears my head and being relaxed and clear headed helps me as I face each working day.
What are some of the most prized qualities you look for in your employees?
Employees must have the willingness and ability to work as part of a team and being enthusiastic is also important. The one team spirit to win is our goal.
How would you describe your leadership skills?
I am a transformational leader; I like to lead by example and become a hands-on leader when needed. I believe I am fair but firm and respect the Company’s values.
Is there any advice you would like to pass on for those either looking to start a career or have just started their careers in the telecommunications industry?
For those looking at a career or who are new to the industry, this is a great industry due to its dynamic nature. There is some new technology or enhancement at every turn making it very exciting and interesting. Furthermore, there are opportunities not just for techies but also for those with other skills such as marketing, business, PR, accounting, legal and so on. I would advise all young talented people to work hard and look for the challenges and new opportunities; this will pave the way for a brighter future.
What message would you like to deliver to Batelco customers?
For Batelco’s customers they can rest assured that Batelco is putting the customer at the centre of everything we do and we are working very hard daily to deliver the best products, services and solutions at competitive prices to make them happy.
What does the future hold for Batelco?
We are developing our offerings to add relevant solutions to enhance our customers’ lifestyles. For example we have created a B-Fit package that includes not only a device with voice and data but also a Fit Bit tracker band to monitor fitness and health. We offer home security solutions and Smart Home solutions. We see these adjacent solutions adding great benefits for our customers. Additionally, we are providing fully-fledged products and services to support the Enterprise customers in growing their business. Furthermore, we are in the process of a major network upgrade to improve the quality of our mobile and fixed services. This is being carried out at a significant investment but we are confident that the result will make a big difference to our customers’ communication experience. In the near future, there are a number of plans in place for exciting new offers that we look forward to announcing soon.
For more information about Batelco services:
196/ (00973) 3961 1196
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