VEON Georgia CEO on Company Values & Services

There have been interesting changes and a lot of developments in the Georgian telecommunication market in recent years, with companies operating in Georgia regularly offering new products and services to customers to win their hearts.

We have three telecommunication companies in Georgia: Magti, Silknet and Beeline. Some experts thought Beeline would leave due to the competitive environment, but not only is it still here, it has plans to introduce new projects, which means some nice offers for Beeline customers coming soon!

We spoke to Andrzej Malinowski, Chief Executive Officer at Veon Georgia LLC (Beeline), to find out more.

Andrzej Malinowski was appointed CEO of Beeline Georgia in April 2017 and since then has introduced a number of important changes in the company’s strategy and activities. As it turns out, he also has quite an interesting view on leadership and, accordingly, has developed an individual approach to his colleagues.

How successful or challenging was 2018 for the company?

It was successful overall. VEON Georgia met its targets. Veon Group is one of the biggest mobile operator in the world, serving more than 200 million customers. This means we sometimes have to face challenges in the different locations.

In 2018, we introduced new roaming packages for Georgian users, a product combining roaming and travel insurance, so when you buy the Beeline online roaming internet package, you can order travel insurance in a few clicks, making travelling more comfortable for Beeline customers with the App.

We had some challenges in 2018 with quality of service due to the many changes introduced in our company over the past year. I personally spoke to our 1.3 million Georgian customers in a New Year address to apologize for this and to promise 2019 will be better. I’m leading this team and it was my obligation, as the CEO, as somebody who, in the end, is responsible for the experience, to apologize. Transparency is our main priority. You can go to our company’s website and see the results that the company has been achieving as a group.


VEON covers 10 countries and have been in Georgia for a while. When Beeline entered Georgia, the landscape of local communications was totally different, and we were the game changers. We lowered prices to make our mobile communications more available to people. We want to continue that way.

Tell us about your products and services.

We are not only a team of people inventing and providing products; we help our customers choose right through smart communication- personally and by internet and SMS. According to recent studies, customers expect us to forecast what they will want in future. Our best 2018 product was the travel insurance, which is getting more and more popular as people travel more. We seem to be the number one choice for people who use a lot of mobile internet, as our connectivity and value impress them. We also have the ‘MyBeeline' Application and we’ll be developing this in 2019 to combine our office and call center in one, making it very user-friendly.

Tell us more about the ‘My Beeline App’.

Applications are nothing new in and of themselves, and we have a very good examples in the country. As I know, one of the Georgian banks was even awarded for the best user-friendly application. With our App, at the moment our customers can self-service themselves and perform most of the operations, but there is lots more we can fit into it and this is one of our key goals for 2019. We want to combine our office and call center in one so there is no need to go to an office to conduct a simple operation. Likewise, you won’t have to call our call center to get the information you need. Everything will be combined inside the application in a very user-friendly way.

How does Beeline compete with Magti and Silknet?

Competition is a part of a healthy market and economy. There are some specific regulations in existence to make this competition fair, and Georgia has a very skillful regulative body protecting the rights of consumers. Beeline competes by offering value and by building maybe not the biggest coverage area, but the best network in terms of customer experience.

We have committed to not giving our customers bad surprises, by, for example, suddenly raising our prices. We are predictable and people like that. Keeping loyal customers needs a great deal of work, and skillful communication. We work to answer our customers quickly and to learn from what they have to say and in this way we can try to develop how they want us to. I always try to communicate with the customers directly myself when I can.

What’s your view on leadership and what’s your approach to leading the team at Beeline?

In April, we’ll celebrate my second anniversary since I was appointed to this position. Every day since, I wake up every morning with the same energy and same intention to make a positive change. As the CEO and employer, my approach is that employees come first, not the customers, as rough as it may sound. If you hire professional employees, then they will take care of your customers. I put probably the same amount of focus on the way our people work and the way our office looks. We invest our resources to improve the conditions of our people working on the front line; the same with the call center. I visit all our offices to be sure that our people have everything they need in order to perform their duties. I don’t have a separate office: I sit within the general office space, so there is no need to make an appointment with me, or call my PA to arrange a meeting. If I need to discuss something with my colleagues, it’s me approaching them. We try to use this approach in leadership. I’m not God, I’m not a superhero: I’m just a regular human being running this business alongside my colleagues. That’s my view on leadership.

What are the company’s plans for 2019?

We have to work really hard in order to improve the experience of our network. If you have a high quality network that doesn’t fail during a call or while a customer is watching a video, or whatever you are doing with your phone, then the positive experience goes through the roof. This is what I want to achieve. We’ve heard our customers complaining, giving us very detailed information; specific requests for us to improve our coverage, for example. We already have a full list and this list has been turned into an action plan. In the case of our call center, for example, when customers call in, they’ll be given a realistic estimation of how long they will have to wait for their specific problem to be solved.

As for new products, I don’t want to give away our secrets but I will say that with Beeline, you can always trust they’ll be no unpleasant surprise price hikes. This has always been our policy and we intend to continue this way. Additionally, we will continue to educate and empower our customers and involve them in more and more digital experiences. It will be a very interesting year, we have a lot to do, but I have no doubt that it will work!

By Anna Dumbadze

28 January 2019 16:58