With a market value of more than 187 billion riyals, stc Group has transformed from a company that merely provides communication and internet services to a digital enabler that is considered the most prominent in the Middle East region. The comprehensive strategy launched by the Group had the superlative role in endorsing digital transformation in the Gulf region as it sought to diversify investment opportunities.
During the past two years, stc Group launched many subsidiaries in the fields of cybersecurity, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, infrastructure and 5G technologies that serve different Gulf communities and support the digital transformation in the region. The success story of this development, growth and accomplishments achieved by the Group extended to becoming the main driving force of the ICT sector in both Kuwait and Bahrain.
ICT Transformation in Gulf Region
The beginning of the Group’s success story in the expansion and growth process was in Kuwait, where in 2008 it witnessed the birth of a new star that shone brightly over the communications landscape, and its features emerged as the shape a giant that will lead the ICT sector to a promising future. During its first year, the Group attracted half a million customers in Kuwait, and within only four years, it began to achieve profitable returns for investors. The company’s official listing on the Kuwait Stock Exchange was indicative of emerging success and growth, as the volume of retained profits increased with the development of the company’s revenue. During the third quarter of 2022, stc's market share reached 39.8% of the telecommunications sector's revenues in Kuwait — a sector high — for the first time since the company's inception.
In the Kingdom of Bahrain, stc entered the telecom market in 2010 as the third telecom operator in the Kingdom. The group quickly became a major driving force towards achieving the digital transformation vision, as it captured 41% of the market revenues and proved its strength in the competition to become the first operator in the mobile phone markets, carrier sector customers and operators in the Kingdom of Bahrain. It also proved the fastest-performing company throughout the region and the first in developing local, regional and global networks through continuous investments in infrastructure development. It was approved as the first commercial operator of the 5G network in Bahrain, in the fields of cybersecurity and cloud computing. The company also provided services outside the scope of communications, including insurance and financial services, and at the highest levels, in order to keep up with the requirements of customers' daily lives.
Contributing to Kuwait’s and Bahrain’s National Visions
2019 witnessed the launch of the unified stc brand in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Also, in 2019 and the subsequent years, the company launched an updated and developed strategy that better fits the company's basic objectives to enhance the process of enabling the company's digital transformation in line with the national visions in each country.
In Kuwait, among the many goals set by the state, the Kuwait strategic Vision 2035 seeks digital transformation to keep pace with internet services at all levels. stc had a fundamental and vital role in accelerating the transformation process, as the company’s acquisition of Quality-net and its transformation into “solutions by stc” had a prominent role in being the active technical arm in enabling the business sector and supporting local projects. It announced the establishment of the 5G Innovation Center in 2019, with the aim of exploring, developing and launching advanced 5G technologies. Moreover, it provided a range of digital solutions for companies that include data centers, infrastructure support and applications for companies. In addition, stc introduced an IoT strategy that allowed companies to manage their resources more efficiently and make the most of their business models.
In Bahrain, stc contributed to supporting Bahrain's economic vision 2030. In terms of the business sector, the company developed a comprehensive range of information and communication technology products, including cybersecurity, asset tracking, data hosting and cloud services, to serve this sector. In terms of carriers and operators, the company succeeded in consolidating its position as an empowered company in this field. It provided services to more than 400 national and international companies. The company also enhanced the customer service experience across all points of contact, as it always aimed to continue advancing the digital transformation in the Kingdom of Bahrain to become a digitally enabled society.
Future, Growth and Developing Performance
Based on the company's strategy and the promising projections of the institutional sector in Kuwait, the company undertook a major transformation process to meet the needs of customers and enrich their experiences in the information and communication technology field, which was highlighted in the company's strategy "AHEAD." The company was keen to improve its efficiency and internal capabilities in this sector through its acquisition of the entire capital of the Electronic Gate Holding Company in April 2022, to keep pace with the latest rapid global developments in the ICT field and to provide the best integrated technical solutions to its individual and institutional clients. stc successfully completed its capital increase in 2022 to reach KD 99.9 million by distributing 100% bonus shares to its shareholders.
In Bahrain, stc invested more than $2 billion in developing digital infrastructure. The company remained at the forefront of launching innovative services in Bahrain, even becoming the first operator to launch 5G technology across the Kingdom. stc Bahrain also worked to develop its innovation center and its platform for developing modern technologies for various sectors. It also launched many digital services, including self-service machines (SSM), smart queue management services and many other services, which contributed to providing an improved experience for customers by providing them with the opportunity to complete their transactions in a few seconds at any time and any place. The company launched a cybersecurity training academy, with the aim of raising awareness about potential cyber threats through its leading solutions in this field.
Investing in Sustainability and Social Development
Since its establishment in Kuwait, stc has been able to achieve many contributions and achievements to support the local community and its social responsibility agenda. It has succeeded in participating across various initiatives in cooperation with various government agencies and private sector institutions to small and medium-sized companies that aim to support and empower Kuwaiti society to achieve sustainability in line with Kuwait Vision 2035. The company has focused its efforts in key areas such as health, sports, education, entrepreneurship and the environment. It has launched several initiatives, such as the "Safe Education" campaign in cooperation with the Ministries of Education, Health, Interior and Information, and the "Weyak" initiative to support local SMEs in enabling their digital transformation strategies.
The company is keen to invest in the continuous development of its human resources, as they form the cornerstone of its outstanding performance. It is endlessly focused on providing education and development programs, as it has effectively launched its e-learning programs through many recognized international organizations, such as LinkedIn Learning and Gartner, to continue providing training and development opportunities for employees. The company has also launched its training academy "Creativity Academy," which seeks to empower employees with high potential.
Under the social responsibility umbrella, stc Bahrain has worked to spread the culture of innovation to a level beyond the borders of its customers. It has launched the “Jussoor” program with the aim of empowering its community service. Moreover, it has launched the “Trees for Life” initiative that aims to support the Kingdom’s national plans for reforestation with the purpose of doubling the percentage of trees in the Kingdom by 2035. It has launched the "Kafu" program, which was shown during the holy month of Ramadan. It is a major initiative to highlight individuals and people who have been a source of inspiration in the Kingdom over the years. It has also launched the “Fereej” (meaning “neighborhood”) initiative with the aim of investing for families who live in difficult conditions. The company further works to educate and develop Bahraini youth and provide unique opportunities for fresh graduates looking to enrich their careers inside and outside the company through its recently launched “ICT Generation”.