GK: New niches for steady riches

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Slough SIM card distributor GK Telecom is not widely known in the industry beyond its core customer base and suppliers. It comprises just 23 staff, and has  kept its head down and maintained a low profile.

However, that all changed in April when T-Mobile dropped airtime distributor Anglia Telecom Centres for missing volume targets in successive quarters, leaving HSC as T-Mobile’s only official airtime partner in the UK.

Anglia Telecom stockists were transferred to HSC to ensure continuity of business for T-Mobile, which at the time announced in tandem plans to put GK on a six-month trial period with a view to making it a fully fledged distributor for the network after that.

However due to the joint venture between Orange and T-Mobile in the UK, the trial could be delayed until July, when the merger takes fuller shape.

GK Telecom network director Debbie Young explains: “The trial has suffered a setback. The delay is a real shame but is unavoidable given the scale of disruption at both networks as they strive to achieve synergy in back office and sales functions. It would be crazy to think that the joint venture would have no impact.”

GK Telecom has been a 3 distributor for 18 months. GK Telecom  chairman Gurminder Dulku and director Atul Patel (pictured) hired Young from HSC as network director to set up its back office for airtime sales and to recruit and train staff.  GK Telecom now has full distribution with 3 for business sales, consumer retail connections, mobile broadband, prepay products and SIM cards.

Young has 11 years of experience in the airtime and dealer channel. She started at European Telecom where she was a dealer account manager for four years.

She then spent three years as a dealer manager at Hugh Symons (now HSC), and worked under the same job title for Unique Distribution between June 2005 and September 2007. Prior to joining GK Telecom, she was head of airtime at Advantage Cellular between September 2007 and March 2009.

Dulku says: “When we gained a relationship with 3 on the contract market it was just about finding the right people to run it and we were very fortunate to come across Debbie. The timing was just right for her to join and head that department for us. It’s her baby and she looks after everything contract-related. Myself and Atul just concentrate on the prepay side of the business.”

Full article in Mobile News issue 463 (May 10, 2010).

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