Eivind Madsen, the CEO of Mobile Communications Partner (MCP), may have been at the firm for less than a year, but he’s already made waves with the business – implementing a new customer-focused structure and overseeing a period of robust revenue growth, despite turbulent market conditions.
Madsen joined the Telenor-owned company on 1 April, armed with a CV boasting nine years of experience as MD at numerous IT and communications firms and 16 years of managerial pedigree from mobile communications business Ericsson.
In the 11 months since his arrival, MCP’s CEO has seen revenues climb 25% year on year, secured new contracts with firms of the order of Norwegian Cruise Line and a major European cruise operator, and watched as user numbers for CellAtSea, MCP’s state of the art cellular service, approach the 10 million mark (in 2011).
“We have an aggressive growth strategy, which really paid dividends last year,” Madsen stated. “We have plans in place to continue that growth curve through 2012 and 2013.”
These ‘plans in place’ have customer service at their very epicenter.
Madsen completely restructured MCP in 2011 to create four distinct divisions – network operations, product development, business development & sales, and market communication.
"We launched the new organization to become more agile and efficient with increased focus on our customers and services," explained Madsen.
"MCP has seen a fantastic development and has grown into a truly global leading player", said Eivind. "But we will not stop here. MCP shall continue its successful growth through its strengthened focus on customers and innovation. With the extremely powerful new management team and MCP's highly skilled, enthusiastic and creative employees, MCP shall continue to be the best onboard communication partner for its customers."
Madsen explained: “Unlike our competitors, we are 100% focused on our maritime customers’ businesses and helping them generate onboard revenue.
“MCP’s focus is on partnering with ship operators for the long-term to help them make the most of the vast onboard revenue potential that is waiting to be tapped.
He continued: “Mobile phone usage on ships is still at a relatively low level.”
“Through our aggressive marketing program, we are looking to inform our customers, their crews and passengers about what is available – driving up both the number of active users and how much those users utilize the network.”
“Mobile phone revenue – now more than ever with the advent of the smartphone and the need for data transferal – should be an integral part of onboard revenue streams. We actively assist and drive the marketing of the service to ensure a growing cash-flow for our customers.”
Madsen describes the growth in data usage over the past year as “really, really huge” – roughly a 10 fold increase in data traffic across the MCP network – driven by the aforementioned smartphones and the explosion in social media use.
“The prices are going down, but especially the data traffic is growing faster increasing onboard revenue,” he said
“The better informed that the passengers and crew are, the more they will take advantage of the network, stay in touch – whether through calling or social media - and boost on-ship revenues.”
Although the reduction in prices and a maturing market has seen some competitors go to the wall, Madsen is confident that MCP – with its 130 and growing covered vessels – will continue to be a successful partner to its customers.
“A few years ago shipowners would have to be convinced that they needed to have a mobile phone solution onboard, now it’s the norm,” he added.
“That means the challenge is now about outperforming our competitors and providing customers with the best technology, service, expertise and revenue models. 2011 has proven that MCP is up for that challenge!”
“MCP has the ownership, the skills, and the network infrastructure to be able to double the business in a few years time. That was my vision when I joined MCP and that remains the focus today.”