PTCL is facing acute competition. It has already lost a major segment of market to cellular phones companies. Before the intrusion of cellular phones landlines were very important and they still are in all other countries but people in Pakistan have done away with them due to many reasons. PTCL was the only phone available, they had some good years and the best was the Telephone Directory that they used to print for each major city. These directories contained all the relevant information pertaining to subscribers, including their postal address and vocation, with separate portion containing products, sellers/ manufacturing, professional like lawyers, doctors, and information about banks, hospitals, chemists, universities and colleges. Schools in the areas and various government offices, ministries etc. It was an encyclopedia on city services and activities.
A cell phone has become a street culture nuisance, within the reach of everyone including menials. It has become an affordable facility by dint of aggressive marketing campaigns, offering various deals. PTCL on the contrary has been shrinking and withdrawing instead of combating its rivals. Sometimes landline connections were obtained to ensure ones presence in a city. Landline phone is a part of a home and office decor, while cell phone is pocket decoration.
Cell phone technology has cashed every point in its favor and grown. PTCL sought refuge in surrendering and lacked any will or vision in marketing strategy. PTCL should have developed its own cell phone. Discontinuing publication of Telephone Directory led to surrendering of many connections because of cell phones better service and improved technology features at affordable price.
PTCL Directory can be published without any cost to PTCL. Offers for its printing and sale to subscribers can be done by private sector, which in all probability will even pay a handsome amount for this permission. Better late than never! Advertisers may already be waiting for this business. Hundreds of products may be awaiting introduction in the market.
HADI IQBAL HUSSAIN,
Lahore, March 26.