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When Hamish White took over provincial wireless internet provider Airnet in 2011, he had a vision pretty clear in his mind – an Internet Service Provider that put the customer at the heart of everything it did.
With the support of investors and advice from local business people with “a few more battle scars than myself”, Hamish White spearheaded a takeover of the business, recapitalised and rebranded it Now.
Now became a fully-fledged telco offering the full suite of telecommunications products, but even better they became New Zealand’s only telco that does home visits. They also focussed on relieving customers’ biggest pain points – poor WiFi, connection issues, smartphone problems, spam and security.
There have been plenty of challenges along the way but because of my unwavering belief and sense of obligation to investors and staff, I follow the words of Yoda: Do or do not. There is no try.”Hamish White
Being an industry disruptor, Now is on a drive to continually challenge competitors and deliver more to customers. Hamish calls theirs a “David and Goliath story” and says the collective effort, tenacity and passion of the 70 people who work at Now is what makes the company great. He points out that making mistakes in a business of their size is less forgiving and that it takes tremendous courage for his people to do what they do. He is constantly proud of what they are collectively achieving.
He says one of the best things about the company is its size. Being small means you’re more agile than the competition and whatever role you have in the company you’re still very close to the customer, so you can be incredibly responsive.
Business cases are done on napkins and decisions are made within hours over a coffee.”Hamish White
Today, Now provides broadband and calling services to business and residential customers nationally from offices in Hawke's Bay, Wellington, Rotorua and Tauranga and is shattering satisfaction scores in their industry. In 2016 NZ Consumer showed Now having the highest customer satisfaction rate for fixed line customers in New Zealand – twice that of Spark and three times that of Vodafone.
Now was the first telco in New Zealand to be able to deliver a phone line over fibre to the residential market and first to offer rollover data. They were voted by their industry as New Zealand’s ‘most innovative broadband provider’ for their in-home digital concierge service.
I am far from finished. It is a never-ending quest – customers will always deserve more and our competitors will always need to be challenged.”Hamish White