Azzurri is set to sign a number of major contracts in the next few weeks, CEO Vim Vithaldas told Mobile this week.
The managed service provider is close to securing at least four ‘substantial’ deals in the mobile, data and support service arenas. Vithaldas declined to reveal any further details until the deals have been completed, but said the contract wins are evidence that Azzurri is on the path to recovery following its refinancing last year after a concerted ‘buy and build’ spree left the business with debts of over £110m.
Rumours circulated earlier this year that Azzurri was up for sale, but Vithaldas (pictured), who was brought in as part of the refinancing deal, said this was now off the agenda. He said: ‘The refinancing has given Azzurri a two and a half year funding facility and a way for me to fix the business and get it in the right shape.’
The Azzurri CEO said the refinancing meant the business could finally implement a long-term business plan after years of limited investment and short-term decisions forced by its debt crisis. He said: ‘The calibre of customer service and the number of excellent sales propositions we can offer, built on 16 acquisitions, is impressive. However, I saw there was much more opportunity to cross sell into that fantastic customer base.’
Currently less than 10% of Azzurri’s 4,500-strong customer base takes the company’s full suite of services, which Vithaldas said opens up huge cross-selling opportunities. He estimated that Azzurri could provide its top 500 customers with up to six different services and has instigated a focused drive on cross-selling to them. He said: ‘All of our top 500 customers have been given a dedicated account manager whose job it is to understand the client and their pinch points and offer propositions to relieve the pain. Gone are the days of making a sale then cutting loose and moving on to the next sale.’
The company will also look to grow its customer base but its key focus is on expanding the number of services to existing customers. Vithaldas said: ‘It is always good for morale and our standing in the market to renew the customer base but the low hanging fruit for us is within our client base.’
Bolstered by the focus on cross-selling and its strong recurring revenues, which account for almost 80% of its sales, Vithaldas said he was confident of the business’ future. He said: ‘The business is in good shape. This is one of the better businesses I have walked into.’
He added that the company is well placed to exploit the economic downturn, offering money-saving solutions to companies looking to cut costs. It recently won a £900,000 three-year unified comms deal with City & Guilds that aims to shave over 40% off the client’s mobile costs and 33% off its fixed-line costs.
Looking ahead, Vithaldas said his key aims this year were to hit growth targets, continue to increase cross-selling volumes and improve customer loyalty.