The Maldives is an archipelagic nation of some 1200 islands of which around 400 are inhabited. Providing telecoms services in the country owing to its geographical disparateness as well as its least developing country status had been fraught with challenges. Dhiraagu is the oldest and leading provider of telecommunications and digital services in the Maldives offering a comprehensive range of mobile, internet, data, fixed line and TV services.
For the first fifteen years of its existence, Dhiraagu was the sole provider of telecommunications in the Maldives. While the company’s introduction of technological innovations had been immense, its status as a state-owned monopoly had meant its brand was not particularly well received by the general public. In 2005, the mobile phone sector underwent reforms which saw the entrance of an internationally established brand as a second mobile services provider. While Dhiraagu’s competition had come with a carefully honed brand perfected abroad, Dhiraagu was a brand that grew from the specific challenges of providing telecom services in one of the world’s least developed countries. In spite of its leadership, Dhiraagu was often viewed as a legacy-service with monopolistic characteristics.
The Dhiraagu brand is about one thing: empowering our customers to “Take on tomorrow.” An evolution of the previous “hand print” created in 2005, the new symbol is designed to work seamlessly across digital and non-traditional platforms. It integrates three distinct Maldivian symbols into a greater whole: the vibrant atolls, the warm Maldivian sun, and the recognizable Dhiraagu “d”. The change of principal color from red to orange creates differentiation and impact in a visually crowded marketplace. The graphic system is inspired by the rays of the Maldivian sun. They are bursts of positive energy that visually illustrate how Dhiraagu helps customers “Take on tomorrow”.
Response to the rebrand was overwhelming. Social media, members of the public and even the competition praised the new branding. Almost all the major news outlets in the country ran the brand unveiling as front page headline news. The new brand was eye-catching- with the public associating it with ease when queried in subsequent surveys. In accordance with the new brand, Dhiraagu changed some of its practices, including focusing more on digital opportunities. For instance, new products such as Dhiraagu TV, Dhiraagu Pay and even engagement on social media and online presence have been realigned. Culture change programs, brand orientation programs and refresher sessions are regularly held to ensure that staff are fully aligned with the new brand. While the rebrand is in its infancy, it has already cemented Dhiraagu’s reputation as a future-oriented Maldivian company.