© copy Jaza Mora / R. Mena
Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC) is the largest commercial radio broadcasting company in Ethiopia and is the market leader in Ethiopia with more than a 50% market share in the capital of Addis Ababa. The company has been in existence for twenty years, and has recently announced plans to expand to provision of television service. Through repeaters placed in strategic locations, its reach is national, and it shares that distinction only with the government run network. FBC has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015.
Ethiopia, located in the horn of Africa, is the second most populous country in Africa, and has the unique distinction of being the most populous landlocked country in the world. Its largest city, Addis Ababa, is a quickly growing and developing metropolis. It is home to a population of 4 million, and recently became the first city in Sub-Saharan Africa to have its very own underground metro transport system.
The $475 million project, a collaboration between Ethiopia and China, created a criss-crossing, two-line system that can carry up to 60,000 commuters per day. Plans call for the metro system to link up with the national railway, creating a public transportation option for travelers all over the country. With such significant public investment, Ethiopia’s economy is set to see rapid growth as workers are able to move about more freely.
Broadcast Service to the Entire Country
Fana’s growth is directly attributable to its commitment to Quality in the areas of employee training, leadership, editorial content, and technical quality. Fana benefits from a written quality policy and a five year strategic plan that gives structure and guidance to decision making by managers and gives security to stakeholders. In particular, the plan calls for strategies geared towards raising audience level, increasing institutional reliability, improving broadcast quality and expanding geographical coverage. The five year plan was developed with extensive input from both employees and audience members. The BID Committee was particularly impressed by the collaborative way in which the plan was developed and its long term, specifically defined goals.
In addition to employing quality in process techniques, end product quality is measured by audience share and advertising revenues. In order to keep these levels consistent, the company created executive level posts dedicated to each. That is, a Director of Research and Quality and a Director of Customer Service. Fana sees successful outcomes to be the direct result of quality content.
Research and Quality Department is tasked with audience research and public opinion surveys so as to gather information about audience attitudes, interests and preferences with respect to editorial services. The Department also conducts research which captures valuable data regarding marketing, customer satisfaction, and the effectiveness of internal processes. Research outputs are carefully evaluated and drive strategic decisions. A recent independent study found that Fana FM 98.1 had the best positive perception of media service buyers on brand image, trustworthiness, perceived value and social responsibility of any FM radio station in the capital.
The Sales and Customer Service Department concerns itself with customer satisfaction. This group responds to concerns raised by listeners and other stakeholders in order to maintain and develop good relationships and customer satisfaction.
Besides adherence to the five year plan, Internal Quality processes are maintained by two groups which operate internally. Quality Circles are teams of employees working together to collaboratively solve problems of particular concern to the group. They meet at regular intervals to discuss problems of quality and to devise solutions for improvement. Then, there are the attendants at Editorial Briefings for broadcast programs, where participants hold an open exchange of comments, criticisms and ideas. The BID Committee took special note that these groups are made up primarily of line employees who enjoy full support of management allowing a broad range of opinions to influence upper level decision makers. Fana management believes that the research and the brainstorming activities mentioned above help the company gain valuable insights about its audience and improve decisions. The result is customer satisfaction based on following Total Quality Management principles.
When asked in an email interview about Fana’s approach to Quality, Fana’s CEO Woldu Yemessel Baraki put it this way: “The success of our media is determined by its impact on audience. We put audience before profit and we strive to broadcast high quality news and programs that positively impact our audience. Ensuring quality at FBC is everyone’s responsibility.” © copy Jaza Mora / R. Mena
Corporate Social Responsibilities and Fana
Fana’s business, by its very nature, is oriented towards public service, and the company understands its social responsibility very well. In order to reach the widest range of people possible, and aware of the diversity of the Ethiopian people, Fana broadcasts in 7 languages on shortwave as well as AM and FM, and is the only radio station in the country that transmits in so many languages. As a news organization, Fana is at the forefront of national efforts to maintain and strengthen freedom of speech, regularly reports on ethics, and its investigative journalists are not afraid to speak truth to power whenever evidence is found.
Fana has also been a champion of persons with disabilities and provides free services to help in the location of missing persons. No fewer than 278 families were helped last year through this service. The company also supports blood donation activities, the Mary Joy Development Association, relief for the homeless, and a fundraising campaign for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, a project designed to bring hydroelectric power to a large number of Ethiopian citizens.
Awards and Certificates
The company’s achievements have not gone unnoticed, and Fana has been honored with prestigious awards, for example, being designated a “Distinguished Champion of Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities, and People” by the house of Federation of Ethiopia for the company’s work in “Building national consensus on the Constitution, Federalism and Diversity.” Fana also received a Certificate of Appreciation on the behalf of the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS relief and a Certificate of Achievement from Pathfinder International/Ethiopia.
Because of its commitment to continuous quality improvement, customer service, and betterment of the community, Fana Broadcasting Corporation has been selected to receive the BID Quality Crown Award for 2015 at the convention in London.
ABOUT BID AND THE INTERNATIONAL QUALITY CROWN AWARD:
BID is a private and independent organization founded in 1984, whose primary activity is business communication orientated towards quality, excellence and innovation in management. A leader in the broadcasting of Quality Culture, BID recognizes those companies and organizations which lead the most important activities in the business world, and is considered the founding organization in the broadcasting of the Culture of Quality, Excellence and Innovation in 179 countries. The trophy symbolizes a pledge to the principles of Quality Culture. The QC100 Total Quality Management Model, together with the Quality Mix program, media coverage of the convention and its impact on the community and business sector, create an unmatched platform for continuous improvement within the organization and awareness of the achievements of the company at an international level. Awards are given only to those who are committed to improving their Quality Culture based on the principles of the QC100 Total Quality Management Model. Candidates are proposed by the leaders of previously awarded companies who they consider worthy of the award. Especially meritorious candidates may also be nominated. The International BID Quality Award Selection Committee then chooses the winning companies who will receive the award in New York, Paris, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid and London.