Brazilian student masterminds behind the startup Fluke Operadora have been selected to represent their country in the International Business Model Competition. The contest, which sees the best student business models from around the world go head to head, will take place from the 10th-11th May in the US state of Utah.
Fluke Operadora is a digital telephone operator developed by students from the University of São Paulo, Getúlio Vargas Foundation, São Carlos School of Engineering and Paulista University. According to Fluke’s executive director Marcos Antônio, its principle goal as a business is to “provide a new customer experience”, focusing on three pillars: being more transparent, personalising their product and improving customer service.
The majority of conventional telephone operators still enjoy a monopoly status in Brazil. Four main companies dominate 98% of the market, however, they are all leaders in customer complaint ratings. This is what Fluke Operadora, along with other digital operators, aim to take advantage of.
In terms of transparency, via the app, a Fluke user will know exactly what they are paying for, with access to their data consumption in real-time. This will allow them to see whether their data is running out, how much they are using and which of their applications are using the most data.
With a view to making their service more personalised, Fluke’s aim is for clients to be able to choose a plan that suits them, “without having to buy fixed plans that include services they will never use,” says Antônio. When it comes to improving customer service, the objective is for clients not to feel like they have to deal with a third party. As opposed to conventional operators, there are lots of expenses digital ones need not take into account, meaning that customers can request help and support without having to spend hours on hold. The app will allow customers to change, increase or cancel their plan instantly, along with access to a free online help chat.
In conversation with LatAm Tech, Antônio described the general feeling among his colleagues at the prospect of competing in the International Business Model Competition. “We are really happy…and we are now even more focused on preparing for the competition so that we can do Brazil proud and try to bring home the trophy for the first time. This opportunity has given us projection and visibility beyond what we could have ever imagined, and this is particularly timely because it has provided us with a series of contacts and outreach that, beforehand, would have only been possible in the distant future. However, this future looks to be approaching very quickly.”
The company aims to launch their services throughout the São Paulo region at the end of next year. “It is a strategic region, so we intend to focus on a younger target market (potentially university students) to start off with, as they are more receptive to digital innovations and some still haven’t even considered whether their phone plan is the best one for them, some still use the same plan as their parents”, explained Antônio.
He also outlined his ultimate vision for Fluke: “In a few years from now, I hope that mobile phone services stop being just another necessity…I hope that our future consumers choose us because they feel comfortable and well attended…and we are working towards making that dream into a reality!”