Safaricom sets sights on new digital ecosystem as it marks 20 years

Leading telco operator Safaricom says it will be seeking to evolve beyond its current realm of mobile connectivity as it marks its 20th birthday this week.

According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndegwa, Safaricom will be seeking to extend its ecosystem to new areas including agriculture, health and education.

“We have been a connectivity business with a payment platform. We now want to be a broader technology company empowering business especially micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs),” he said.

“We’ve seen the power of digitization during this crisis. We want to deploy the new digital ecosystem to empower farmers, policy holders and students.”

The desired evolution comes as the company enjoys an undisputed telco market leadership position which presently composes of a 35 million subscriber base or an equivalent 65 per cent market share.

Safaricom says its primary focus for the will remain anchored on the continued transformation of the lives which features improved service provision to customers.

“We want to ensure we have an end to end customer connection in the next five years,” added Mr. Ndegwa.

On Tuesday, Safaricom unveiled a new payment solution target at SMEs dubbed Pochi la Biashara which will allow book keeping by enterprises while allowing the separation of cashflows between business and personal funds.

Moreover, Ndegwa says Safaricom is keen on widening its network coverage in a goal which will see the company extend its 4G across the country along with switching 2G mobile device users to the 4G platform through the provision of cheap handsets.

Safaricom’s extended value chain has grown to support in excess of one million jobs as of 2020 including 1095 suppliers, 440 dealers and 173,259 M-Pesa agents.

The company has nevertheless had humble beginnings having only had 170,000 customers at the end of 2000 and a mere 20 base stations having been born out of joint venture between Vodafone and Telkom Kenya.

According to Safaricom’s Chairman and then CEO Michael Joseph, Safaricom began with a mere five employees in a two-bedroom flat at Longonot Place in Nairobi’s Kijabe Street.

Customers to enjoy one free call of up to 20 minutes as part of celebrations

All customers will enjoy one free call of up to 20 minutes within the next 30 days.

A statement on the company website said to ensure that all customers benefit, each customer will receive a notification a day before to alert them of their free call.

“Customers who have been on the Safaricom network for 20 years as well as customers turning 20 this year will also receive a free 20GB data bundle valid for 7 days,” the statement reads.

The telco also noted that for the next 30 days, a promotion dubbed [email protected] will enable customers to purchase 20 minutes of call time and 20MBs at Ksh. 20.

In addition, for the next 90 days, customers purchasing personalized Tunukiwa voice offers will receive free 20 minutes to call across all networks.

“Both offers are available on USSD *444# under the ‘Buy Minutes’ option,” the statement adds.

Safaricom is this week marking 20 years since it was officially launched on October 23, 2000.

“In the past two decades, Safaricom has grown from a telecommunication service provider to a technology company and our customers have been a key part of this journey. We are cognizant that technology and a data-driven economy can further support Kenya’s economic growth and these will be our launchpad for the next 20 years,” he said.

Through a brand campaign dubbed ‘Twende Tukiuke’, a callout to go beyond what is thought possible, the service provider also intends to showcase the power of mobile technology in transfoming lives.

The next phase of Safaricom’s growth will be driven by a vision to become a purpose-led technology company by 2025.

This will see the service provider continue its innovation tradition and simplify its products and services in line with its FOR YOU brand promise.

Safaricom will also continue to support the growth of SMEs and Micro-SMEs, which are the engines of economic growth in our country, by offering enhanced financial services and connectivity solutions.

“We plan to go beyond to new frontiers, be more present, more world-class, and enable new platforms to launch our SMEs into greater possibilities,” the CEO added.

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