5 Ways Safaricom Has Grown Under Bob Collymore
I was having a conversation with my mentor the other day on what it takes to be a leader that pushes for innovation in your organization or company. It was a good conversation with a lot of back and forth on the nitty gritties. One of the things we agreed on however, was that a good example of a CEO in Kenya who does just that, is Bob Collymore.
Bob Collymore is one of the most popular figures in Kenya. This isn’t a surprise, considering he is the current CEO of one of Kenya’s biggest companies. Bob took medical leave in October 2017 but is expected to be back at the helm of Safaricom in a few months.
He joined Safaricom in September 2010 and has been able to steer the company to even more success than it had initially enjoyed. There are the obvious growth metrics such as the increase in profits and Safaricom crossing the Ksh1 Trillion market valuation in July 2017, but here are a few other highlights of his time at Safaricom so far.
This is probably my favourite highlight because I am a huge fan of jazz and have enjoyed every Safaricom Jazz edition I have attended. It’s not just that there is an opportunity to see legendary jazz artistes on stage, but that this initiative has grown the local jazz scene tremendously. There are not only all these Kenyan jazz bands coming up, but also a growing fan base for jazz music in Kenya. Best of all, all the proceeds from Safaricom jazz go towards Ghetto Classics, a music programme that teaches music to children living in poverty in Korogocho, equipping them with skills and opportunities to succeed.
Safaricom Jazz has been running since 2014 and has seen artistes such as David Sanborn, Salif Keita, Hugh Masekela, Alune Wade, Fatoumata Diawara, among others grace the stage. It has also made Kenyan acts such as Nairobi Horns Project, Edward Parseen & The Different Faces Band, Mwai & The Truth, Swahili Jazz Band, Gogo Simo and Shamsi Music household names.
Brand storytelling and customer service
Safaricom has offers some of the best customer service in the country. The company has also heavily invested in social media, coming out tops when it comes to engagement with customers online.
The network has also launched products such as BLAZE for its youth segment customers and employed brand storytelling concepts such as the Funtastic 4Gs that is a web series around its 4G service.
Growth of M-Pesa and network
Safaricom is best known for its innovative products, chief of which is M-Pesa. In the last 7 years, since Bob Collymore’s takeover, Safaricom has launched M-Pesa products such as Lipa na M-Pesa, International Money Transfer, M-Akiba, M-Shwari and improved services through the introduction of Hakikisha and M-Pesa statements.
Safaricom introduced 4G in 2014 and by end of 2017, the network announced that its high-speed 4G network is now available in all 47 counties with the number of customers enjoying the service now standing at one million. Safaricom has also introduced Safaricom Home Fibre that is expanding across the country and is already in high demand.
Use of innovative technology
Safaricom is known for being innovative, but in the last few years, the company has launched a number of products that I think stand out. Jitambulishe is a voice biometrics service that allows customers to create a vocal password for easier access to services such as resetting your M-PESA PIN and PUK requests. Safaricom also introduced an M-PESA Interactive Voice Response (IVR) solution for their visually impaired customers in December 2017. These among many others as well as Safaricom opening up the M-Pesa API to 3rd party developers show the company does not shy away from innovation.
In June 2017, Safaricom announced the repositioning of its brand from telecommunications to a digital lifestyle enabler. The repositioning was executed through a change of slogan from ‘The Better Option’ to ‘Twaweza’: When we come together, Great things happen.
It’s been exciting to see the transformation and growth of Safaricom over the last 17 or so years, and from the look of things, there’s a lot yet to come.
Hopefully, Bob Collymore will be back to work soon to lead Safaricom to its next stage of growth. In the meantime, he is celebrating his 60th birthday and his staff who are clearly fond of him, created a video message for him. 60 is definitely the new 40 because the man looks much younger than his age. Well, happy birthday Bob Collymore.
http://www.mwendengao.com/2018/01/16/5-ways-safaricom-has-grown-under-bob-collymore/LifestyleTech4G network,BLAZE,Bob Collymore,Jitambulishe,Safaricom,Twaweza
— Safaricom Limited (@SafaricomLtd) January 13, 2018