G-Tide Mobile Phone Zimbabwe has set its eyes on penetrating the regional market in 2011 as part of its ambitious expansion drive.
The company, which is a subsidiary of ZTS International, currently operates in Nigeria, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal and Kenya.
In an interview with NewsDay on Tuesday Caroline Jaison Chiremba, the company’s operations manager, said plans were at an advanced stage to launch the brand in South Africa, Angola and Mozambique.
Locally, the company said it was in talks with mobile network company Telecel to launch a unique product in 2011 but was not at liberty to divulge the details of the deal.
“We are in talks with networks in the respective countries including Airtel and MTN, among other networks, as we embark on the expansion programme,” said Chiremba.
“Our vision is not to just sell handset parts, but to offer a complete package including airtime”.
Chiremba said the company had grown in leaps and bounds
G-Tide, which is one of ZTS’ top brands in Africa, has proved to be a hit on the local market due to its affordability.
Its Zimbabwean operation is the headquarters for southern Africa. With over 17 different mobile phone brands available locally, the G-Tide brand has proved to be popular, especially its cheap dual sim card phones.
Dual sim card phones allow a user to use two different numbers belonging to the same or different mobile networks on the same phone.
Analysts said the brand has made major inroads giving dominant brands such as Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson among others, a run for their money.
Nokia was one of the few remaining handset providers with operations in Zimbabwe although manufacturing was done outside the country.
Chiremba said the company’s market share was currently between 20 and 30% and the brand was now a force to reckon with. She said as part of the drive to ensure accessibility of mobile phones, the company was selling its phones on credit.
“We looking at how best we can also tap into the informal sector,” said Chiremba. “It is a huge market that any serious company cannot afford to ignore”.