HomeTelecommunications‘We are still in infancy stage’ Telecel

‘We are still in infancy stage’ Telecel

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CUT-THROAT competition has, since the introduction of multiple currencies, been a common feature on the country’s telecommunications sector.

Mobile phone operators have in recent times stepped up their campaigns in a bid to grow as well as consolidate market share.
Telecel Zimbabwe last week won the Marketers’ Association of Zimbabwe (MAZ) Exceptional Product of the Year Award after successfully carrying out its Telecel Red promotion.

The telecoms firm, now the second largest mobile phone operator by subscription, was also honoured as the first runner-up for the MAZ outstanding promotional campaign awards following their rebranding campaign.

NewsDay Business (ND) spoke to Telecel marketing director Octavius Kahiya on the group’s achievement as well as issues affecting the sector.

ND: What is the significance of the award on the company?
Kahiya: The award is a demonstration of our constant efforts to bring value to this market and our subscribers. It clearly indicates the market is now fully recognising these efforts and we are greatly encouraged to continue further.

ND: What marketing strategies did you use?
Kahiya: Most of our efforts are premised on low-cost leadership, where we try to run a very cost-efficient operation and then we pass on the accrued benefits to the market through low prices.

ND: Where are we as a country in terms of marketing and coming up with new products in the telecommunications sector?
Kahiya: We have made huge strides over the last three to four years and are catching up with the rest of the region and world, but there is still some distance to go as we reduce the technology gap caused by the hyperinflationary situation of a few years back.

ND: What impact have the promotional packages had on the company’s revenue base? Have they yielded intended goals?
Kahiya: The first rule of business is to ensure it sustains itself and, therefore, we always make sure all our promotions are sound.

They are obviously designed to also fight competition, but we chose to squeeze ourselves in other areas, including operational excellence, to make the required margins.

ND: In terms of evolution, how do you compare local operators with European counterparts?
Kahiya: There is still some distance to go on the technological front. For example, for most European operators, LTE (Long-Term Evolution) is becoming commonplace while we are still in the infancy stage here.

ND: What is your subscriber base and your target by year end?
Kahiya: We are currently sitting on about 2,55 million active subscribers. It is important to note we do our subscriber count based on the international GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) standard of a 90-day active subscriber.

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