Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa has said that the company is set to take the country through the coronavirus pandemic, and define the next course of growth in the country’s economy.
Speaking at an interview on Citizen TV, Ndegwa –who took charge of the giant telco on April 1 –said his ability to understand customer needs will define his next cause action.
“I see Safaricom establishing the next phase of growth. The DNA of Safaricom is about improving the lives of Kenyans.
“I have come from a consumer goods business to a company that sells voice, data and financial service –for me it is about customers and understanding their needs,” said Mr. Ndegwa.
Taking after his predecessors, late Bob Collymore and outgoing Michael Joseph, CEO Ndegwa said that his cause of action will be based on his person and the former CEOs’ legacy.
Averting COVID-19 effects
“I have joined the company in interesting times. I pay tributes to my predecessors for steering the company to a success that is a source of pride for Kenya. I will build on their legacy. I am the first Kenyan CEO and I will be my own person,” he said.
The CEO said the company has set a raft of measures, in partnership with the government, to help Kenyans manage the diverse economic conditions resulting from the pandemic.
“We have zero-rated M-Pesa transactions below Shs.1,000. We have also committed 200 million to civid-19 fund. The company launched ‘Bonga for Goods’ where customers can transfer points to others, who can redeem them at Lipa na Mpesa merchant points.
“Safaricom is also in partnership with the ministry of health, to educate Kenyans on how to stay safe. We have set up the 719 toll free number with call center managed by 300 operators and 20 doctors to attend to Kenyans’ questions on coronavirus,” said the CEO.
To enable Kenyans stay at home and businesses adapt to remote work model, Mr. Ndegwa said the company has doubled capacity of ‘Fiber to Home’ and ‘Fiber to Business’.
He further said that the telco has zero-rated websites that give content for primary and secondary schools.
“We have enabled our employees to work from home. 70% of our employees work from home and the company works hard to keep the country connected,” said Mr. Ndegwa.
Safaricom expects a 5.5 billion shilling hit to its revenue from M-Pesa in the three months from mid-march after it adjusted prices because of the coronavirus crisis.
The foregone revenue, equating to 7.3% of the mobile money platform’s annual earnings, will be caused by a slash in charges on small transactions to facilitate cashless payments, in a move to contain COVID-19 pandemic.