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Bharti Airtel’s Manoj Kohli talks about their plans for Kenya.

Naushad Merali and Manoj Kohli of Airtel Kenya

Just got back from the Bharti Airtel Kenya media briefing this afternoon at the Crowne Plaza in Upper Hill, Nairobi. During the event the Bharti Airtel CEO Manoj Kohli gave a detailed presentation on their plans for Kenya. I don’t have all the details but here are some quick hits around what he presented:

  • Bharti Airtel will invest US$ 150 Million in Kenya to expand operations.
  • They will be focusing on growing their rural footprint aggressively and nationwide where they expect new business will be generated as has been their experience in India where they have a low cost and high volume model.
  • In expanding Airtel’s reach in Kenya, they plan to share infrastructure with the other incumbent mobile operators so as to save cost.
  • Airtel will deploy a large call center so as to ensure superior customer service.
  • They plan to hire large numbers of young Kenyans to drive employment and reduce poverty.
  • They want to increase tele-density in Kenya from what it is currently to 70% nationwide.
  • Kenyans only use 50 minutes of talk time currently – they want to see this to grow to over 300 minutes a month which is what they currently do in India.
  • The Airtel brand will be rolled out in Kenya from October 2010 as part of a Pan-African re-branding from the current Zain.
  • Airtel has already secured their 3G data license in Kenya and they intend to aggressively roll-out the same in Kenya.
  • Airtel plans to take strategic and very key advantage of the advent of mobile number portability in Kenya when it sis rolled out later in the year. Its a linchpin of their strategy and was mentioned severally by various Airtel representatives (Safaricom?!)

I hope to post more details later today or over the weekend, time allowing, However, to sum it up, Airtel look committed to making a major dent in Kenya in terms of growing their business and giving the competition a real run. Lets see how this pans out but I can assure you that Manoj sounded totally bullish! below are some photos from the event:

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13 Comments

  1. July 9, 2010 at 9:26 am — Reply

    Sounds nice. Any word on how they are going this? It’s nice to have goals, it’s better to have a clue how to get there. Seems to me that Safaricom’s death grip on mPesa leaves very little to compete against. Furthermore how are they going to get the costs of calling down if the mobile termination rate is still way above India’s MTA of $0.001

    Sorry to be so negative.
    .-= Rudolf´s last blog ..How much do you want name your price =-.

    • July 9, 2010 at 10:02 am — Reply

      Well. I don’t have the answers obviously. But the video of the briefing is going up in next hour or so – you can see for yourself! 🙂

    • Okuttah Mark
      July 9, 2010 at 11:27 am — Reply

      Read a detailed report on Bharti’s talk with the President Kibaki on Thursday only on Business Daily Monday Edition.

      Okuttah

  2. Jimmy Thande
    July 20, 2010 at 8:24 am — Reply

    I hope they understand the market, this kind of talk has been had before and considering thier africa operations will headquarted here, they have no choice but to invest. the competition is welcomed and we will see if they can outlast the 3 year flu that organisation has had (Kencell, celtel, Zain, and now airtel)

    • July 20, 2010 at 9:27 am — Reply

      Hi Jimmy. Good to hear from you. Wish you can for the media briefing. You definitely got a sense that Airtel are going all out for Kenya and Africa. I believe they will finally deliver the potential. Otherwise hope your keeping well.

  3. July 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm — Reply

    kudos!but,hw do we get the jobs?do u knw?

  4. July 29, 2010 at 4:02 am — Reply

    There is a great deal of misconception that M-Pesa is a loyalty program for Safaricom, it is not with number portability. The reason i get a SIM card is to make a call and i want to be able to make a good clear call. Kenyans are waking up and now demanding quality. If Airtel (The monopoly busters) can bring down call call costs – which by way for kenya are still among the highest, Offer quality service as Zain does, expands its visibility which is is known to do, then Kenyans will continue having 2 Sim cards – This time an ALL day talking SIM Airtel Sim in the Phone, and one Safaricom SIM card in the Wallet for Sending Money Once or Twice a month. I have Already bet 10,000 with my bro That Airtel Kenya will beat Suffericom in 4 Years!!
    🙂

  5. July 29, 2010 at 4:30 am — Reply

    There is a great deal of misconception that M-Pesa is going to continue being a loyalty program for Safaricom, it is not with number portability.

    The reason i get a SIM card is to make a call and i want to be able to make a good and clear call. Kenyans are waking up and now demanding quality of service.

    If Airtel (The monopoly busters as they have been known to be) can bring down call call costs – (which by the way for Kenya are still among the highest) Offer quality service as Zain already does, expands its visibility which it is known to do in India, then Kenyans will continue having 2 Sim cards – This time an ALL-DAY talking Airtel SIM Card in the Phone, and one Safaricom SIM card in the Wallet for Sending Money Once or Twice a month.

    Zap is a great service which has not been fully exploited and this can be used to Tame MPESA with more visibility. Airtel has already Grabbed Mobicom – Safaricoms largest distributor/dealer with a national footprint that can bring on board safaricom distribution strategies – MJ has bowed down and Airtel is ready for an Offensive.

    I have Already bet 10,000 with my bro That Airtel Kenya will beat Suffericom in 4 Years!!

  6. August 18, 2010 at 1:50 am — Reply

    By the way mobicom was later taken by orange – was it an engineered strategic aversion of some kind by green zone?

  7. August 18, 2010 at 1:59 am — Reply

    Zain kenya( Airtel Kenya) introduces a new tariff that reduces its calling charges to all networks in what is pitted to be the worst price war yet.

    You can now call on Zain to ANY Network at only 3/= and SMS any Network from Zain at 1/= , Unbelievable!. No Terms and conditions, no registration and this is a permanent tariff not promotion!?

    I love the simplicity and clarity of the idea. No fluffing around with calculations on rates at what time at what place at…… Kenyan’s are busy to carry calculators to know their calling rates every time…..

    This is a new twist showing that Kenyans have for a long time paid a lot of money to call less.

    Am waiting to see if Airtel kenya can pull a joker on ZAP that has been on leave for sometime now!

  8. Willy K Ciira
    October 16, 2010 at 8:02 am — Reply

    Kudos Airtel, keep-up the good work and thanks alot for giving Kenyans an ear on the call rates.Long live Airtel.

  9. February 19, 2011 at 9:33 am — Reply

    kudos manoj kohli,but pliz for visibility and invisibility 4the sake of urban area people use un old guy and a comic one for advertisement.amani is not a well kwn celebrity by all age group.

    i would like to say trade developer should go back to the fild to educate people all about airtel and what is caming up,

  10. August 5, 2014 at 12:45 pm — Reply

    […] the official launch in July, Airtel executives the emphasized some of their strategies including:- They are rural […]

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