Bob Collymore outlines key targets for fresh 14 months term


Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore during an interview with Jeff Koinange on the JKL show.
Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore during an interview with Jeff Koinange on the JKL show.

Bob Collymore has defined his new term at the helm at Safaricom as a work-in-progress highlighting key targets for the upcoming 14-months.

While confirming the extension to his term to August 2022, a seemingly upbeat Collymore attributed the stay in office to a sense of indebtedness to the firm having taken a near 12-month long leave of office in 2018 over health concerns.

“Some of you have taken some delight in trying to bury me before I’m ‘dead’. I am actually not going anywhere. I owe the company one year and so I have extended my term by another year to 2020… a time I hope to continue serving the company and the country,” Mr. Collymore told journalists on Thursday.

The receipt of the contract extension brought with it the end of speculation to Bob’s succession, which had to this point been defined by an alleged row pitting the board of Safaricom and government.

Digifarm

While Safaricom has under Collymore’s stewardship recorded consecutive year-on-year growth, the CEO is keen to prioritize on the traction of new revenue streams where some innovations have remained below par in the midst of an illustrious performance.

“In the next 12 to 15 months, we definitely want to get E-commerce much better than it does now. I would lift my hands up and say we made a number of mistakes on how we handled the platform,” he added.

Collymore is further keen on breathing a new life to the telco’s fintech based Digifarm — a farmer-targeted financial services solution — with an eye on growing its subscriptions to five million in the next year from its current base of an approximate 900,000.

Moreover, the telco operator continues to make additional investments to its systems and network infrastructure in a bid to trim the switch-over time to the restoration of essential services in the event of fluctuations characterized most recently by outages to its M-Pesa mobile money service and the home fiber on the back-end of last week.

M-Pesa

The operator continues to seek expansion opportunities in the region through the world-famed mobile money service, this informed by the continued pursuit of a collaborative front with its parent Vodafone to recapture a share of the control of M-Pesa.

M-Pesa makes for a shear force in the facilitation of mobile money services in the country taking its contribution to Safaricom’s earning to more than one third, a share only second to voice revenues.

Having conducted a system upgrade in December 2018, the mobile-money service is now capable of facilitating up to 1200 transactions at a go.

According to the firm’s latest financials, M-Pesa is now composed of 22.6 million active subscriptions which represent a further 12.2 average chargeable transactions per customer each month.

Special dividend                                                                                                   

Bob Collymore’s near nine-year tenure at the helm of Safaricom has brought with it tremendous returns for shareholders to end with most recently, a special dividend payout to shareholders in the just concluded financial year to March 31, 2019.

The shareholders who mainly compose of Vodafone Kenya Limited and the government of Kenya pocketed an additional Ksh.24.8 billion in the bonus payout in addition to an increased regular settlement of Ksh1.25 per share in the year of record breaking profit making.

The telco,which announced its financial results on May 3, 2019, saw its net profits jump to Ksh.63.4 billion in 2018 as service revenue hit Ksh.240.3 billion.

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