Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa has revealed that the company hired 400 developers in 2022, despite having a slumped growth in the last two years since he was appointed CEO.
The CEO who admitted that the telco is experiencing slowed growth said that the company could think of cost-cutting measures, hinting at a retrenchment exercise although he remained non-commital.
“We hired 400 developers this year. However, if the economy is affected the business will be affected. I will be naive to think that when people are spending less on products they will spend more on airtime. So we would be affected the same way other players will be affected and therefore we have to watch our costs. But we have a lot of other ways of cost adjustments. I do not think we are going to affect people at all,” he said.
The company has recorded reduced profits in the last two years, the first one happening in 2021 in a period of nine years.
“Growth has been slowing down, our core connectivity business especially voice was slowing down. Connectivity will continue to be an important business, especially mobile data, and fixed data at home. We are still at about 20 to 25 percent penetration of homes; so, we still have 800,000 homes to go after. For mobile Internet, 4G penetration is a quarter and three-quarters of Kenyans do not have a 4G handset,” Ndegwa added.
In the year ended March 2022, Safaricom recorded a 1.7 percent drop in net profit to Ksh67.49 billion in the first results that include its Ethiopian operations.
The telco’s net profit for the full year ended March 2022 is the second drop in a row after it posted a 6.8 percent profit retreat last year to Ksh68.67 billion, which was the first in nine years.
The telco is banking on other ventures, especially related to mobile money and technology to keep afloat in terms of profitability.
“We have a rich pipeline. First of all, we have the Halal Pesa, a partnership with Gulf Bank to offer credit that is Halal. We have launched the eVisa in partnership with Visa Card, which allows Kenyans to purchase products off the internet from abroad. We are going to be launching a junior account soon. There are also quite a few other products, on the wealth management side that are at different stages in terms of approvals. We intend to get almost 300 mini apps on the super app so it becomes a full marketplace,” added Ndegwa.
In 2020, Peter Ndegwa became the first Kenyan CEO of Safaricom, taking over the company at a time the world was experiencing trade difficulties due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
Email your news TIPS to firstname.lastname@example.org