Pick up a newspaper, reading the latest magazine, listening to the news and the message is consistent and clear the 4th industrial revolution is here, and businesses must disrupt or be disrupted. The race is on to be the first mover in each sector to create the leading businesses of tomorrow.
There are few greater respects for a company than being perceived as innovative, fresh thinking and doing things differently to stand out from the crowd. We have seen very few companies in Zimbabwe doing that and one that Stands out when we talk about innovation is Econet Wireless.
While much of this innovation comes down to Econet’s products and services to keep it at the forefront of the market in which it operates, it’s also about the company’s culture. And creating the right workplace conditions is supreme.
Econet Wireless is a diversified telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, South America and the East Asia Pacific Rim, offering products and services in the core areas of mobile and fixed telephony services, broadband, satellite, optical fiber networks and mobile payment.
The group’s subsidiaries include Econet Global, Econet Wireless Africa, Econet Wireless International, Econet Enterprises, Liquid Telecom Group and Econet Media. As of the writing Econet has grown to a fully technology, media, and telecom company.
Dr Masiyiwa recognized the great potential for wireless telephones in sub-Saharan Africa because the region had only two fixed-line telephones for every hundred people in the 1990s. In 1998, Econet Wireless was granted its telephony license in Zimbabwe, at a time when 70% of the country inhabitants had never heard a ringtone.
The technology, media, and telecom (TMT) sector, sometimes also referred to as technology, media, and communications (TMC), this industry segment covers a broad range and it is often useful to break down TMT into three sub-sectors, for the purpose of this article technology, media, and telecom.
TMT companies have started to digitize their core businesses and enter new disruptive industries, often through M&A and partnerships.
Telecom focuses on communications-related businesses such as phone services and Internet service providers and include players such as Econet Wireless, Telone, NetOne and Telecel. In this sector Econet Group owns number of big companies which are Econet Wireless, Liquid Telecom, ZOL (Zimbabwe), Raha (Tanzania) ,Neotel (South Africa) and Realtime (Zambia) and Hia (Kenya,Rwanda ,Zambia) just to mention a few of the companies.
Media companies develop, produce and distribute multimedia content on TV, radio, in print and online. Television networks, production studios and social media companies may all be included in this sub-sector. Players include DStv, Kwese tv, Techunzipped and Zimpapers. In this sector Econet Group Owns Kwese TV which has a number of station like Kwese Sport ,Kwese Inc, Kwese News and Kwesé’fied which is a news aggregate . Not forgetting Kwese Inc, a new channel dedicated to entrepreneurs across the African continent. The channel showcases success stories and case studies from across the world.
The technology sector is the category of stocks relating to the research, development and/or distribution of technologically based goods and services. The technology sector offers a wide arrange of products and services for both customers and other businesses. Businesses receive information and services from software and database systems, which allow the companies to make strategic business decisions. Econet has been dominating this sector from Fintech to webhosting services. But these days, every company is at least a little bit of a tech company.
In technology Sector Econet has the following companies that include Cassava, Ecocash (Fintech), Ownai (ecommerce), Ecosure (Insurance), Steward Bank (Banking), Connected Home and Connected Car (Internet of Things). Muzinda Hub (Webhosting and Development), Ruzivo Digatal (Elearning) ,Cumii ,CrashPlan Africa (Backup + Restore) and Technite (deploying independent contractors to customer sites).
Even with the advancement of OTT (Over The Top) services and the harm to network service providers. Telecom companies have lost and are losing hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue to VoIP OTT operators, and this excludes video and other OTT services. Network carriers will of course react. It is Safe to say that even if OTT service dominate, Econet will still have other services baking the bread.
Econet has realized that they can’t fight that battle, and that maybe they should content themselves with reaping the benefits of offering good 3G and 4G connectivity for users who use OTT services. Hence have added other services like on top of the service like EcoCash and Ownai.
In other words, Econet can control its own destiny by actively managing its businesses for value creation amid technology disruption. The best way for Econet to do this is to engage in an end-to-end digital transformation of its value chain while creating new and disruptive digital businesses.
Pardon has been a technology enthusiast his entire life and has spent the better part of last decades in information technology and security, and he writes with an aim to remove some of the "mysticism" from the cyber world. He’s the Editor at Techunzipped. Away from the keyboard, you're likely to find him playing with the latest gadgets or the latest Game.