The most profitable telco under Ndegwa after Bob’s death

Friday, July 8th, 2022 09:00 | By
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa.
Safaricom CEO Peter Ndegwa. PHOTO/Courtesy

When Peter Ndegwa strode into Safaricom House in July 2019, he had no doubt what awaited him at the corner office.

The previous tenants include the late Bob Collymore and Michael Joseph before him, who helped build a technology empire.

Whether he was fazed with the aura of the office is a matter of conjecture. What mattered to him and to the telco’s board of directors was to hit the road running, and prove his mettle.

After all, according to Samson Osore, an independent human resource consultant, “filling the position of a chief executive is dependent on expectations of the board and may not necessarily be pegged on a previous successful occupier.”

Technology firm According to Osore, some of the factors the board would consider include leadership capability based on a verifiable track record, credible references on the performance of previous corporations and the major challenges that the organisation wants to address.

Ndegwa ticked all the boxes, a nexus that gave him a springboard to reposition Safaricom in its transition from a telecommunications to a technology firm.

Contrasting in character with his predecessors who thrived in media and social engagements, Ndegwa can be described as “that person behind the scenes” overseeing the company's leverage of technology to transform lives through innovation.

Under his watch, the Mpesa App has been scaled up to a supper App incorporating the GlobalPay Visa Virtual card, empowering its 30 million to shop online.

This is in addition to conquering new territory, with the firm’s entry into Ethiopia expected to earn shareholders handsome dividends in the future.

Safaricom share prices which were averaging Sh28.15 on July 1, 2019, with 4.8 million shares exchanging hands managed a turnover of Sh135 billion at that time.

Three years later, the turnover at the bourse had hit Sh379.7 billion as of July 1, 2022, after 15 million transactions.

Market capitalisation has dipped slightly from Sh1,127 billion to Sh1,004 billion on July 1, 2022. In the last financial year, Safaricom posted a net profit of Sh67.5 billion for the full year ended March 2022, 1.7 per cent less than the prior year, weighed down by the Ethiopian business where the company ploughed in Sh4.66 billion to finance the operations

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