What awaits incoming Safaricom boss, Peter Ndegwa

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 10:00 | By
A view of the Safaricom headquarters in Westlands, Nairobi. Photo/PD/FILE

A fairly full in-tray awaits Safaricom’s new chief executive Peter Ndegwa who takes over the reins of East Africa’s most profitable company today.

Once settled at the corner office at Safaricom House, investors will be watching keenly how he tackles the unfolding economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic without taking focus away from the anticipated foray into the Ethiopian market.

Safaricom recently announced the re-appointment of Francisco Bianco as a substantive director, as well as resignation of Viviek Badrinath in a development whose impact on decision making at board level analysts reckon will only be known when the company announces its 2019/20 financial results in June. 

Ndegwa had a chequered corporate career borne out of international exposure, having had stints with Diageo, a global leader in the alcoholic beverages business, where he served as the Managing Director of Continental Europe.

While announcing Ndegwa’s appointment in October last year, Safaricom chairman Nicholas Ng’ang’a acknowledged his prowess, saying:   

“He brings a wealth of experience in General Management, Commercial and Business Strategy, Sales and Finance Operations.

He had 25 years in various roles within the Financial Services and Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sectors in Africa and Europe.

This is the kind of experience the telco will be banking on during the coronavirus-riddled period.

Safaricom and KCB have  committed to support customers in financial distress with the availing of Sh30 billion for lending. 

The fund will allow for higher borrowing limits for qualifying customers and extended repayment periods for borrowers with existing facilities.

The two will also open the door to customers who had been blacklisted at the Credit Reference Bureaus.

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