MTN SO UT H SU DA N
Answering the defining needs of South Sudanese customers www.mtn-ssd.com
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SETTING THE TONE FOR
Leveraging the wider MTN Group’s expertise and support has been key for the Company’s move into South Sudan as it now looks to formalise operations by focusing on the country’s basic needs Writer: Emily Jarvis Project Manager: Donovan Smith
TN South Sudan has spent the past five years working tirelessly to address the existing economic and infrastructural development gaps in the country, with the ultimate aim to formalise and bolster its operations by firming up the challenging building blocks required to do so. “MTN now has an impressive 38 percent market share in South Sudan and in order to maintain this leading position, 2016 will be all about the value-add behind the scenes; such as stabilising the grid by installing adequate infrastructure, improving our
services, creating additional products and continuing local training regimes,” says Philip Besiimire, MTN South Sudan’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO). As part of the South Africanbased multinational mobile telecoms Company, MTN Group, the South Sudan operations are a relatively new addition to the organisation’s increasingly growing African footprint; incepted in 2011 at the beginning of the country’s independence. Despite the current challenges arising from the Government’s decision to devalue the local currency at the end of 2015, MTN South Sudan is one of few international companies to persevere and see a light at the end of the tunnel, whenever this may be. He notes: “South Sudan has very specific needs which need to be answered in tandem with stepping into the fray and matching the technologies offered in other parts of the world. When you mix all the social and economic challenges together, it makes this an even tougher task.
Africaâ€™s most trusted specialist in the provision of integrated risk solutions. We believe that creating a safe environment enables people and business to thrive and contributes to social and economic development. Through our Strength and Integrity we strive to be the best, harnessing our agility and adaptability, by continuous improvement of our people and processes. Warrior Security combines global expertise and superior local knowledge, innovative technology and outstanding human resources. We provide integrated security solutions tailored to our clients.
Weâ€™re operational in South Sudan, Tanzania, DR Congo, Zambia and Kenya.
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Democratic Republic of Congo Tel: +243 828 271 186 / +243 970 045 119 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.warrior-security.com Tanzania Tel: +255 783 466 664 Email: email@example.com Web: www.warrior-security.com
South Sudan Tel: +211 954 043 772 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.warrior-security.com
Kenya Phone: +254 709 851 000 Email: email@example.com Web: www.warrior-insight.com
Zambia Tel: +260 966 566 509 / +255 783 891 051 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.warrior-security.com
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“We have barely realised the market potential here, but for this to be fulfilled, we need to help create an enabling and conducive environment.”
Given that telecommunications is in its infancy in South Sudan, MTN has to balance the provision of the best and latest services with a sustainable longterm outlook. Besiimire explains: “Over the past year, we made efforts to improve our backbone infrastructure by deploying 17 new coverage sites and continuing our investments in alternative energy solutions; deploying 25 new solar power sites to replace the more unreliable diesel generators. “While energy has been an important area of investment, we have made efforts to improve our data services in line with the significant growth we are seeing. Moreover, leveraging our terrestrial links to the
MTN South Sudan is addressing economic development gaps in a sustainable manner
We have barely realised the market potential here, but for this to be fulfilled, we need to help create an enabling and conducive environment
country, we have started offering enterprise business solutions.” MTN South Sudan continues to push-on with its plans to make sure that 3G is available in key towns across the country. As a start-up with limited resources, MTN is making the most of its time and money to drive network and cell phone growth on all fronts via the most appropriate routes to market. The Company has built some-25 new service centres across the country to complement this data increase,
designed to make the offering more accessible to customers, while simultaneously increasing the brand’s presence in the country. “These centres will have a range of products on sale, such as low-cost, data-enabled smartphones under US$35 and ultra low-cost handsets with a basic internet offering for below US$15. Voice remains the dominant service in demand but we are seeing an increase in data service adoption; therefore, we are keen to venture
into financial services to enhance our offering and will do so as soon as we have a license,” he says. In addition to the huge task of starting from scratch and building the infrastructure required to offer such an impressive range of services becoming of the MTN Group, the South Sudan operations have to also overcome a significant number of social and economic challenges to further stabilise the Company’s footprint. According to the World Bank, only 27 percent of the population aged 15 years and above are literate; a figure which has still yet to rise above 30 percent. “Essentially, the overall progress of our services is dependent on the country’s stability. South Sudan’s mobile penetration rate is still low by African standards, which is to be expected for a fairly new market that is recovering from conflict. If the current efforts to stabilise the country are realised, the penetration could easily rocket to 60 percent-plus to rival the
arrior Security is Africa’s most trusted specialist in the provision of integrated risk solutions. We enable organisations to achieve their goals through cost-effective security measures that are founded in, and focused on, risk mitigation. There is no one size fits all approach to delivering security services in Africa; therefore, we tailor solutions to meet unique needs, which create safe environments for clients to operate in. The services that Warrior Security provides are wide ranging: uniformed manned guarding, armed response, security management, critical organizational information (COI) and risk advice & management, alarms, security system design installation (SSDI), access control, remote video monitoring (RVM), location and tracking services, polygraph, canine units, cash in transit (CIT), executive protection, and training. Warrior’s client base is largely comprised of corporate, government and humanitarian organizations. We have ongoing operations in South Sudan, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Zambia. We have also rebranded in Kenya under the name Warrior Insight. At Warrior Insight our intelligence and unique operational innovation sets a new standard. We aim to transform risk management across the region, starting in Kenya with Warrior Insight as a market leader. http://www.warrior-insight.com/ South Sudan is still the largest operation for the company and CEO Tony Sugden admits that whilst all areas of Warrior’s business deserve the same attention, South Sudan is a special venture.
“I do covet the integrity and resilience of the South Sudanese. There really is no other country in Africa like South Sudan.” “Since Warrior began operations in Juba back in 2008, much has changed. The business climate on the ground has gone from a frontier spirit, where there were opportunities at every turn, to a climate where the ability to adapt to changing security and economic conditions has become paramount in order to maintain continued growth of the business.” “As a company, Warrior has managed to stay on top by reinforcing processes and ensuring high standards are maintained through hiring expert personnel. The company is built around professionals who have extensive experience in dangerous and often chaotic environments, coupled to intimate knowledge of the cultural and regional peculiarities of their specialist country of operation.” “It also goes without saying that we couldn’t have reached where we are without the help of our local workforce, which I am overwhelmingly proud of”, said Sugden. Senior members of Warrior Security are comfortable in any environment worldwide but it is our local grounding that gives us an edge over competitors. Warrior has experienced the first hand ground truth and developed the necessary systems, procedures and resources to serve our clients, from a position of knowledge, with strength and integrity across African markets.
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BARKA GENERAL TRADING
arka General Trading imports and exports a variety of products, including food stuffs, building materials and electronics. Since its foundation, the company has undertaken a number of significant business contracts with both the private and public sectors, including NGO’s. Along with our sister company in South Sudan, Global General Trading, our mission is “To provide quality and affordable food stuff, building materials, electronics, electrical parts and other items to our customers.”
MTN capitalises on the strong branding and reputation it has in Africa
likes of Kenya, Uganda and other fastgrowing nations,” says Besiimire.
Adapting to cultural differences
To combat some of South Sudan’s core challenges, the Company is ensuring that it helps to grow the country’s literacy figure by investing in all the vital socio-economic areas that directly affect communication across rural areas; which, according the World Bank, could be home to almost 83 percent of the South Sudanese population. Aligning its business to reflect the wider Group’s desire for community involvement, MTN has to adapt its brand to the cultural differences that South Sudan presents. Moreover, pricing needs to be simple and communication needs to be accessible to address the changing market needs. Besiimire highlights: “We strive to play more than just a communications and connectivity role; we embed ourselves into the community through an aggressive corporate social responsibility programme.” With a focus primarily on addressing the lack of education in South Sudan, MTN feels it has inherited a
responsibility to develop skills through its programmes, encouraging young people to attend school and adopt IT at an early stage to raise the level of interest and education in the telecoms sector for the new generation. “In 2015, we set up three computer labs in local schools and after seeing firsthand the success from this, we would like to explore other ways to
In 2015, we set up three computer labs in local schools and after seeing firsthand the success from this, we would like to explore other ways to help the young generation improve their ‘digital literacy’
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help the young generation improve their ‘digital literacy’. This simultaneously provides children who have felt cut off from the rest of the world a way to make the right steps forward in terms of education, and provides the opportunity to get connected with the rest of the world,” he adds. This programme is in addition to the Company’s continued emphasis on other areas of national concern beyond its traditional sphere of telecoms interests, identifying healthcare, the provision of clean water and other enabling initiatives as crucial areas to be addressed.
Growing local impact
Yet another string to MTN South Sudan’s bow is its training programmes, specifically its active national secondment talent exchange programme. “We are able to borrow professionals from neighbouring countries such as Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa primarily, to help grow the business on both a short and long-term basis,” notes Besiimire.
launched to the market. He confirms: “We have ambitious plans to grow the capacities of the organisation from a people point of view. Most of our 200 employees are South Sudanese, however, we continue to rely on external expatriate expertise for the training element. We are seeing a gradual uptake of key positions by local people, but it is a well-known fact there is a skills shortage in this market which, as a Group, we are trying to combat. “Ultimately, if we are to align with While this training provides the our Group’s vision, we need to improve business with the right support tools the local South Sudanese’s digital for success, it does not address the capabilities, skills and exposure to need to upskill South Sudanese people. technology. So for every expat that we Therefore, MTN South Sudan has a bring in, we make sure there is a local long-term training programme in place understudy.” which it hopes to grow in time to assist With all of the above elements in creating a sustainable business currently underway, MTN South Sudan environment for the Company in the is doing everything it can to secure the future. Running alongside this are long-term success and sustainability short term-training initiatives that are of the leading MTN brand. By making implemented when a new product is a concerted effort to keep up and
invest in the latest industry trends and strategically working to identify and answer the core needs of its customers, the digital revolution has only just begun for this independent nation. “Overall, while South Sudan is a country of opportunity it has become a question of time frames. We are taking a realistic and measured approach and continue to review the options available to us, identifying what strategies are best for both the country and its people, and our shareholders,” comments Besiimire. He concludes: “In this market, you have to be agile enough to respond to the fast-changing environment, but also make the right investments while being mindful of the business terrain you are operating in. So far, the MTN Group’s investments have been incremental to our business success and we continue to maintain an optimistic viewpoint for our future in South Sudan.”
MTN SOUTH SUDAN HEAD OFFICE MTN Centre Hai Jerusalem, Residential Area Hai Cinema North East Juba (1) Basic School PO BOX 573 Juba South Sudan PayAsYouGo: email@example.com Business Solutions: MTNBusiness@mtn-southsudan.com www.mtn-ssd.com