Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Mr. May new casualty

I heard it in the grape vine over the weekend that Mr. Gerard May of Celtel has been shown the door. the great marketer who was head hunted from Cell C where he precided over a tremendous growth was told friday to take a walk and never turn back! its not clear if safaricom's unprecedented profit could have caused his woes or whether it was his decision to embarass the company with a copy paste promotion christened Zindua. why a company would want to do that kind of thing beats me. you decide to copy your competitors promotion word for word, what does it mean to your customers and observers? However inside sources say that celtel has always been difficult to market since all decisions must be made by amsterdam. they still treat africa as one homogenous entity and think like the IMF, world Bank et al that africa is a case of one suit fit all. so even after the marketing director has done his research and presented his strategy to amsterdam, he is told that the strategy does not fit the panafrican aproach and its shoved over.

When will the world learn that africans are as diverse as the fishes in the sea?! I dont think marketing strategy in Uganda would work in kenya, not even TZ and kenya are the same. what matters to us are completely different, even within kenya, the way you market yourself in the coast is not the same way you would do in Nyanza and so on. Celtel keeps failing since kenyans cannot identify with any of their adverts. those guys on the velo, the man with the kid etc are not kenyan. another thing is that Kenyans think very highly of themselves in comparison to other africans and bringing heavily accented western africans to market in Kenya is a complete no no.

where is the NSE heading? just the other day we feted the break of the 5000 mark and '94 record but yesterday the bourse gained another 71 points to settle at 5177, just the other day we were toasting the 660 billion market cpitalization but yesterday it was 766 and so on. i expected the market to dip as investors liquidate to rpepare for the kenya re and Mumias but it seems people are instead consolidating their positions. at this rate we may see 100B capitalization by year end. the main benficiaries will be yours truly the brokers.

finaly express has promised to post the bonus shares by 1st november. good news. i wonder what kind of management these guys have or what kept them so long.

this year has been the year for the financial stocks, last year we saw industrials show more flesh. who is going to strut the cat walk next year? services or will the industrials continue the show? i cant wait! i love this game

Odegle Tip of the Day -- its best to invest in a firm which you understand. Make sure you understand their business, their management, their shareholdings etc. Even their history and the industry in which they operate.


  1. Shame because he has brough Celtel so far in two years and they are now making a break-through.

    The boardroom turnover at Celtel is not good for the stability consistence of company - competing against MJ & Safaricom who has been there from day 1 continually improving the company

    Some of their mareketign is just plain off key: zindua pick-up promotion coming out less than a month after safaricom's own pick-up promotion is just tacky.

    On Express,our bonus shares are about four months late

  2. Is the Merali curse?

    Anyway, the entry of VTEL and Telkom's RUIM is great for competition!

  3. I hear celtel is really trying to placate their staff right now. what with tuition being paid upto 60% and they got a god bonus ( 5 times salary times the number of years worked) yet that still has not lifted the motivation of the employees. the turnover is high at all levels not only the CEO.

    If you ask me i think merali lost his magic with the Kanu exit or am i bluffing? and that was after he spread himself extremely thin

  4. the safaricom mteja-pesa thing would be a boom to rural banking and money transfer would take a whole new meaning. Especially the word 'sambaza'...

    Pole for the Celtel chief. He tried but I agree that the company doesn't have a Kenyan feel. The only solution might be lower tariffs (such as TKL's) but with what they invested for the network equipment (changing from Alcatel to Erickson) that might not happen in a hurry. Staff exodus (particularly to Safaricom) is tremendous.

    Hope that with Vtel (and possibly Econet), we are set to see all mobile tariffs slashed greatly.


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