During the year, we rolled out a new strategy for the organisation. We simpliﬁed our approach from seven strategic objectives to just three: ‘Customer First’, ‘Relevant Products’ and ‘Operational Excellence’. The new strategy is a reﬂection of both our growing maturity and sophistication as a company and an acknowledgement of areas of weakness.
We have entered a new, third phase as a growing communications company. The ﬁrst phase was focused on the development of the network. The second phase was centred on the creation of a plethora of interesting products and services. In this third phase, we are refocusing our approach and, instead of starting with questions like ‘what is it technologically possible to deliver?’, we are starting with our customers and asking ‘what do they need and want from us?’
Bringing the customer inside the business
At the heart of our new ‘Customer First’ approach is more advanced segmentation. We have over 25 million customers of all ages and backgrounds and so their needs are very diverse. In order to understand our customers and their different, speciﬁc needs better, we have begun classifying and analysing them in much smaller groups or ‘segments’.
Designing relevant products
Instead of creating a product and then assessing which of our customers might want to use it, we have begun a process we call ‘insighting’, through which we identify and understand the needs and challenges a speciﬁc customer segment faces, and then we use this insight to design relevant products and services that meet those exact needs.
Removing internal barriers
These new products and services are then supported and delivered through ‘Operational Excellence’. This objective requires us to assess every aspect of the business from the perspective of how well it is serving the customer and helping to deliver quality experiences to them — throughout their ‘lifetime’ or journey as customers of Safaricom and through their interactions at every one of our ‘touch points’, such as the call centre, retail shops and the website.
‘Operational Excellence’ requires us to assess every aspect of the business from the perspective of how well it is serving the customer and helping to deliver quality experiences to them.
The wide-reaching ‘Operational Excellence’ objective of the new strategy includes: how well we design our new products; how fast we deliver them to market; how seamlessly we support these new products technologically; how streamlined and efﬁcient our internal processes are; how tightly we are managing our costs; and how consistently we are managing our distribution network and the experiences customers have with our agents and dealers.
As part of this objective, we moved from ‘Best Network in Kenya’ (BNK) to ‘Best Network for You’ (BNU). This migration reﬂects our commitment to ensuring that each of our 25 million subscribers experiences network improvements directly and personally. It also reminds us to focus network improvements on the changing needs of individual customers.
Restructuring the business
To reﬂect this new strategic approach and understanding, the business was restructured during the year. Several new departments were created, including Segments Marketing, Customer Experience Excellence, Customer Value Management and the Project Management Ofﬁce. As its name suggests, the Segments Marketing Department features teams of marketing and product specialists that are focused on gleaning insight about speciﬁc customer groups.
The Customer Experience Excellence Department supports the new strategy by raising awareness of customer experience responsibilities and challenges throughout the business and setting targets for every team. The Customer Value Management department ensures that we understand the needs of our consumer and enterprise customers and, in turn, that our customers are extracting maximum value from our products and services.
The Project Management Ofﬁce then coordinates the delivery of new projects and ensures that each one is aligned to the new strategy. We also created Regional teams to co-ordinate the services we deliver in each region of the country, allowing for faster, decentralised decision-making.
Our Sustainability Vision
We aspire to use our products and services to transform lives and contribute to sustainable living throughout Kenya. Based on this fundamental aspiration, our vision sets out how we use our ability to deliver connectivity and innovative services to improve the quality of life and livelihoods of the people we reach. Central to achieving this vision is our commitment to managing our operations responsibly and ethically.
Communications technology is already an essential part of most people’s lives and is transforming the world in which we live. We believe that we can continue to grow our business and enhance our brand by developing innovative, commercially viable solutions that both support sustainable development and improve the quality of life of Kenyans. Our M-PESA mobile money transfer product, for instance, has become a platform for a range of services that are improving livelihoods.
We aspire to use our products and services to transform lives and contribute to sustainable living throughout Kenya.
As well as providing ﬁrst time access to the internet for many Kenyans, we continue to build on our work in areas such as agriculture, education and health, where technology is recognised as a critical tool that can make a signiﬁcant difference to people’s lives.
We also consider maintaining the trust of our stakeholders and remaining accountable to them as vital to achieving our vision. As a result, we are committed to retaining that trust by managing our operations responsibly by keeping our people safe, managing our environmental footprint, protecting the privacy of our customers and conducting our business in an ethical and transparent way.
Our vision is based upon the twin pillars of responsible, ethical business and transformational products and services:
“Sustainability and sustainability reporting is much more than the set of procedures, policies and business practices that constitute its parts, it is a philosophy and set of values that guides and deﬁ nes decision making throughout the company, and shapes our future positioning.”
Nicholas Nganga, Chairman and Non-Executive Director
How Sustainability Fits into Our Strategy
Our sustainability strategy stems from our commitment to responsible, ethical behaviour in everything that we do and our core values of ‘speed’, ‘simplicity’ and ‘trust’. Our goal remains that of ‘transforming lives’ and this purpose statement permeates every decision made by the company, encouraging us to push beyond traditional commercial boundaries in order to have a positive impact on society as a whole and driving us towards an ever more sustainable and responsible way of doing business. Our approach to sustainability is based on our determination to manage and grow a safe, efﬁcient and proﬁtable business. We recognise that our business practices today must be designed to create and shape a sustainable tomorrow.
Sustainability encourages us to push beyond traditional commercial boundaries in order to have a positive impact on society as a whole.
Ultimate accountability for sustainability within Safaricom lies with the Chief Executive Ofﬁ cer (CEO), Bob Collymore. He is the sustainability champion on the Board of Directors and presents all sustainability-related considerations to the Board.
Our Director of Corporate Affairs reports directly to the CEO and provides him with regular updates on the sustainability process so he can feed these into updates to the Board. While sustainability is considered the responsibility of EXCO within Safaricom, the Director of Corporate Affairs is the focal point for the implementation of our sustainability strategy.
EXCO is assisted by a team of Sustainability Champions. The Champions represent every division within the business and we have a total of around 30 colleagues who work with sustainability as one of their core tasks.
Sustainability is embedded within the daily operations of Safaricom using a ‘top-down, bottom-up’ co-creation approach. This approach was adopted because it is a ﬂexible, inclusive one that draws on the strengths of both the managerial and operational levels within the company.
EXCO and the team of Sustainability Champions work simultaneously and in parallel to articulate sustainability requirements in a way that makes sense and is relevant to each Division.
This approach entails extensive, ongoing consultations and conversations at all levels and functions across the company, but ensures that colleagues at every level embrace, understand and take ownership for sustainabilit