2019 Sustainable Business Report

SAFARICOM SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS REPORT 2019 INTRODUCTION OUR BUSINESS OUR MATERIAL TOPICS STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT CONCLUDING REMARKS 10 It has been a demanding year for Safaricom. In this wide-ranging interview Bob Collymore, CEO of Safaricom, discusses the progress the company has made towards its sustainability commitments and offers his perspective on the important link between shared value thinking, reducing inequalities and commercial sustainability. This interview was conducted in May 2019 and is published posthumously. You have spoken about the importance of Shared Value thinking as a way of guiding sustainable business activity. How do you define Shared Value and why do you consider it such an important guiding concept? From a sustainability perspective, “Shared Value” is an established and important concept. It highlights why sustainable business solutions are more powerful and lasting than extractive or exploitative business practices. As its name implies, the concept emphasises how business, its stakeholders and value chains can come together and deliver products and services in a way that creates new or additional value for everyone involved. In any case, it is encouraging to see the idea of profit with purpose — of using sound commercial principles to create sustainable economic empowerment and prosperity — being embraced by the business community. We hosted the Africa Shared Value Summit here in Nairobi in May 2019 and it was great to see how well the private sector was represented. It was encouraging to see a large number of CEOs attend in person to drive Shared Value leadership from the top.* The public sector cannot solve the challenges we are discussing by itself. There is so much the private sector can and needs to do; so many potential partnerships that can be created to unlock extra, sustainable value. I am working with my counterparts in the banking sector, for example, to find ways of creating new entrepreneurial opportunities that will benefit them and us and entrepreneurs. Safaricom employees began the process of including SDG-related commitments in their personal performance objectives during the year and this has been described as “a significant achievement”. Do you agree with this assessment? Yes, it is a significant achievement, particularly since I believe we are among the forerunners in this regard. We started the SDG integration process in 2016 by embracing the SDGs as a business and integrating them into our corporate strategy. We began by asking each division within the company to map its material issues against the SDGs, and were able to identify nine out of the 17 Goals as relevant to Safaricom. Our people have now embraced the Goals as individuals and begun the process of including SDG-related commitments in their personal performance objectives. Even though we still have a fair way to go in this regard, I am satisfied with our progress because it takes time to establish this kind of traction and momentum at the level of the individual. You introduced the new role of Chief Customer Officer (CCO) as part of the restructuring of the leadership during the year. Could you tell us more about the purpose of this new executive position and what you hope it will achieve? One of the benefits of being away from the company for part of the year was that it gave me the space and time to really think about several aspects of the business, including our customers and what customer-centricity actually means. We decided to introduce this new role to bring together the key customer-facing functions from across the business, from products, sales and marketing to customer care, and to make one person, ultimately, responsible for the customer. It also reflects our sharper focus on the customer as a person, not a segment or a function. INTERVIEW WITH OUR CEO * We have published the full text of Bob’s speech at the Shared Value Summit on page 86 of this report. “The public sector cannot solve the challenges we are discussing by itself. There is so much the private sector can and needs to do.”