BY VICTOR ADAR
Innovation has been driving development, presenting limitless opportunities. Globally, access to the Internet and to mobile phones is steadily growing. What it means is that savvy consumers are seemingly taking advantage if figures are anything to go by. In sub-Saharan Africa, more than 60% of individuals can access a mobile phone, which is no longer just a communication device but also a tool for enhancing lives.
When well used, innovation can lift Kenya’s economy exponentially. This is backed by a report from the Communications Authority of Kenya that shows that mobile penetration stood at 95.1% as at March 2018. The demand and uptake for smartphones in Kenya has also increased significantly. And as if that’s not enough, the total internet subscriptions grew by 8.2% to record 36.1 million subscriptions during the same period. Having internet at home and at work is no longer a big deal, and can be considered as part of basic utilities like pay TV, electricity, food, gas and even water. But what does this mean to digital migration? How are industry players riding on the shift?
When the government ordered media houses to switch to digital TV in 2015, a majority of Kenyans thought that things had fallen apart and the centre would no longer hold. But little did they know that the digital switch would not only lift the economy but also be a new experience in town.
According to MultiChoice Kenya managing director, Eric Odipo, how to penetrate the market equals to who you target and solutions that you offer. One thing, which he is really happy about is their loyal customers, those who have strongly stuck with them regardless of the cut throat competition in the market.
“I’m happy about our customers,” he says. “We know that there are other viewing options out there (there’s no doubt about it) but we also know that we have a strong bouquet of content that’s very strong and in demand by our customers. So somebody who wants to see good mix of all manner of entertainment whether it is in sports, drama, series, documentary, or news, our platform is the place to be.”
As more and more players like Bamba Tv, Kwese Tv and even Azam Tv are vying for a piece of the pie, Odipo believes that their two products, DStv and GOtv, are still a darling of many. To him, investment knows no gender, and what’s important is generally the user experience, customer care, and of course the returns. It is at the back of this that MultiChoice Kenya in mid-March opened a new branch at the Junction Mall in Nairobi in a move that’s expected to charm subscribers while bringing convenience to its customers.
“We are definitely very strong in video entertainment, and our high moment always is when we give exceptional service to our customers,” he says.
New customer outlet
Deducing the thinking behind the latest branch, he says that their aim is to give subscribers a one-stop service point with comprehensive service delivery – It will not only offer customer service and after sales support such as decoder diagnoses and sales, but also software upgrades, repair or replacement of faulty decoders, consumer education (through the use of self-help service techniques), installation services, subscription payment, purchase accessories among others.
The Junction branch brings to four the number of MultiChoice branches in Nairobi and seven across the country. Other branches are at Sarit Centre, T-Mall, Greenspan Mall, Nyeri town along Gakere Road, Al-Imran Plaza Kisumu and Nyali Centre in Mombasa.
“The Ngong road area has been growing very rapidly in the last few years. If you look at all the way from Kilimani to Karen, there’s a lot more new housing that has come up, and the population has been growing rapidly in the last few years. We felt that we needed a service point to serve this area because many times for certain services, customers had to go all the way to Sarit Centre. So coming here was really important for our customers along this area.”
Northern regional director, Maharage Chande reiterated MultiChoice’s commitment in investing in local communities as well as playing a major role in furthering the growth of the Kenyan economy. Mr Chande says; “This branch will create job opportunities for more Kenyans, and we are happy about that because it is our testament to our continued commitment in supporting the country’s development agenda in Nairobi and that of Kenya. We want to use our influence and resources to play a positive role in Kenya, helping to grow our people and creative industries into vibrant, economic powerhouses.”
The landscape of pay TV and entertainment arena has changed and enticing the target market only means that players get more creative.
“It’s by creating value for our customers, our employees and society that we’ll build a successful business for the future,” Maharage says.