Episode 004 : Bob Collymore: How Safaricom is using tech to solve problems for the man on the street


Bob Collymore is the CEO of Safaricom one of the leading telco in Africa and pioneer of Mpesa, the world’s most developed mobile payment system. If there is any poster child of how innovative mobile technology is changing Africa, Mpesa will be a top contender.

Bob was originally born in Guyana, but his work experience spans across diverse countries such as Japan, South Africa and the United Kingdom where he has held various senior roles in marketing, purchasing, retail and corporate affairs.

It was such an honour speaking with Bob and I’m excited to share this deeply insightful episode with you.  He was more than glad to share his rather impressive reading list most of which I had to check out right after the podcast.

We also talked about the future of technology and machine learning, industrialization creating jobs and using tech to solve real problems that people face in Africa

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How Safaricom won in Kenya by making their product accessible and affordable to the ‘man on the street’
  • Why you shouldn’t engage in price wars with your competitors.
  • How Safaricom won as the No.1 telco in Kenya
  • Mpesa success is attributed to the problem it’s solving
  • The companies that start with purpose will do well
  • Use tech to address problems in Africa, rather than bringing Silicon Valley-type of solution?
  • Disruption is going to happen. Better to disrupt your company than allow others to disrupt you
  • There can be no alternative to learning. Why reading long-form content will make you smarter
  • Purpose, People and Profit

Selected Links in This Episode

I hope you’ll find the conversations useful as I did. It’s a window into how technology is accelerating growth in the continent.




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