Ex­pand op­er­a­tions, Mboweni urges com­pa­nies

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business Chronicle - Oliver Kazunga

COM­PA­NIES should con­tinue in­vest­ing in their busi­nesses and ex­pand op­er­a­tions de­spite the pre­vail­ing eco­nomic cli­mate that is char­ac­terised by de­fla­tion, Econet Wire­less Zimbabwe chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, Mr Dou­glas Mboweni said.

Ad­dress­ing busi­ness ex­ec­u­tives in Bu­l­awayo on Fri­day dur­ing a fo­rum or­gan­ised by the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions firm, Mr Mboweni said the pre­vail­ing de­fla­tion­ary en­vi­ron­ment should not dis­cour­age in­vest­ment.

“Some busi­nesses may be dis­cour­aged to ex­pand their op­er­a­tions be­cause we’re in de­fla­tion (where we have too lit­tle money chas­ing many goods).

“Per­son­ally, I think when the en­vi­ron­ment is like this, there’re op­por­tu­ni­ties that al­ways come with chal­lenges. Change your mind­set, look at the op­por­tu­ni­ties and tap into those op­por­tu­ni­ties,” he said.

Econet is Zimbabwe’s largest telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions com­pany and has since its in­cep­tion in 1997 in­vested more than $1,5 bil­lion start­ing off with voice calls and mov­ing to broad­band space where the firm be­gan with 3G tech­nol­ogy.

“The coun­try has gone through hy­per­in­fla­tion. Hy­per­in­fla­tion is when we have too much money chas­ing too lit­tle goods. And now we’re in de­fla­tion. De­spite the de­fla­tion, as Econet, we’re not look­ing back at our en­vi­ron­ment and see it as a hin­drance. Yes, it’s tougher but right now we’re rolling out 4G net­work in­fras­truc­ture,” he said.

The firm has also rolled out a num­ber of prod­ucts that in­clude EcoCash and EcoSure.

In the 2016 in­te­grated an­nual re­port, Econet Wire­less Zimbabwe high­lighted that the group con­tin­ues to in­vest in in­fras­truc­ture to de­velop the net­work.

The com­pany be­lieves this would in­crease its cov­er­age, im­prove cus­tomer ser­vice as well as keep­ing pace with tech­no­log­i­cal de­vel­op­ments and sup­port­ing new prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Last De­cem­ber, Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping an­nounced dur­ing his visit to South Africa that China Exim Bank had availed $500 mil­lion loan fa­cil­ity to Econet Wire­less Global, the par­ent com­pany of Econet Wire­less Zimbabwe.

Of the to­tal China Exim loan fa­cil­ity, $300 mil­lion was al­lo­cated to Econet Wire­less Zimbabwe for in­fras­truc­ture ex­pan­sion.

Mr Mboweni would not be drawn into re­veal­ing de­tails per­tain­ing to progress re­gard­ing his com­pany’s in­vest­ments in­fras­truc­ture say­ing Econet was in a closed pe­riod ahead of re­lease of an of­fi­cial fi­nan­cial re­port.

Speak­ing about the Econet Busi­ness Fo­rum in Bu­l­awayo, he said:

“This is the se­cond largest city in the coun­try and when we do busi­ness in this coun­try it’s not pos­si­ble to avoid Bu­l­awayo.

“It’s part and par­cel of ev­ery­thing that char­ac­terises Bu­l­awayo, so com­ing here is basically a show of our con­fi­dence in the city and what it has got to of­fer to us as a busi­ness.

“But it’s also what we’ve to of­fer to the city as a busi­ness. Basically, we’re say­ing let’s work to­gether to cre­ate value. De­spite the cir­cum­stance and chal­lenges, let’s cre­ate value and to­day we’re also show­cas­ing our prod­ucts, which are a re­sult of cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion. We’re shar­ing a tes­ti­mony that this is where we have come from as we con­nect and this is where we are go­ing.”

He said the ob­jec­tive of the busi­ness fo­rum and expo was to tell the de­ter­mi­na­tion story of Econet. — @okazunga

“We are aware of chal­lenges such as sewer, wa­ter, di­lap­i­dated in­fras­truc­ture, out­dated by-laws, cor­po­rate gov­er­nance, un­em­ploy­ment which lead to poor ser­vice de­liv­ery,” he said.

“Some sec­tors that have adopted RRA are tourism, whose 100 days tar­get is De­cem­ber 2016, the Min­istry of Trans­port where peo­ple had to go through 11 depart­ments to get li­cences hence the need to stream­line as it seems Gov­ern­ment depart­ments com­pete with each other as well as Com­mand Agri­cul­ture meant to fast track dis­tri­bu­tion of in­puts.” — @ncubeleon

Mr Dou­glas Mboweni

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.