Expand operations, Mboweni urges companies
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