Category Archives: vodafone

Vodacom IPO launched in Tanzania: a Prospectus Peek

Quick note excerpts from the 140-page Vodacom IPO prospectus. There’s even a Swahili version  (PDF) of this Vodacom Tanzania PLC prospectus.

About Vodacom

  • Vodacom Tanzania PLC is a subsidiary of Vodacom Group (South Africa), which in turn is a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc (UK). Vodacom Group Limited is the beneficial owner of 82.15% of Vodacom Tanzania. Mirambo Limited directly holds the remaining 17.85%.
  • Vodacom is Tanzania’s leading mobile operator. Market share: Vodacom Tanzania (31% ), Tigo (29%), Airtel (26%), Halotel (7%), Zantel (4%), Smart Telecom (2%), TTCL (1%)
  • In 2016 Vodacom had 12.38 million customers (including 5.4 million active data customers) and an ARPU of TZS 5,972. Vodacom Tanzania has 570 employees, 189 nationwide retail points, in excess of 17,000 freelance distributors and 75,000 mobile money agents.
    Vodacom is part of a “consortium” (with Tigo, Airtel, Zantel) that has constructed about 400 km of metro fibre, in Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Morogoro, Mwanza and Arusha, as well as over 1,300 km of backbone fibre linking the major cities of Dar es Salaam, Dodoma, Arusha and Moshi.
  • Vodacom Tanzania estimates that the total net proceeds from the Vodacom IPO issue of 560 million new shares, after deducting expenses (and assuming that the offer is fully subscribed), will be TZS 469 billion (~$210 million)

Use of proceeds:

  • Vodacom Tanzania intends to apply such net proceeds to:
    (i) The execution of inorganic growth opportunities geared towards growing and maintaining Vodacom Tanzania’s leading market position (elsewhere the prospectus mentions that Vodacom Tanzania may consider mergers, acquisitions or strategic investments),
    (ii) Working capital augmentation for Vodacom Tanzania; and
    (iii) general corporate purposes for Vodacom Tanzania (elsewhere it mentions that part of the Vodacom IPO proceeds will be used to repay loans from the Vodacom Group and Mirambo).

Risks & Regulation

  • (this is a) Forced listing & IPO: The Company converted from a private limited company to a public limited company in November 2016. Following the 2016 Finance Act, all licensed telecommunication operators are to have a minimum local shareholding of 25% of their authorized share capital issued to the public and listed on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (DSE).. penalties may be imposed by TCRA should the IPO not take place within six months from 1 July 2016.

Non-compliance:

  • The Bank of Tanzania allowed Vodacom Tanzania to continue offering Mobile Money Services whilst the license applications are pending (it has applied for Payment System License and will apply for an Electronic Money Issuer License)
  • Vodacom Tanzania is also working on forming a separate M-Pesa corporate entity to comply with regulations.
  • Vodacom Tanzania is working on a project plan to migrate all its Network Operating Centre (NOC) operations to Tanzania to comply with an in-country NOC requirement.
  • Vodacom Tanzania is also working on network optimisation and modernisation initiatives to ensure compliance with Quality of service (QOS) obligations.

Government Moves

  •  Issuance of new licenses: presents a risk to the profitability of the company. The awarding of a new license to a new operator last year saw the advent of an eighth licensee to an already intensively competitive market. 99% of Vodacom Tanzania’s customers are prepaid (But) It is unlikely that there will be a new entrant into the Tanzania telecommunication market. Any new player in the Tanzania market should not pose a significant competitive challenge in the period to 31 March 2018 because of market penetration and lead time to setting up a telecommunication network.
  • Spectrum: Vodacom Tanzania is on record that it requires additional spectrum to meet quality of service requirements (QOS), especially for data services. The decisions taken by the Government on the timing, fees, and allocation of digital dividend and other spectrum will have a major impact on Vodacom Tanzania’s ability to serve its customers,
  • Tax Risks:  “The complex tax environment in Tanzania poses a number of challenges to Vodacom Tanzania.”  Two new taxes going up may affect Vodacom Tanzania’s profitability: Draft amendments to the UCSAF Regulations seek to increase the service levy from 0.3% of service revenue to 1% of service revenue while a draft revision of the Local Government Finances Act (LGFA) proposes an increase in the rate of service levy charged from the current 0.3% to 1.5% of turnover net of value added tax and excise duty for all businesses. The LGFA further proposes to empower local government authorities to impose levies on telecommunication transmission towers.
  • Vodacom Tanzania already has a number of tax matters and litigations that are pending at various appellate levels. Tax litigation with the Tanzania authorities over TZS 100 billion  (~$51m) calculated on issues like undersea fibre, towers, foreign exchange, losses, withholding taxes, VAT, roaming, interconnection licenses capital allowance). There’s also a potential $500 million from a tort conspiracy case over frequency allocation and a half dozen other staff cases.

Performance:

  • Vodacom Tanzania’s audited annual Accounts for the years ended 2014 and 2015 showed a profit before tax was TZS 166 billion in 2014, TZS 78 billion in 2015 (from revenue of TZS 908 billion). For 2016 it was 74 billion in 2016 (from revenue of TZS 923 billion)
  • They project a project a pre-tax profit of TZS 82 billion for March 2017 and  TZS 137 billion for March 2018

Strategies

  • Continue to grow M-Pesa There has been the phenomenal success story of mobile financial services in Tanzania, where Vodacom Tanzania remains the market leader in terms of customer share and has significant brand equity…Vodacom M-Pesa makes up in excess of 20% of Vodacom Tanzania’s service revenues
  • Benefit from Vodafone: Vodacom Tanzania will, however, remain part of the Vodafone Group and will continue to benefit from their scale of operations and expertise.
  • Vodacom Tanzania may consider mergers, acquisitions or strategic investments.

Other Companies

  • In 2016, the Group acquired 100% of Shared Networks Tanzania (SNT) from its shareholders for $15 million
  • The group remains committed to its decision to exit its investment in Helios Towers Tanzania (HTT ), an associate in which the group holds a direct investment of 23.78%. In September 2013, Vodacom Tanzania PLC decided to sell and lease back its passive equipment to HTT.

Vodacom IPO Expenses

Issue expenses are estimated at TZS 7.1 billion (about $3.9 million) and include amounts for the lead advisor and sponsoring broker’s fees (Orbit Securities) TZS 650M, lead receiving bank fees (National Bank of Commerce) TZS 872M, Capital Markets & Securities Authority fees TZS 283M, Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange listing fee of TZS 1 billion, and all authorised collecting agents will share TZS 3.8 billion.

For Investors

  • 560 million new shares (or 25%) are being sold, and all the shares will be listed on the DSE. Vodacom IPO shares will only be sold to Tanzanian citizens and entities incorporated in Tanzania in which Tanzanian citizens have a majority beneficial ownership (no shares for East Africans unlike previous IPO’s in the region)
  • The minimum investment is TZS 85,000, equal to about $38 or KES 3,926. This is for 100 shares at TZS 850, and after that buy in multiple of  10 shares.
  • Buy via phone: Using their phones, Tanzanians can apply for shares through the DSE platform (dialling *150*36#) and also pay for shares via M-Pesa (by dialling *150*00# and entering the business number 236622, and a unique DSE reference number)
  • After the IPO. the public will own 25% alongside (Vodacom and Mirambo), and the dividend policy is to pay out at least 50% of earnings after tax but at the discretion of the board of directors. (31 March 2016 EPS was 34.65 TZS and the group expects to pay dividends of TZS 16.5 billion in FY17.
  • Timetable: The Vodacom IPO opened on 9th March, and closes on 19th April. The results will be announced on April 28, the listing will be on 16 May, and an AGM is scheduled for 1st June 2017.

Will the Vodacom IPO be as successful as the Safaricom IPO was in Kenya a decade ago?  The Vodacom IPO certainly seems to be selling well, attracting lots of first time Tanzania investors, in the first two days.
100 USD equals 223,000 TZS and 100 KES = TZS 2,165.

M-Pesa across Borders

Today brought an announcement that Safaricom’s M-Pesa customers in Kenya would now be able to send and receive payments with mobile money customers of Vodacom in Tanzania – enabling true cross border payments to take place between mobile companies in the two countries.

A sample transaction today shows how it works:

Assumptions

  • The (mean) Central bank rate today was 1 Kshs = TZS 20.17
  • M-pesa transfer cost in Kenya for Kshs 100 to 500 is Kshs 11 to a registered customer versus Kshs 44 to an unregistered customer.
  • Initial theory that the charged would be for unregistered were proved to be wrong in an experiment

Sending Mpesa from Kenya to Tanzania

  • Sent Kshs 300
  • Charge Kshs 11 (about 4%)
  • Exchange rate 20.17Kenya Tanzania Mpesa
  • Recipient got Tzs 5,757

Sending Mpesa from Tanzania to Kenya

  • Sent Tzs 5,000
  • Charge (assume 4%) Tzs 200
  • Exchange rate 20.17
  • Recipient gets Kshs 236

The transactions takes a few minutes to effect, but they actually work and it seems, for now, that there’s very little margin being made on the exchange rate, while the remittance / transaction charges are in line with in-country transactions.

This comes a few weeks after Tanzania enabled cross network mobile payments, which were endorsed by their main mobile money companies – Tigo (Milicom), Airtel, Zantel and Vodacom.

Idea Exchange: AppStars, Crowdsourcing, Maker Faire, Manuscripts

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The winners of the 2012 Africa Awards will be announced in October 2012, in Accra, Ghana. 
Also read about the young winners of the Anzisha Prize for young African entrepreneurs between the ages of 16 to 22.
Crowdsourced Journalism Awards for Africa deadline has passed, but it will be interesting to see the outcome of the big picture journalism contest  that had a prize grant a 15,000 Euros to be shared by three winners. The project is backed by Internews Europe and funded by the International Press Institute and – ..the goal is to strengthen African journalists’ capacities through training in the use of crowdsourced journalism techniques which aim to leverage citizen participation and increase the representation of local voices and perspectives through both traditional and new media channels.
Forbes Africa Ad Awards deadline is 14 September.
 
Google  RISE (Roots in Science and Engineering) Awards are now open. They promote and support education initiatives in two key areas: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) and Computer Science (CS) and will award grants of $5,000 – $25,000 to organizations working with primary and secondary school students in these fields around the world.

Deadline is September 30.
#Kenya365 Instagram Project collects interesting photos on daily life in Kenya. Simply tag your instagram shots from Kenya with #kenya365 and it ends on August 31, 2013.

 The Kenya Film Festivalis a celebration of film in Kenya and the deadline for entries to the seventh edition of the festival is September 17.
 The Kwani? Manuscript Project is a literary prize for African writing and they are seeking unpublished fiction manuscripts from African writers across the continent and in the Diaspora. The top 3 manuscripts will be awarded cash prizes of Kshs 300,000 (~$3,500) for 1st place, and Kshs 150,000 and  Kshs 75,000 for 2nd and 3rd place. Kwani? will also publish the manuscripts and market the authors globally. Deadline is 17 September. 
Kwani? also has a Majuu offer to Kenya’s who live or have been in the diaspora (huko Majuu) and will pay people for photos, party flyers, job applications, tickets, recipes and other mementos of their time in the diaspora. Deadline is September 23
Make Faire Africa apply now to exhibit creative inventions, designs & fabrications at the 2012 edition in Lagos in November.
ONE The 2012 ONE Africa Award has a $100,000 prize that rewards innovation and initiatives in line with the millennium development goals. Deadline is September 23.

Orange African Social Venture is aimed at young entrepreneurs and start-ups across Africa that promote social development through ICT. Three winners will receive prizes of between 10,000 and 25,000 euros and the deadline for applications is September 30 
Safaricom, in conjunction with Vodafone, has the Safaricom Appstar challenge with a grand prize for Kenya of  Kshs 1,000,000 (~$11,800) , and a runner up prize of Kshs 500,000, and will also reward one winner from each of the six categories of games & entertainment, agriculture, health, education, utilities and financial inclusion with a Kshs 100,000 prize. The winner and runner up will also travel to South Africa to take part in the Vodafone round of the challenge, competing against winners from Tanzania, Qatar, Egypt, South Africa, and Lesotho.
The deadline is November 2, and during that time people will be able to build new apps whether in Java, Symbian, Blackberry, or Android, but apps that already appear in other stores are not eligible. Safaricom will also be launching an app store in Kenya next month in developers will own the intellectual property to their apps and there will be a revenue sharing model that favours the developers.

EDIT

Apply for the Amazon Web Services start up challenge in categories of big data & high performance computing, gaming, consumer, and business – with grand prizes of $50,000. Deadline is November 9. 

Green Card:  The US DV-2014 (diversity visa) Program runs from October 2, to November 3, 2012.
 

The 2013  Innovation Prize for Africa – has three prizes totaling $150,000 for African innovations in any of  these categories – Agriculture/agribusiness, 2 Environment/Energy/Water, Health/Wellbeing, ICT and Manufacturing/Service industries. The first prize is $100,000 and $25,000 for the second with an additional special prize for a social impact innovation of $25,000.  Entries close on 31 October 2012.

Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2013. Deadline is 31 October. 
SOMA Kenya Nominations are open for the Kenya Social Media Awards.    

TED Global 2013 is now accepting applications.

The Unreasonable Institute is now accepting applications for the year 2013 and they seeking world-changing entrepreneurs – for who they will help scale their impact through mentorship, funding, and networking opportunities.

A to Z Chat with Michael Joseph

Ten days before he retires as CEO of Safaricom, Michael Joseph gave a talk at the Nairobi iHub on his ten years at the helm of the company, on the day to day job, and the up’s & down’s of the job in taking the company from a literal zero to hero.

recap

Beginning: Safaricom started with (inherited) 17,000 customers, 9 cell sites in Nairobi no billing system, switch in extelecom house, 5 Vodafone employees and 55 Safaricom staff deployed from Telkom (not chosen) – all working in a 3 bedroom flat at Norfolk towers . Has little cash (started with $20 million from Vodafone, and paid $10 million for a switch leaving the balance for salaries & rents) and launched on 23 October 200 (Saturday) and on Monday morning network collapsed (blamed on IT person)

Crazy Kenyans; this was a theme in his talk of marketing in Kenya
Family & friends the average Kenyan calls 2.3 people, a fact he pointed out to his France Telecom (Orange) counterpart when they launched a family & friends promotion in which orange customers could call 5 people for 1 shilling per minute. The (forever) promo has since been discontinued
Free credit – a promotion to give away all the subscribers Kshs 200 free credit was a major mistake and after it was bungled by an IT person in Dubai, led to 5 days of congestion. Lesson learnt – don’t surprise customers
– when okoa jahazi was launched, 1.7 million applied, even those who had credit and didn’t need it (crazy Kenyans love new things)

Fibre: media don’t understand it, people expect after companies invested millions of dollars in undersea cables, internet prices would drop by 90% next day. They still have to have a redundant network, and network is pensive to maintain. They have 4 cables to Mombasa, and every day (Chinese) road contractors are cutting fibre without any punishment. Since 3 cables land at the same point in Mombasa, they will land points in Kilifi and Dar es Salaam for redundancy
– He regrets not investing in metro fiber 4 year ago, which they are now leasing

Growth
Expectations: Safaricom expected to have 400,000 customers in 5 years, with about 50% of the market (against Kencell’s 50%). Had their first million customers in 2003, second in 2004, and by growing ½ million customers a month, are now a billion dollar company.

The company growing at 20 – 25% a year; he used to report to 2 owners, now has over 700,000 (including his secretary ) who bought shares expecting the price to triple to 20 shillings. Safaricom has to balance their needs and revenue, and are still investing (they have the only 3G network in Kenya despite what their competitors say) while competing with Zain/Airtel’s subsidized/risky price cuts, and Essar who have petroleum and steel.

Competition: the battle with Zain/Airtel is being won: their subscriber numbers have not dropped – and while revenue has dropped, minutes (usage) has gone up as has traffic into the network and they will watch their costs

Finances: With the first $20m spent, they had to borrow money. They were to get a Belgium export credit loan if they bought equipment from Siemens, but since shareholders would not sign guarantees, Safaricom had to pledge their network (which at the time was not strong enough to manage their subscriber base, but when he signed equipment was shipped and this took away their congestion problems (at that time)

Green initiatives: They are greener now than before, have 60 sites running on wind power (backed by generator). Main concern is not their date equipment, but for air conditioning to cool batteries, so are always looking at new ways to cool the batteries – e.g. bury batteries in the ground, and new (but pricey) batteries from Canada that don’t have to be cooled. Their HQ has smart systems, so lights go off when no one in room. They can do more, but local wind generator cost $80,000 , and the ones from India that cost $20,000 are easily toppled by Kenya’s gust winds. They are looking at solar sites, but again need air conditioning for batteries

Investment decisions: They would start in Nairobi and Mombasa then looked at expanding the market. They measure ROI every six months, expect payback form a base station in 1 year – and 80% payback in 6 months. While they outsource physical maintenance – towers, lights, fencing, fuel, power remains a big cost – they have 5,000 generators to run when electricity (KPLC) cuts off

Outsourcing strategy: he is not a fan of this as outsourcing partners don’t reinvest until they have to. He said Bharti Airtel EBITDA in India is down from 45% to 35% this year because they outsourced a lot of key costs, which are now coming back. Safaricom may outsource network management, but not outsource customer care, because quality will drop

Innovation
– They have team of 40 people spend time looking around the world for new ideas, and with the Vodafone group e.g. sambaza was already in Sudan & Egypt – and have had great successes like Sambaza, Okoa Jahazi, M-Pesa and M-Kesho

innovation without disruption says the company is very innovative in the mobile space and they innovate to make money, not for innovation space, as his goal is to deliver to shareholders. He takes pride that the company has won international awards, in Silicon Valley, not the UN

local developerswhen vendors want to sell new ideas, Kenyans write to them with their new great ideas, -but everyone, has to sign their legal waiver to protect the company from being sued.
– On revenue share, his belief is that Safaricom should get the lion’s share – developers will be using their airtime, customers, marketing, distributors and collection method so it should be 80:20; if you want to keep 80%, go to Zain. But sometimes people can get good splits with Safaricom e.g. he did not believe ring back tones would make money, so mistakenly signed a deal that gave most of the money to developers
– Safaricom has not stolen anybody ideas – they have been sued a few times and won every times, because they document everything. Also many ideas belong to nobody, and while someone claims they invented m-kesho is his (MJ) personal idea – and Safaricom have enjoined themselves alongside Equity Bank, who are being sued by an inventor

Key decisions
Pre-paid billing: could not afford a post -paid billing system, so they opted to go for pre-paid customers and bought a (cheaper) prepaid system that cost $200,000 – in hindsight was a key decisions
Per second billing: he made the decision to bill per second even though per minute billing generated 20 – 25% more per call. He did not have scientific proof but had seen it in south America and felt his market was the mwananchi (ordinary person) who would use airtime in small increments-
Customer service: was free & 24/7 – which was a good decision because people don’t read phone instructions booklets. it was not very expensive and they hired 200 university graduates. People then were even calling from kencell and today people still call to ask how to send SMS
guiding principle – do it because it makes financial sense. Safaricom needs to be seen as a Kenyan company, with all their spend is in Kenya, unlike their competitors who are purely foreign owned. If Safaricom, has to outsource, he insists that the company have to have an office in Nairobi or he wont buy from them. He mentioned Karanja Macharia of mobile planet has done very well by being a local partner and who won over foreign SMS firms.

Leadership
best advice was from a boss in Scotland – a leader has to make decisions, don’t be afraid to make them, (e.g. asking people to leave company) and if you’re right 7 out of 10 are right, you are doing well. He considers himself a benevolent dictator, who while he consults internally, makes the decision, he sees external consultants having no responsibility for their advice. He admits he has made wrong decisions (as an engineer in charge of marketing for the company)

when a competitor changes your business plans: don’t panic, and reassure your people; they had studied airtel in Sri Lanka and saw how they came in with low prices and ‘destroyed’ the industry to a level that the government had to intervene. They have had a measured response – they could have dropped prices further, but their promotions are working.

Lessons learnt: (i) you won’t learn anything from a book (ii) have absolute integrity (iii) lead from the front – being a leader is not about being seeing at tem building exercises or having your name on the door (iv) research – if you don’t know what you’re doing, act like you know

M-Pesa
– Vodafone won £1 million DFID (UK) award for deepen financial penetration for the unbanked, which they also had to match financially – and they were to develop a system for the disbursement and repayment of micro finance loans. They tested in Thika for 6 months and realized that it had more potential as a money transfer tool, and they launched M-pesa in March 2007.
– M-pesa success has not come from technology, but from the distribution network –(20,000) points around the country

Role of government
– GoK should play an enabling not punitive role as a regulator. But what is enabling about getting a license? Vodafone paid $55m for license to operate in Kenya, and another $25m for 3G. Their competitors have failed to beat Safaricom and run to the government to complain about safaricom’s dominance. Safaricom opposed the CCK regulatory rules as unfair – and he wondered why EABL, Bidco and Kenya Airways (all with 80-90% e) were not subject to such rules – and why the government was sending the wrong signal to investors by seeming to crack down on Safaricom
Right regulator ICT is going to create jobs, and has a good PS now, but GoK has to pick the right people to run the industry, not people who happen to be married to a relative of the president or come from his town (he said he told this to Kibaki and got a good laugh)
Kenya as a BPO centre Kenya should be careful about investing heavily in this as a pillar of vision 2030 as this as it is l very fickle, and there is no loyalty you’re the flavour today, but what happens tomorrow? Can’t rely on time zone and English speaking skills, as companies will still take away their business to the next country to offer an incentive or when things go wrong. E.g. delta air moved their outsourced customer service from India back to US, when customers complained they could not understand the CS agents

Safaricom vs. Banks
– M-pesa is unregulated; when they got into it, there was no law coveting that, but they sought and got ‘blessing’ from the mobile and banking regulators.
– Big (foreign) multinational banks who had shut down rural branches abandoning their customer opposed m-pesa and fought in government & parliament and would have succeeded till he persuaded acting finance minister John Michuki to green light m-pesa.
– M-kesho allows people to save in small increments, and get interest immediately is a revolutionary product (he came up with), and in 3 months new 700,000 savings accounts, (which was more than all the saving accounts that existed in the country – and money that was not there has moved from the informal to the formal banking sector). On M-kesho had to partner with a bank (did not want to hold people deposit/too much regulation) and signed on with Equity Bank who have nationwide reach to make it work and took the risk. This exclusive deal which ends in May 2011
Warning to banks he has told the banking community that retail banking will disappear in 10 years time. Customers will not go there (to brick & mortar branches) except for loans, as ordinary banking will be on mobile phone whose convenience is unprecedented. E.g. The biggest transaction days for mpesa are when schools reopen (previously people would be queuing in banking halls for expensive money orders)

Social Media: – He is not a fan of social media because people can take advantage of anonymity to write lies about him. He is not on facebook or twitter, but his successor is, and the company uses these tools a lot for marketing
– SMS is a very dangerous phenomenon – and during Kenya election violence, they found many of the hate messages did not originate in Kenya, (came from south Africa). Safaricom responded by ending out peace SMS to subscribers, which was also controversial

Idea Exchange: App Opportunities

Bankelele app: From this week, the blog is now available as a Nokia app that can be downloaded from the Nokia Ovi store. This is because, one problem with being on the blogger platform, is that it is quite difficult to read, and bulky to download, via mobile phone; this is now fixed, with this simple app, created using the Ovi Store appwizard, making it very simple (and small) for (Nokia) phone users to read the blog content. (Edit – thanks to Mwirigi of the E63 Club)

Nokia remains the premier phone used to access the net in Kenya, as confirmed in the latest state of mobile web report which had Nokia phones occupying 8 of the top 10 positions in this region.

Samsung app: The other two phones on the same list are from Samsung who are also emerging in the region with space for local developers, with a store for Samsung apps, and which will be explained further at the next Mobile Monday at the iHub on developer opportunities for monetization with Samsung.

Other opportunities

Women Developer Opportunity: There is an mWomen App challenge for women developers from Vodafone to build apps for basic phones and for smart phones.
Echoing Green: Their fellowship program is now accepting applications with a top prize of $60,000 for individual start-ups that will win capital and technical assistance.
Tandaa Funding The Kenya ICT Board has a Tandaa funding challenge in which six companies will pitch ideas to venture capitalists in Nairobi.
EDIT: Apps for Development Challenge from the World Bank, with a first prize of $15,000
Finally, the US Embassy in Nairobi has launched the annual diversity visa lottery for anyone without an app; 3,000 Kenyans expected to win green cards.