RUBIEM Technologies has sealed a deal to turnaround the fortunes of a telecoms company in South Sudan, as the ICT consulting firm expands its horizon into the continent’s youngest democracy.
Last year, Rubiem was awarded a contract to design and implement the go to market strategy for the mobile operator, Zain, which entails brand positioning, value proposition and distribution channels.
This is the second time Rubiem has been given a contract by the same company in two years. In 2013 it landed a six months’ contract to grow the subscriber base of the mobile operator.
In an interview with NewsDay, Rubiem group CEO, Dennis Magaya said the new contract has a longer tenure and covers the whole of South Sudan, while the 2013 contract was only for the capital, Juba.
Magaya said the biggest challenge for Rubiem was to get the product into the channel, as there are “no advanced distribution channels”.
This saw the ICT consulting firm implementing the route to market strategy by distributing the product directly, against the norm.
“We redesigned a new distribution channel that talks to the micro economic conditions of a country so that it talks to the bottom of the pyramid and you end up reconfiguring commission and cost structure,” he said.
The strategy, Magaya said, paid off, with the subscriber base growing by 25% within three months.
The growth reversed an early trend, where the mobile operator was losing subscribers every month.
“We managed to turn around revenue the growth trend of 10% to 15%,” he said.
Magaya said Rubiem designed applications that talk to small to medium enterprises, as there are no big corporates in South Sudan.
“There are no big corporates, infrastructure is dead, but we were able to build ICT value proposition that talks to the people. As a Zimbabwean company, we are proud to go and build a business that changes the lives of people,” he said.
Magaya said there were opportunities for local companies in South Sudan in services and capacity building riding on “unique relationship” that country has with Zimbabwe.
“The demand for services is so huge that you can use internally generated funds,” he said.
South Sudan became an independent state in 2011 and has a number of opportunities despite being engulfed by Civil war.
Rubiem was formed nearly 10 years ago as an ICT consulting firm. It has now moved into business transformation and turnaround strategy in Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique firm and Zambia.It is present in nine African countries.