A few days ago the Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Webster Shamu, announced the new directors for local postal agency Zimpost and the two state owned telecoms outfits Netone and TelOne. The appointments are effective from 1 August 2014.
The NetOne board chairman is Mr Alex Marufu and the vice chairman is Mr Sydney Nyanungo. The new Zimpost chairman is Mr Clemence Mabaso and the vice chairman is Retired Air Marshal Henry Muchena. TelOne’s new board chairman is Mr Charles Shamu and Retired Brigadier-General Charles Wekwete is the deputy chair.
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Judging from figures released by POTRAZ, the industry regulator, this new leadership has a lot to take care of to ensure a competitive standing in communications.
Each of these organisations is fighting for relevance in aggressive markets and it will take a lot of level headed decision making to ensure that they come out on top.
NetOne, one of the country’s three mobile network operators seems to have its head above water despite being the last in a class of three.Its new board is faced with charging forward in a telecoms industry seized by challenges of declining voice revenue(the cash cow and family favourite), a wheezing economy and market share battles for anything from OTT services to brand recognition.
TelOne, in the perpetual sweet spot of being the only fixed line and ADSL service provider has managed to experience, for the first time, a growth in its fixed line subscriber base.
However this victory is challenged by the strong positioning of mobile services that have challenged the relevance of a fixed line service which has experienced a resurgence thanks to the benefit of ADSL services. The decisions being made at board level will most likely need to include a strategy to capitalise on the huge demand for stable, affordable internet services.
Postal services champion Zimpost, is also fighting technological aftershock and its board has to craft a progressive plan for a brand synonymous with a service that most would say is not a priority in the digital age. With the decline of postal traffic, the role of ZIMPOST as a courier services leader will likely be part of a the new vision and strategy that the new board has to roll out. Its implementation is however not so simple especially in a market that has several options. (Just ask the guys from Zimboshopper)
In any case we will all be watching to see how well these new directors handle the challenges that lay before them once they assume their duties.