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Masiyiwa On How Econet Took Market From NetOne & Telecel: I Read

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Here’s a block quote from Strive Masiyiwa:

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As an Entrepreneur, the most profitable thing I do is READING!

Just think about it:
All the most profitable things I have ever done began with something I READ!!!

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Let me give you an example:
When the Cell phone industry was just starting, there was no such thing as Pre-Paid:
Everything was Contract, and only the very rich could have a mobile phone.

Most people thought it was ok. But I was one of those people who did not think this technology should be confined to the rich in every country.
One day I READ an article about a new technology that had been developed by an Israeli Tech Start up:
PRE PAID BILLING!

I was so intrigued by the idea, and began to converse with them using facsimile [the only fast technology we had at the time]:
As soon as I got my license I bought their equipment, and launched a service called Buddie!
We actually had Pre-Paid in Zimbabwe, before they had it in the UK and the US!

NetOne and Telecel were launched two years before Econet, but their managers did not know anything about Pre-Paid billing. When I launched Econet in July 1998, I started with a Pre-Paid Billing service called Buddie, and within three months we had eclipsed both of them. It took NetOne almost six months to follow us, but they bought a poorly designed system and it didn’t work very well, and they had to replace it.

In 1998, I actually told investors in London that we would see explosive growth because of Prepaid. They were totally intrigued by the idea, because they had not seen it in practice. Mobile operators in developed countries did not see the value of Prepaid technology because their people had Credit Cards.

Soon operators throughout the world were buying Pre-Paid!
I launched Nigeria’s first Pre paid service. By the time MTN responded we had nearly 60% market share! If I had the capital to keep growing the business it would have been a very different story.


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10 thoughts on “Masiyiwa On How Econet Took Market From NetOne & Telecel: I Read

  1. Yes, but wrong. You were fortunate because people sympathised with you. You had gone through what people saw as injustices at the time. People were were willing to support your business to show solidarity with you and express anger at the regime. Please dont forget that!

  2. Yes, but wrong. You were fortunate because people sympathised with you. You had gone through what people saw as injustices at the time. People were were willing to support your business to show solidarity with you and express anger at the regime. Please dont forget that! Siva kwawakabva!

  3. Your arrogance will set your empire crumbling very soon. Kwese and Sasai are pure evidence of your failure as a business entity, people are sick and tired of your incompetence yet big mouth. Shooosh and work on improving your basic mobile services. Nonsense! I personally am tired of your rubbish Econet line!

  4. The silence of Strive in the demise of Econet Media (Kwese) is shocking. He mase a lot of noise about it, and even admitted he had worked very hard for yhe project to kick off. Now Kwese is dead and Masiyiwa is dead silent.

    He must be man enough to write something about this. These guys talk a lot about how they learn from failure but when failure actually strikes them below the belt, they become silent. Its time to prove that failure is not that bad, but part of learning.

    1. Interesting, I never noticed but I do agree. Sharing lessons learnt from failure shouldn’t be taboo

  5. If a man goes to church he has to mind his business of finding Jesus in life and in life people should get used to minding own business Life is too short

  6. People try things and sometimes they don’t go through, thats business.I personally respect strive masiwa’s strides in the business world

  7. The people running Econet are useless and clueless, only waiting to steal ideas and get a fat paycheck afterwards..Strive should fire all of them.

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