Safaricom on Friday recognized 10 companies for exemplary delivery of their products and services during its inaugural ‘Suppliers’ Open Day’ attended by 600 participants at the Carnivore Grounds.
The full day event whose theme was ‘Transforming Businesses through Partnerships’ provided the the mobile services operator with a platform to not only award outstanding suppliers but to also showcase current and potential areas of partnerships.
“Our suppliers are an essential part of our journey towards enriching customers lives through reliable and innovative telecommunications solutions. The Suppliers’ Open Day is part of our commitment to foster an environment of collaboration to meet the changing and expanding customer needs and address societal challenges,” said Mr Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
Mr Ndegwa said partnerships are at the heart of Safaricom’s success and are “part of our long-term strategy to accomplish our transformation from a telco to a technology company.”
Safaricom is in the process of bringing on board more financial institutions as it works to level the playing field especially for the Special Interest Group (SIG) comprising women, youth, and persons with disabilities. Since 2017, the company has targeted women in business under SIG as a key cornerstone of its sustainability agenda.
As part of this commitment, the company this year issued a public Expression of Interest (EOI) to refresh the SIG category where 1,300 suppliers responded. The company plans to increase their annual spend to the SIG category to 30 per cent by 2025.
Winners in various categories
|Technology Network||Flash Networks BV|
|Technology DIT||Mtech Limited|
|Enterprise||Optimax Group Limited|
|Essential services||Autoxpress Limited|
|Sales and marketing||Larger than Life concepts|
|Retail solutions||Ellams Products Limited|
|Corporate services||Invest in Africa|
|Sustainability||Nokia Networks Kenya|
|Innovation||Nokia Networks Kenya|
|Occupation Safety and Health||Broadband Communication Network|
The company’s spend on suppliers in the SIG category has increased from Ksh1.9 billion in 2017 to about Ksh6 billion to date.
Additionally, Safaricom is committed to continue prioritizing local suppliers, with over 60% of the company’s spend directed towards this category. In the past year, this spend has increased by 3%.
Mr Ndegwa said: “We appreciate the partnership with financial institutions, which has had a profound impact on our suppliers’ ability to access financing such as Equity Bank, Citibank, Absa Bank, and KCB. They have collectively loaned out an astounding Ksh6.4 billion to enable our suppliers meet their short and long-term needs. Looking ahead, we plan to strengthen our relationships with more financial institutions to ensure that access to finance is not a hurdle for our suppliers.”
Beyond Kenya’s borders, the business — through Safaricom Ethiopia — is seeking additional partnership opportunities with various suppliers in Ethiopia as part of the commitment to contribute to the country’s digital transformation.