Safaricom has announced that since the first case Covid-19 pandemic was confirmed in Kenya, 70 percent of its staffers have been facilitated to work from home.
This was announced by new Safricom CEO Peter Ndegwa who appeared on his first televised interview on Citizen TV last night, since he took over on April 1.
“We have enabled our employees to work from home. Today, 70 percent of our employees can work from home but we will work to keep Kenyans connected during this time,” said Ndegwa.
Ndegwa was outlining his plans for the telco giant, which has experienced the reign of foreign CEOs since inception, with him being the first indigenous Kenyan to become Safaricom CEO.
Ndegwa, who was appointed to lead the firm in October last year following the death of Bob Collymore, promised to keep the firm afloat despite having minimal experience in the telecommunication industry.
“I have come from a consumer goods business to a company that sells voice, data and financial services. For me it is about customers and understanding their needs. More importantly, Safaricom is about improving the lives of Kenyans,” he said.
However, he promised to be his own in “leading Safricom to the next level”, using the foundations of his predecessors.
“I see Safaricom establishing the next phase of growth. I have joined the company in interesting times. I pay tribute to my predecessors for steering the company to a success that is a source of pride for Kenya. I will build on their legacy. I am the first Kenyan CEO and I will be my own person,” he said.
Ndegwa said that through a partnership with the government to launch the 719 Covid-19 information centre, they had deployed at least 300 call agents and 20 doctors to answer Kenyans’ questions on the coronavirus.
He said committing to the fight against Covid-19 was one of his big tasks since he took over, highlighting measures the company has taken to help in the fight.
“We have zero-rated M-Pesa transactions below Ksh1,000. We have committed Ksh200 million to Covid-19 fund. We have launched ‘Bonga for Good’ where customers can transfer points to others who can redeem them at Lipa Na M-Pesa merchant points,” he said.
Ndegwa joined Safaricom from Diageo PLC where he was the Managing Director of Diageo Continental Europe.
In his Diageo role, Peter oversaw the operations of Diageo PLC in 50 countries in Western and Eastern Europe, Russia, Middle East and North Africa region. He had previously served for seven years as CEO in Guinness Nigeria PLC and Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC.
Prior to that, Peter served for eight years across a range of senior Executive Director roles at EABL (a Diageo subsidiary) based in Nairobi.
He also served as the Group Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Group Strategy Director, Sales Director, and as an Executive Director on the EABL Board.
Peter holds an MBA from the London Business School and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi. He is also a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Kenya (ICPAK).