NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11 – AccessKenya has opened a retail centre in Westgate, Nairobi as it seeks to scale up its distribution channels to ensure a wide reach of its services in the face of heated competition in the data market.
This is part of the Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) distribution strategy that will bring its services closer to the people, increase its footprint in the market and enable it to keep up with competition.
Initially, the company used its own direct sales team to market its products but has over the last one year engaged close to 100 dealers across major towns in the country. The centre will initially act as a sales outlet but will eventually be opened up to serve as a customer service shop.
“In this shop, we will also showcase technology so we will in the near future use the shop to promote new gadgets and the different things one can do with connectivity. People can also come in and test our home and corporate services to understand what we can offer,” explained AccessKenya Group Managing Director Jonathan Somen.
The first of its kind, the ISP plans to open up more outlets across the country; a move it hopes will increase its sales and in turn boost revenues.
The data market has been ‘invaded’ by mobile phone operators who are angling for a share of the data market pie to compensate for the declining revenues in voice services.
Firms such as Safaricom and Airtel are for instance increasing their investments in their data offerings which has seen them provide fixed date services to corporates and medium-sized firms, which were traditionally a domain of ISPs.
Mr Somen however downplayed the competition posed by these operators saying they had not had a significant impact on the business.
“We always have competition and this is one of a number of our strategies that we are doing to drive our business and continue to show that we are ahead of everybody in innovation,” he maintained.
Speculation has been rife that the intensified competition has seen the market share of the company, which boasts of being the only listed ICT firm in the country, dip.
“As far as I’m concerned, that is a myth. We take customers from them, they take customers from us,” Mr Somen said while defending their share which is estimated to be about 40 percent.
He cited the growing market especially in the corporate segment whose penetration is only 20 percent saying there was enough room for all players. However, he said, they would continue strive to solidify their position as a market leader.
“We are still signing 40-50 percent of all new corporate connections and we are absolutely maintaining our market share and adding new customers every single month,” he added.
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