BUSINESS NIGERIA’S TELECOMS INDUSTRY IN 2016: FRANCHISE CENTERS THE WAY FORWARD
Over the last decade, Nigeria’s telecommunication industry has experienced unrivalled growth and unprecedented development. Mobile data, once too expensive to provide or consume, has become commonplace, giving rise to a rapid increase in smartphone usage and a resulting rise in new-generation economic sub-sectors like e-commerce and digital media marketing. These have all colluded to foster a much more robust Nigerian economy, buoyed by easier, cheaper and faster communication and information dissemination.
As the country enters into a new year that promises to entertain a mix of challenges and opportunities, the two words ringing through the entire spectrum of the telecommunications industry is ‘Franchise Centers’, a scheme that affords quality third party retail franchise holders with an opportunity to grow their franchise operations, allowing for the provision of improved offers to end users, even in remote locations.
A few operators have already begun taking the lead in rolling out new Franchise Experience Centers, one of which is Etisalat. The innovative and customer-friendly telecommunications service provider rolled out severals of these centers in a strategic move aimed at enhancing, not only its brand affinity through increased retail presence across the country, but also its credentials as the most SME-friendly telecommunications company in Nigeria.
Franchise Centres are under Etisalat’s third party operated specialist retail programme otherwise known as Franchise Operations. This scheme affords qualified participants the opportunity to benefit from the growth of the telecom brand. Six of the Franchise Centres were launched recently in key Nigerian cities: Zaria, Katsina, Abakaliki, Port Harcourt, Ado Ekiti and Lagos to ensure that customers have easier access to Etisalat services whilst experiencing the same level of quality service regardless of where they are.
Commenting on the launch of the Franchise Centres across the country, Matthew Willsher, CEO, Etisalat Nigeria, said “I am delighted that we are working together with our business partners to roll out these new franchise experience centres across the country.” He further explained that Etisalat places great importance on its customers and that is why it has opted to refer to the Franchise Centres as Etisalat Experience Centres and not shops. “It is because, at Etisalat, we believe that our customers deserve an excellent experience no matter how small your order/question maybe”, he said.
With this approach, Etisalat is helping to drive the Nigerian economy forward through the empowerment of entrepreneurs – startup businesses and Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) – who are vital to the nation’s economic growth and recovery.
The adoption of this model also highlights the need for new economic engines of growth with entrepreneurship as a mechanism for generating new employment, innovation and competitiveness.
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