New Zimbabwe (London)

18 July 2014

Zimbabwe: Telecel Moves to Tap Diaspora Market

TELECOMS firm, Telecel Zimbabwe, has said it will soon expand into the diaspora to market its brand.

The company's financial services director, Nkosinathi Ncube, told a press conference in Harare on Wednesday that although the local market has been fairly good they had ambitious plans to tap into the diaspora market.

Ncube was speaking at the official launch of the company's Golden Card.

"We do have plans of going into the diaspora market. We have already started consulting agents in the United States, South Africa, Australia and all other places where we can find Zimbabweans. We will open those corridors very soon," Ncube said.

Observers say Telecel is going through a lean patch as Zimbabwe's economic crisis worsens following a controversial election won by President Robert Mugabe last year.

Business confidence is said to be at its lowest with hundreds of companies shutting down.

The banking sector is also in turmoil as it battles a fresh liquidity crisis. The telecommunications sector has also not been spared with companies such as Telecel feeling the pinch.

The company is also facing tough competition from Econet Wireless which is considered the biggest telecommunications company in Zimbabwe.

Telecel's grand plan is in tandem with views expressed recently by economic analysts that the diaspora is a critical mass for any business in Zimbabwe to survive.

Telecel's information technology director, Tendai Chirokote, said the company had embarked on a plan to integrate its Golden Card to the Visa and MasterCard regime once it is done with the local market.

"Integrating the Golden Card to the Visa and MasterCard is our immediate target once we finish with the local market so that it is used within the Southern African Development Community region," Chirokote said.

Zimbabwe is going through a fresh economic crisis that has seen hundreds of businesses relocate elsewhere within the region with others being forced to shut shop.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions says at least 10 companies are shutting down every week.

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