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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Surprise Surprise: 20 bob Airtime Slows Down Sales Of Other Consumer Products

Even as Safaricom is being used as a pawn in a major power game being played by the duly elected government of Kenya and the PNU party, there are some rather fascinating developments taking place on the ground that have nothing to do with the IPO but are equally captivating.

Many Kenyans from the diaspora, due to their privileged upbringing find it extremely difficult to identify with the common man on the street and in the villages. For that reason this article may appear to be a little strange to them.

My sources on the ground indicate that some shop keepers are lamenting that their sales of soft drinks and sodas have dwindled considerably since the launch of the tiny Kshs 20 airtime card. One shopkeeper in a rural center in Kenya told Kumekucha that last weekend, a generous local personality visiting the village bought sodas for about a dozen people he had met at the shopping centre. A bottle of soda costs Kshs 20 which is exactly the same price as that of “Bamba Mbao” as the new Safaricom scratch card is fondly referred to by poverty stricken Kenyans. About half the people opted to take Safaricom scratch cards rather than drink the sodas.

If this is a sign of things to come then we can expect the lowest denomination card to raise turnover for Safaricom considerably at the expense of other consumer products like a bottle of Coca Cola. It will be interesting to see how the giant world renowned soft drink manufacturer will respond to this latest threat in the local market.
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10 comments:

Kemmy Creations said...

Actually what you are saying is true, i have a brother in form 4 in Migori and since the Bamba Mbao came they gave has been calling me from his mobile, unlike before when he use to just send me please call me. So manaufacturers of items costing 20bob and below are in problems unless is a necessity item. About time i replace everything in my kiosk in Migori with Mamba Mbao.

kemmycreations.blogspot.com

OT said...

This will be very shortlived. unless the people are going to eat airtime.

most of the people buying the 20 bob card are buying to call relatives to send them cash so they can use the cash to buy food.

as soon as they get the cash, the first thing they will buy is food, whether it costs 20 bob or 1000 bob.

Wanjiku Unlimited said...

Makes perfect sense. Skip the soda and buy airtime to talk to friends and relatives. 'Please call me' senders beware.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Shiko Unlimited no more flashing/buzzing

Ivy

Anonymous said...

Most folks are still waiting for bonga na bob on safcom. I think Celtel is making serious in-roads and soon the bamba mbao will not move off the shelves?

Taabu said...

Please CALL ME Ciku!!!

Mrembo said...

how many minutes can be used on a 20 bob safaricom scratch card?

celtel should follow suit then when we bonga na bob kwa celtel yetu 'safaricon' wataona dust!! that will be a cool 20mins!!

Anonymous said...

Chris,

"Many Kenyans from the diaspora, due to their privileged upbringing find it extremely difficult to identify with the common man on the street and in the villages. For that reason this article may appear to be a little strange to them."

This is serious stereotyping. I and a host of my friends here in the U.S found ourselves here due to disadvantages in our upbringing. We had to struggle to go through university and attain good grades for us to secure competitive scholarships in graduate schools. My "more privileged" brothers could secure jobs in lucrative companies like KBL, banks but we couldn't. So saying we don't identify with the local mwananchi to me is just a disgrace to our intelligent.....atleast some of us.

Rhyymemaster

Anonymous said...

rhymemaster

many is not equal to all, therefore you are the subset outside of this many.

fave said...

Chris,
I seriously give you the middle finger... 'Many Kenyans from the diaspora, due to their privileged upbringing find it extremely difficult to identify with the common man on the street and in the villages. For that reason this article may appear to be a little strange to them'...
Define privileged, and I will send you to my place and find out if it is privileged at all. In fact I left home because I was poor and wanted to chase my dreams while I still had some energy.
All, I can say is I worked hard each and every day to escape the drudgery. I got a scholarship plus travel and most of the Kenyans I know here did that.
All my privileged friends got jobs in Kenya, I had to tarmac for sometime and Finally quit trying to get a job. When I left Kenya the privileged ones, well, they were the Kengele's clique, The Jockey club clique, Some Funky places in Westie and Karen (If the places have changed it has been a long time).
Chris, the middle finger to you. Have a seriously bad day today and only today.Tomorrow should be better. Do not stereotype every one in diaspora. I demand an apology.

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