What is the DNA of your business? In this issue, we highlight the leadership of Mr. Robert Collymore that has catapulted Safaricom Limited to billions of revenue (KShs. 55.29 billion reported in the financial year ending 31 March 2018) and in turn economic influence that cannot be muted. Commonly known as Bob Collymore, he is a family man and comes from a single parent home. He is of Guyanan origin (South America) and is the Chief Executive Officer of the multinational telecommunications company, Safaricom Limited. He took over from his predecessor Michael Joseph in 2010 and from the look of the trends he has set, Safaricom is always on the corporate climb, leaving nothing to chance and giving everything to their loyal customers. He is a continuous learner, and this must be one of the elements of the success at the constantly evolving multinational telecommunications company. As Albert Einstein once said. “Learning is an experience. Everything else is just information.” He reads at least 2 books a month in pursuit of learning and this is a habit that he finds hard to break among his other life routines.
Robert Collymore’ s story starts from a humble background and one thing that we can learn from him is to take what you find and let it work for you. He previously worked at UK’s Cellnet , Dixons Group Plc and Vodafone UK before taking up his role as Chief Executive Officer at Safaricom Limited. He confirms that it is from personal experience that he is able to benchmark staff performance at the multinational award winning company. He relates with the staff’s experiences and is clearly able to steer the ship despite killer storms such as recession and other setbacks that the company has had to handle. He is a team player, encouraging his peers at work to make sure that they have time for balance in their incredibly busy schedules. The staff work with devotion and as Mr. Collymore wrote in one of his articles, they intend to stay 100% human at work.
Previously, Safaricom Limited has had outreaches dubbed ‘Safaricom Mtaani’ and ‘Shangwe Mtaani’ showing that the DNA of the organization is 100% their customer’s needs through giving them real time opportunities to offer them feedback on their services and in turn, the customer receiving services beyond the regular dial-and-hang up customer care experiences . He believes that trust is a big part of the business cake and it has to be served to the customer in full measure. Summed up as authenticity, inclusivity and consistency, Mr. Collymore’ s values as a leader set a high bar for those aspiring to break the ceilings as done by Safaricom Limited.
Through Bob Collymore’s leadership in 2018 Safaricom Limited has been reaching out to the mass of their customers through the initiative Twaweza Live, to connect more and ensure that they are tied to the hip with the company and understand what it has to offer in depth as part of the vision of the B Team. He informed his followers of an invitation to join the B Team that gives those in business an opportunity to influence others in business to not only pursue profits but the sustainability and inclusivity of the environment and the communities where they do business. He goes on to write about the need to humanize the workplace, acknowledging that happy employees are better decision makers, and this is an indisputable sign that Safaricom Limited’s star will keep rising.
Notably, the influence by the role of Bob Collymore has been successful through his humility, tenacity and focus.The ‘kiosk mentality‘ is a threat to the diversity of the marketplace and he highly encourages those in business to avoid it as it creates a bloated market offering little for the consumers. He is a leader who is obsessed to go beyond the promise and make the world a different place by not only seizing opportunities but also creating them. Safaricom Limited has without a doubt lived up to its ‘Twaweza’ (Swahili word meaning ‘we can’) promise of bringing people together and transforming lives.