More African deals in the pipeline for MTC

Up to 30 MTC Group employees, some of whom are senior staff members are charged with helping define the company’s strategic direction.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  May 3, 2005

MTC Group’s chief strategy officer, Marwan Alahmadi tells CommsMEA that there are already further opportunities being assessed regarding investment in Africa as the Celtel deal is ratified. “We have already identified some opportunities, that I am afraid I cannot talk about at this stage, but we are looking closely at them,” Alahmadi says. Up to 30 MTC Group employees, some of whom are senior staff members are charged with helping define the company’s strategic direction and are found across such functions as research, mergers & acquisitions, and strategy. “MTC has the internal expertise that other companies in the region just do not have,” Alahmadi says. “Many of those operators look to us when they are recruiting staff because they know we have talented people.” Alahmadi discounts allegations that an over-focus on international expansion has left MTC vulnerable in its home market of Kuwait where the second entrant Wataniya has been able to garner 43% market share in three years of operation. “I don’t accept we have been weak at home. It is the nature of the business, we have gone into markets as a new entrant and been able to achieve similar results,” Alahmadi says. In Bahrain, where MTC-Vodafone acts as the challenger to incumbent operator Batelco, the operator has gained a market share of around 17%, representing more than 100,000 subscribers, having launched in December 2003. “I am forecasting we will have 200,000 subscribers in Bahrain by the end of the year, and this will largely be driven by churn from our competitor,” Alahmadi says. As the operator continues along its expansion path, it plans to remain committed to the vision of investing only where synergies can be driven and competencies maximised. “Maldives is an example of a market we looked at investing in but decided against it after review it more closely,” Alahmadi comments.

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