Safaricom PLC is a listed Kenyan mobile network operator headquartered at Safaricom House in Nairobi, Kenya. It is the largest telecommunications provider in Kenya, and one of the most profitable companies in the East and Central Africa region. The company offers mobile telephony, mobile money transfer, consumer electronics, ecommerce, cloud computing, data, music streaming, and fibre optic services. It is most renowned as the home of MPESA, a mobile banking SMS-based service.
Safaricom controls approximately 64.5% percent of the Kenyan market as at 2020 with a subscriber base estimated at approximately 35.6 million.In terms of voice market and SMS market share Safaricom controls 69.2% and 92.2% respectively.Safaricom was formed in 1997 as a fully owned subsidiary of Telkom Kenya. In May 2000, Vodafone Group PLC of the United Kingdom acquired a 40% stake and management responsibility for the company. In 2008, the government offered 25% of its shares to the public through the Nairobi Securities Exchange.
Safaricom was ranked as Africa's Best Employer, 67th in the World by the Forbes Global 200 list of World's Best Employers. In March 2018, Safaricom was ranked as the #1 company to work for in the annual BrighterMonday Best 100 Companies to Work for in Kenya according to career professionals and job seekers.
As of 2020, Safaricom employed over 4,500 people permanently and over 1900 people on contract. 75 per cent of the company's employees were based in Nairobi, the Headquarters, with the remainder based in other big cities like Mombasa, Kisumu, Nakuru and Eldoret, in which it operates retail outlets. It has nationwide dealerships to ensure customers across the country have access to its products and services.
In November 2012, Safaricom partnered NCBA Bank and came up with a revolutionary banking product, M-Shwari, which allows M-Pesa customers to save and borrow money through mobile phone while earning interest on money saved tapping into an underdeveloped financial services market.Michael Joseph served as the founding CEO between July 2000 and November 2010. He transformed the telecom from a subscriber base of less than 20,000 to over 16.71 million during his previous tenure. In his last full year as CEO, Safaricom posted a 37 percent rise in pretax profit.Bob Collymore took over at Safaricom in November 2010, replacing Michael Joseph who currently sits in the telco giant’s board as the Chairman. Collymore oversaw the introduction into the market of various mobile money products that have given the company leverage among its competitors. Collymore was also been at the forefront in leading the charge against regulatory efforts to clip the company’s wings due to its size and dominance. After a two-year battle with cancer, Bob, the longest-serving executive died on July 1st 2019 leaving behind a company with doubled user base and profits increased by 380%, turning it into a $10.8billion. Michael was appointed as interim chief.
Peter Ndegwa was appointed as CEO on effective April 1st 2020