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19.11.2008 Business & Finance

Zain Poised To Lead Telecom Industry

By Our Reporter -

Zain, one of the new multi-national entrants into the local telecom industry, has outlined its strategy to catapult itself to the top of the telecom market in Ghana and elsewhere by the close of 2011.

The strategy, dubbed “3x3x3” is designed to make Zain a major player on the regional, international and global stages, each of which is to be completed in three years.

Zain factssheet available to the Ghana News Agency said that in essence, through acquisitions, partnerships and green-field oppor-tunities, Zain aims to achieve in nine years what other companies have taken more than 27 years to achieve.

Western Telesystem Limited (WESTEL), Ghana, was the latest acquisition of the Kuwaiti-based mobile telecom pioneer and giant, Zain.

The company has since its acquisition of WESTEL been improving infrastructure, including laying fibre optic cables in preparation for a huge re-branding later in the year.

“The corporate strategy simply summarised as 3x3x3 is an ambitious, sustainable expansion strategy, that will see Zain become a leading mobile services provider on the global stage by the end of the year 2011,” the factssheet said.

It said a strategy dubbed ACE Implementation Plan, which sought to accelerate the growth of the company's African base, consolidate existing assets and expand into adjacent markets had been put in place to facilitate the realisation of the 3x3x3 vision within the set time.

The factssheet said through the implementation of the ACE strategy, Zain's new goals by the year 2011 were to attain 150 million customers, six billion US dollars earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) and to become one of the top 10 leading telecom companies in the world by market capitalisation.

Currently, Zain has 50.74 million subscribers in 22 countries in the Middle East and Africa.

The Zain factssheet noted that with its 16,000 staff strength, the company was committed to high standards of corporate governance, excellent and quality world class mobile and data serviced provision and to the ethos of corporate social responsibility in supporting communities, offering employment and creating business opportunities wherever it operated.

It said out of the total of 50.74 million subscribers across its operations, 33.301 million were in 15 countries in Africa alone, where the company used to have the brand name Celtel, and the remaining 17.439 million are in seven Middle Eastern countries. 

The factssheet said Zain was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange, adding that the company's market capitalization exceeded US$27 billion as at June 30, 2008.

“As the largest shareholder is the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) with and share of 24.6 per cent there are no restrictions on Zain shares as the company's capital is 100 per cent free float and publicly traded,” it said.