Thursday, 20 May 2010

Safaricom-Equity; Say what you will

Lots has been said about the Safaricom-Equity M-Kesho deal. Of course I had to say something. I remember reading somewhere (must be CGAP) that central Bank allowed Safaricom to implement M-Pesa by ruling out that it was not banking since banking involved taking deposits and accruing interests. And so And made all the difference. Therefore, M-Pesa was not banking but money transfer.

People have hated on Safaricom/Safaricon/Suffericom for long, yet it continues to be the dominant player with ever improved products and deals, despite the more expensive call tarrifs. I subscribe to Safaricom, as does close to everyone in my extended family. As for Equity, my sister once told me that many people in Central Kenya don't ask if you have a bank account. It's simply "Ni uri Equity?"-Do you have Equity? I'm so sure this might make some of my remaining relatives move from komashio (KCB) to Muiganania (Equity). Seems like with time I'll be able to carry out real time transfers from Equity Bank in Uganda to M-KESHO in Kenya. You guys charging us 2.5%-4% for M-Pesa transfers in UG, your days are so numbered.

Lesson learned? Innovate or whine.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

I Didn't Get the Job :o(

I didn't tell you all that I'd applied for a job across the border with my organization. I got shortlisted and interviewed, but then they promoted a guy from within. I would be very happy if I were in his position-he has been around like four years and I think he's realy good. Still, I was bummed! It looks like I'll be here for a while, at least that's my current mindset. After all, it does appear like after July 1st when the EAC arrangement goes through (maybe it's 'if', not 'when'- I doubt the seriousness of TZ. Plus si they were talking about it in like '67?), crossing over to UG will be like crossing over to another district in .ke. I've been to my original home three times and found myself in three different districts; first it was Nyeri, then Nyeri South, then Mathira East/West, and now I'm not sure which district we are in. I don't dwell much on the politics of this side of the national borders but the number of districts (effectively constituencies) coming up in some geographical regions is worrying. And a new note that I hope is not the Jirongo of UG. In the early 90s, that's what the 500 bob bill was known in my locality. I plan to take my leave around election time next year, though I doubt things could get as ugly as they did in Kenya after the election. Even the September '09 riots weren't that bad, only that watching it on TV with the army tanks on the streets and all, you'd be forgiven to think the whole country was at war.

Now to work smart so I can earn a promotion where I am. Maybe next year.I could go home at one level lower, and the money is almost the same anyway, but it's not a do-or-die situation. My performance rating for the last year was more like average. I sure need to up my career management game. As with many things I work at it and say; we will see.