A major transformation in Kenya’s second largest telecom company, Zain Kenya, will be witnessed next week when the company officially changes its name to “Airtel”.
The name change will be the fourth since the company started operating in Kenya.
The operator entered in the country as KenCell, then changed to Celtel, to Zain and now Airtel.
While announcing the July-September financial results in Ghana last week, Bharti Airtel Chief Executive and Joint Managing Director, Manoj Kohli, was reported as saying that Bharti Airtel would formally launch its brand in African in just over a week, adding that their major focus on the continent would be on third generation mobile and data services.
“I feel that after two quarters of restructuring of these areas, we should be able to achieve much healthier share of business. Already, we are seeing higher incremental customer addition,” Said Kohil.
‘Red’ is expected to be the dominant colour in the new brand, which will be splashed the same day across India, Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Seychelles.
The change in the brand follows the acquisition of Zain’s operations in Africa by India’s Bharti Airtel in June this year in a $10.7 billion deal.
During the launch in Nairobi, Kohil announced that the company will set up its African headquarters in Nairobi, with Jayant Khosla, formerly of Essar, heading operations in English-speaking African countries.
Known to be a big spender, local operators are watching with their cards close to their chests in readiness for fire works in weeks to come.
BRIAN ADERO in Nairobi, Kenya