Econet, Internet and the Future Of Zimbabwe Business.

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is smart. But it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that NO ONE invests $200 million dollars without a seriously solid ‘money back’ (plus profit) plan. On the other hand…many Zimbabwean businesses are sadly…not smart.

Econet LogoDon’t know about you, but when I see someone I respect invest millions of dollars into something, I want to know what they see…and how I take advantage of it.

When I told some Zimbabwean businessmen – early 2009 that it was time begin seriously investing time and money into understanding and leveraging the internet, they laughed. My prediction wasn’t brain surgery, it should have been obvious for any decent marketer (SA World Cup soccer and all) Anyway, about 6 months later, August 2009, Econet launched the much anticipated 3G technology to Zimbabweans.

Their subscription base was full before most people even knew what it was – and in usual Zimbabwe fashion, these ‘internet activated lines hit the black market almost immediately. Pain to your wallet? $150usd. Ouch!

Still, a new era has began. More significant than you might realize. (Just ask the big cell phone dealers, it’s never been easier to sell a smart phone in Zimbabawe)

Consider 3 simple factoids

  1. Econet introduces 3g and is capacitating give a lot more subscriptions
  2. Telecel is joining the party.
  3. Even Netone has plans ‘under way’ for 2010.

Add to that the mega fibre cabling Econet’s working on… that you’ve got a changed situation.

For the first time ever – Zimbabweans are online in a real way. Dial up will finally die it’s overdue death and communication throughout the country makes a quantum leap forward.

And YOUR Business?
Imagine how much more important and relevant the internet becomes when all of a sudden 1 million more people have a new and super convenient way to communicate and search for local information.

3 Things You Can Do to Get Ready

  1. Wake Up. Keep your eyes open. New online marketing opportunities are already emerging. Online classifieds, banner ads, email marketing, social networking etc…it’ll start to grow from now onwards. Businesses will for the first see the relevance of an internet presence. The competition
  2. Build Your OWN online real estate. A really successful online pretense means you’re leveraging online sites and services, whilst developing your own. Even better, it means using online sites and services TO grow your own (read that again and think about it).
  3. Learn About SMS advertising: It’s hard to separate mobile advertising from what’s happening. It’s also stupid. Up till now though, SMS advertising in Zimbabwe has been pretty useless for the average business. Culturally, technologically and strategically not very feasible. That will start to change gradually and then rapidly. For now, just learn the basics of what, where, when, how and why.

Snooze you lose.


P.S. Oh and if you’ve got a reasonable working budget and you’re ready to build a local internet empire, contact me…I’ll show you how.

18 Replies to “Econet, Internet and the Future Of Zimbabwe Business.”

  1. dont know whether its my PC or what but i could barely read this. black text on navy blue background??? its just like black on black. went to too much trouble to be able to read

  2. Hi Chenge… definitely your PC. It should black text on white and it shows really clearly.

    Max, i love the post…i actually hadn’t considered the implications of 3G at all. Now that we know there’s an opportunity, it’s gonna take action to make it useful. Good one mate.

  3. @ Chenge, if you’re having problems with a really slow connection, the best thing to do is just subscribe to receive our posts via email. It’s super easy and you’ll get the posts instantly when they’re published.

    @Andre, thank you!

  4. You are doing a great job in keeping us connected however you need to reduce the mimimum required airtime for us to get bonus minutes

  5. ladies and gentleman, pse help me welcome é new baby in é neighborhood. POWERTEL. Shame 2 é black mukoto dealers, this tym hamulume.

  6. Zvinorema vamwe vakambo zama ndokugumira munzira nekuneta. How much gigs can you download per day on econet using a 3G phone ?

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  8. I dont even know how it works please help hameno kana email yangu ichi shanda

  9. thought Baker’s Inn was wholly Zimbabwean until I heard them say they were proud sponsors of TINSEL, a Nigerian soap. What happened to our own movie industry. May somebody from BAKERS INN comment please?

  10. Just want to say your article is as surprising. The clarity in your post is just great and i could assume you are an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the rewarding work.

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