THE MULTICHOICE KENYA WAY
How the leading video entertainment company in Kenya is transforming lives every day.
Since her appointment as the managing director of MultiChoice Kenya in December 2019, Nancy Matimu has been on an aggressive transformation plan that has already begun to bear fruits for the business.
At the time of her appointment, Nancy was expected to enhance MultiChoice’s market leadership position in Kenya’s entertainment and media industry by strengthening the business to provide the best content on DStv and GOtv and to ensure a great customer experience. So, discussing the Multichoice brand in Kenya is akin to a retrospection of the Nancy Matimu professional brand.
It has been 18 months with Nancy in-charge as the managing director and the positive results are beginning to show despite the unforeseen challenges such as the global Covid-19 pandemic, of which the business has been at the forefront of unveiling support measures to ease their stakeholders’ challenges.
To understand how Nancy has been able to steady the boat in the rough waters of the highly competitive broadcasting sector, her belief and wealth of experience comes into play.
Nancy has had an illustrious 15-year career, having led and driven growth through transformation of businesses, capacity building in brand, products and innovation as well as sales and operational excellence, in her previous tours of duty, that have included top brands as Housing Finance Group and Mastercard among others. In all these firms, Nancy has inspired high-performance teams to deliver extra-ordinary results in leading organizations in financial services and ICT.
Prior to joining MultiChoice Kenya, Nancy was the Vice-President, Head Market Development sub-Saharan Africa at MasterCard.
She previously served in HFC Bank as the Chief Digital and Marketing Officer and Safaricom where she held various roles including Head of Safaricom Home and Content (Emerging Business – Home Fixed Broadband and Content Business Development), Head of Department Consumer Products and Services, Head of Department Internet and Content, Head of Department Enterprise Products and Innovation. She also worked in Airtel Africa as the General Manager Marketing and Head of Products and Innovation Revenue Management.
Nancy holds an MBA in Strategic Management from Strathmore University, a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Kenyatta University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in the UK. She is also a graduate of the Advanced Management Program (AMP) and Chief Executive Program (CEP) from Strathmore, IESE and Lagos Business Schools.
Taking over as the first woman CEO of Multichoice Kenya, Nancy was clear her strategy was to become the undisputable number one brand within the video entertainment space by changing the work ethic and culture, to empower her team to grow the business. To achieve this, the importance of the commercial teams in deepening DStv, GOtv and Showmax penetration and availing these products to the consumers could not be overemphasized. Today, Nancy has not only improved the working environment at Multichoice Kenya, she has also returned the Kenya subsidiary to profitability and increased turnover exponentially within a very short span of time.
“Previously, our business focus was centralized in Nairobi as the main hub. However, it was critical for us to be within an arm’s length where our customers are. We regionalized our operations to widen our foot-print on every ground in the country for a greater reach. Today, we are present in every corner of this great country”, reveals Nancy.
This, coupled with an expanded distribution network, has increased MultiChoice’s point of sales to over 3,000 countrywide, which is a 40 per cent expansion of its distribution base within a short span of 18 months.
“This has been possible, thanks in part to our accredited dealers and agencies that make our world-class video entertainment service available to more Kenyans. Many homes are now enjoying the quality entertainment we offer on DStv and GOtv,” says Nancy.
The transformation journey does not end there. Nancy’s input was critical in upgrading MultiChoice Customer Experience centres countrywide to deliver an improved and modern customer experience, offering 360-degree customer service and sales. In May this year, MultiChoice opened its state-of-the-art branches in Kajiado County—located with Ongata Rongai—and Nyeri County branch.
As a company, MultiChoice remains true to its brand purpose of enriching lives as a clear purpose-led and technology platform business, hosting the best of local and video entertainment that is specially curated for customers. Multichoice Kenya is a subsidiary of Multichoice Africa Holdings.
Multichoice Africa Holdings currently features eighth globally in linear Pay-Television outside China and top 40 on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), a fete that Nancy firmly believes employees and its partners should wear proudly.
“We are proud of our rich 26-year legacy in Kenya, our market leadership position and are grateful to our partners who continue to position us as a top brand in video entertainment. We promise to continue telling stories that connect our viewers with their humanity, their aspirations, passions and lifestyles,” says Nancy.
Customer service remains critical to the business and MultiChoice has not been left behind. The company recently upgraded and transitioned to state-of-the-art call centers for its voice and social customer care support.
‘Over the past year, MultiChoice has also improved its self-service platforms on *423#, MyDStv and MyGOtv apps so that customers are able to buy decoders and full kits, change packages, pay the subscriptions, and clear errors amongst other services at their convenience wherever they are’, Nancy adds.
On the commercial side, Nancy has recently steered her team to revamp DStv Business packages to ensure different industry sectors like hotels, pubs and clubs, offices, guest houses and serviced apartments are able to grow their businesses with better cashflows and profits.
“We understand that every business has unique needs and we have made it our business to ensure our commercial partners entertainment needs are considered and incorporated in our improvement decisions, based on their feedback. We have simplified and revamped DStv Business packages to connect customers to profits no matter the business size,” says Nancy.
All these team efforts have not gone unnoticed. In May this year, MultiChoice Kenya walked away with five coveted awards at the fourth edition of the Kuza Awards held by the Communication Authority of Kenya (CA).
GOtv clinched two critical compliance awards, the Compliance Award for Subscription Broadcasting Service Provider and emerged overall winner in the compliance award for Broadcast Signal Distributor.
MultiChoice Kenya was also crowned the overall winner of the Subscription Broadcasting Services Award under the local content category, beating well known brands in the coveted category. GOtv also scooped the inaugural overall People’s Choice Award for Favourite Pay TV service with DStv emerging as first runner-up.
“I urge broadcasters to embrace innovation in order to remain competitive and relevant in today’s dynamic broadcasting environment,” said Kenya’s Information, Communication and Technology Principal Secretary in charge of broadcasting, Esther Koimett. These are the MultiChoice Kenya innovation dividends paying off that Nancy alludes to.
“We are a business on a transformational journey at the individual customer level as well as at Multichoice Kenya as an organization. We have chosen the path of an innovative business that’s constantly transforming by anticipating and listening to our customers’ feedback and concerns daily in order to serve and exceed their expectations,” Nancy states.
However, the business is not without challenges. Currently, the biggest risk to the business is piracy which negatively affects every single person working in the entertainment and technology industries, and their supply chains.
“Digital piracy is often portrayed as a victimless crime, but that portrayal is false. Piracy has a detrimental effect on any industry and will lead to the long-term erosion of the industry,” says Nancy, revealing that Multichoice is working closely with Government of Kenya to tackle this menace.
When not handling matters MultiChoice, Nancy dedicates her time to serving on the boards of local and global firms. She is currently serving as the Vice-Chair of the KCA University Council in addition to being the Chair in charge of the strategy and business development board committee. Nancy is also a member of the global board of trustees for Education sub-Saharan Africa (ESSA) where she serves as the Business Engagement Lead.
Her parting shot during the interview for the recognition by Business Monthly magazine as one of the Top 25 Brands Transforming Lives is “MultiChoice must be able to tell the right story, at the right time, to the right person, which is our absolute focus and to use that to leverage technology and become obsessed with pleasing our customers. At MultiChoice, our vision is to be the best African storyteller in Kenya. At the same time, we also promise to bring our customers the best international stories and action-like premium sports.”