Top 25 Most Customer-Obsessed Brands Impacting Lives in 2023

With nearly 17 million subscribers, Airtel is the second largest mobile services operator in Kenya.

#14

AIRTEL

With nearly 17 million subscribers, Airtel is the second largest mobile services operator in Kenya. Since its inception in 2010, the telco has been on an expansion drive catered towards growing its presence, as well as bringing its services closer to its customers. As of 2023, the company has joyfully declared that its advanced 4G network coverage extends to the entire country.

In the spirit of the company’s unwavering dedication to providing the best possible service experience for its customers, Airtel launched Voice Over LTE (VoLTE), an advanced technology that delivers superior quality sound across both voice and video calls on a 4G network. Introduced in May 2023, Airtel users experience the benefits of high-definition (HD) voice on their Android and/or iOS devices. Furthermore, the technology facilitates swift call establishment, allowing users to make calls while simultaneously browsing the internet. The single requirement asked of Airtel customers is to have a VoLTE-enabled handset and a 4G sim card.

Speaking at the launch, Managing Director (MD) Ashish Malhotra noted that the telco maintains its dedication to leveraging technological advancements that ensure an exceptional customer experience, while delivering valuable services.

A significant portion of Airtel’s mandate has always been to make communication more affordable by introducing cost-effective products and services, thereby fostering healthy competition in the price-sensitive Kenyan telco market. This is precisely how Airtel expresses its customer obsession.

In April 2023, the firm unveiled an exciting offering: Airtel Premier. The innovative product brings together various mobile services into a unified plan, enabling Airtel customers to conveniently access data, SMS and voice calls all within a single comprehensive bundle. Airtel Premier holds added benefits in comparison to similar products offered by Airtel’s competitors. For instance, there are three different choices for each plan, depending on what service the customer uses more frequently. One may opt for a subscription plan that prioritises call minutes, data allocation or text messages. Secondly, the plans come with free Airtel to Airtel calls, meaning that the minutes are only consumed when making a call to other networks. Finally, the bundles can be rolled over, they do not expire at the end of the month if they are not completely utilised.

In the telco’s endeavour to captivate a younger demographic, particularly content creators, Airtel has also launched a 1 gigabyte (GB) data bundle package as a pivotal element of its campaign titled ‘A Reason to Imagine’. The bundle goes for KES 50 and is valid for 24 hours: a very valuable deal.

Airtel recently announced the launch of its advanced fifth generation (5G) mobile broadband service in affluent neighbourhoods. By targeting areas with high-income residents who possess the necessary devices and purchasing power, Airtel aims to provide faster internet speeds to those who can truly take advantage of this cutting-edge technology. This exciting development follows Airtel’s acquisition of the required spectrum, enabling the firm to fully implement and deploy 5G technology.

Airtel Africa Group CEO Segun Ogunsanya (L) with Airtel Kenya MD Ashish Malhotra at the launch of the telco’s eSIM (embedded sim) on February 23, 2023.

Moreover, Airtel has introduced a new range of budget-friendly internet broadband devices called ‘Internet Mashinani,’ specifically designed for households, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), as well as communities residing in small towns and remote areas. The product range includes a 4G Smart box priced at KES 5,500, which includes 10GB of complementary data, and a 4G pocket Wi-Fi priced at KES 2,500, including 5GB of free data. As a value-add, customers receive 50 percent extra data upon recharging their devices.

Over the past five years, Airtel has made significant progress in challenging its competitor’s dominance in three out of the six key areas, namely voice, mobile data, and SMS markets. The telco has managed to narrow the gap, intensifying the fierce competition for control over local mobile phone services. In December 2022, Airtel’s share of the voice market more than doubled to 32.2 percent, compared to 13.5 percent five years ago. Similarly, its share of mobile data increased to 27.9 percent from 18.5 percent during a similar period, according to data from the Communications Authority (CA).

Airtel is a brand that consistently prioritises the needs and satisfaction of its consumers. Through this relentless focus, the leading telco strives to understand and anticipate the evolving preferences and requirements of its users, whilst actively listening to customer feedback, engaging in personalised interactions, and implementing innovative solutions to enhance the overall customer experience.

By continuously putting its customers first, Airtel has established itself as a trusted service provider, fostering loyalty and long-lasting relationships with its user base.

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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