One uneventful day in 2009, Benard Njoroge, Founder and Managing Director of Adrian Kenya received a phone call.
The person on the line asked if his company could deliver a spare part to a field engineer who was working at a job site. He did.
Adrian Kenya at the time was a technology infrastructure firm starting out. That phone call 11 years ago marked the beginning of their partnership with Safaricom. It changed their trajectory from being transporters to becoming an engineering company.
Adrian Kenya has grown to deploy and maintain infrastructural solutions in telecommunications, power, IT, and oil and gas. To date, in partnering with Safaricom, it has built more than 800 base stations in Kenya.
The company has employed 450 employees directly, and another 600 people indirectly in its various projects across Kenya, adds Njoroge.
Safaricom’s efforts to empower women in business has also rubbed off on Adrian Kenya. The company followed in the trailblazing footsteps of one of its biggest clients to grow the number of women-owned and led enterprises, to create more visibility for their businesses and support them by creating opportunities to provide services through training and mentorship.
“We have trained 17 business women leaders in our office. We have about 22 suppliers and nine are women in business,” says Njoroge.
Safaricom’s growth over the years has translated into an expanding ecosystem of business partners who include suppliers, dealers and agents.
The business partner network is currently comprised of 1,095 suppliers, 440 ‘active’ dealers and 173,259 M-PESA agents.
Through the years, Safaricom has empowered numerous SMEs by enabling them to grow and thrive in business and in their own communities. More support has been needed this year, especially, to support their recovery from the negative impacts of COVID-19.
“Safaricom supported us with the first PPEs for our staff because we did not have money initially,” says Njoroge.
Ellams Products, another Safaricom business partner, has played a crucial role in enabling Safaricom roll out pre-paid scratch cards for airtime. Scratch cards were relatively untested way of giving customers access to connectivity at the time, having previously only used in South Africa.
“We are very happy to say that we pioneered the development of multi-pin vouchers in the entire world thanks to Safaricom, because they gave us a challenge for the innovation,” says General Manager Kandadi Reddy.
Reddy is proud Ellams has since grown—riding on their experience and reputation as a Safaricom vendor—to provide their services to 15 countries in Africa, the Middle East, including to Afghanistan.
For 16 years, Top Image Africa has walked part of its journey with Safaricom, doing events, promotions and activations. A relationship that has translated into numerous windows of opportunities that have seen Top Image Africa expand into 16 African countries.
Managing Director Bidanya Barasa says their association with M-PESA saw a South African mobile telecommunication company reach out to them for business opportunities. As a result, they now work with the firm in South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Zambia.
For the last 20 years, Safaricom has positively impacted people’s lives across the country and beyond by supporting community projects and working in partnership with other organisations.
Broadband Communication Network, another Safaricom’s supplier, is committed to making a lasting contribution to the socio-economic development of the community. Their growth is intricately linked to that of Safaricom.
“Without Safaricom, there would be no Broadband Communication,” said Bernard Wahome, CEO Broadband Communication Network.
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This story is part of the Safaricom@20 celebrations. For 20 years, Safaricom has developed new technologies and innovations to support and enable Kenyans to communicate, connect and to go beyond.