Crystal Telecom takes shares sale drive to streets

Crystal Telecom, a subsidiary of Crystal Ventures Ltd, has embarked on personalised marketing drive on city streets, after they issued their shares to the public for the first time.
Crystal Telecom agents position themselves at strategic places in Kisementi, Remera, to entice individual members of the public into buying shares. (T Kisambira)
Crystal Telecom agents position themselves at strategic places in Kisementi, Remera, to entice individual members of the public into buying shares. (T Kisambira)

Crystal Telecom, a subsidiary of Crystal Ventures Ltd, has embarked on personalised marketing drive on city streets, after they issued their shares to the public for the first time.

Personalised marketing, also known as “one-on-one” marketing, is the ultimate form of targeted marketing geared at creating messages for individual consumers – in this case, potential buyers of the shares.

The form of marketing enables the saler to field questions directly from their targets and educate them on the products on sale.

The company kicked off the campaign with its agents placed at strategic points around town.

Stephen Ndahiro, one the agents The New Times found in Kisementi on Tuesday, said the strategy was meant to ensure that even the common person is aware of the sale of the shares.

Through an Initial Public Offering, Crystal Telecom seeks to cede its 20 per cent shareholding in MTN Rwanda, the country’s biggest telecom by subscriber base.

“We don’t want the common person to miss out on the shares. We’ve been moving on the streets so that people who have no access to radio or television adverts can also get a chance to know about the venture,” he added.

Launched last week, the IPO was launched at Rwf105 a share.

Ndahiro added that people on the street had shown a lot of interest since some did not easily understand how the business works when presented on radio or television.

In addition, he said, they help to direct people where they can find agents in case they are interested in buying.

Anastase Kanyegimbi, a businessman, said he could now buy shares without going through bank agents.

“I went to school but didn’t study much so when corporate agents are talking about these things, they use complicated terms which are difficult for some of us to understand. Now, all I have to do is get my lawyer to help me fill the forms to buy some shares because I now fully understand,” he said.

Barbara Kobusingye, a student at the School of Public Health, University of Rwanda, said it was an opportunity to own shares in a telecom company because “they make a lot of money.”

“When I heard about the sale of Crystal Telecom shares, I never thought that any common person would afford them because they have always been for the elite, or so I thought. But when I met the agents on the street, I was surprised to learn that even a student like me can afford to invest,” Kobusingye said.

Personalised marketing is not the only strategy that Crystal Telecom is using.

According to Carine Umutoni, the coordinator of Crystal Telecom agents, they are also into road shows, radio and television advertising as well as billboards.

“Although the other methods of marketing have been common in selling shares, our new strategy is aimed at gathering a big number of subscribers. I’m optimistic that by the end of the IPO, we will be fully subscribed.”

This new strategy has also been commended by experts who believe that it will change the attitude people had towards buying company shares.

Robert Mathu, executive director of Capital Markets Authority, said the new strategy will encourage people to embrace the culture of buying shares.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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