Launching a brand new music service and encouraging more young girls to take an interest in ICT are just two of the ways that Tigo Ghana stands out in a crowded telecoms market.
A BRAND NEW EXPERIENCE
Tigo Ghana is a subsidiary of Millicom International Cellular SA and it was the first telecom operator in Ghana back in 1991. As of September this year, Tigo Ghana’s subscriber numbers stood strong at just over 4 million, and with CEO Roshi Motman leading the Ghana team this number promises to continue to grow steadily. “I have been in Ghana for six months now and I enjoy living here. I love Ghana. I love the people, the warmth and the rich and diverse culture,” she says.
With five players in Ghana’s telecom industry, Tigo Ghana have made a name for themselves via the launch of Tigo Music, the first music streaming service in the country.
Q&A WITH TIGO GHANA
Congratulations on the successful launch of Tigo Music, tell us about this new innovation.
Thank you very much, you should have joined us at the Accra Sports Stadium for the launch. It was wonderful as we celebrated with over 30,000 people and top notch Ghanaian artistes.
We have done extensive work to really understand the needs and desires of Ghanaians. Based on this we made the strategic choice of meeting the demand for music. Music streaming is the fastest growing area in the global music industry and music content is already the second most popular mobile phone feature in sub-Saharan Africa. Studies have also shown that in the near future more people from this part of the world will use Smartphones. This was an opportunity for us to differentiate.
Ghanaians love music, it is a part of their everyday lives. People are born with music, they celebrate birthdays and marriages and even when people die, they are mourned or celebrated with music. And over the years we have supported music because we know that it delivers a great brand experience. We have had some very successful music concerts and supported local artistes to launch their albums. We have also enjoyed some collaborations with the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), the umbrella organisation for Ghanaian artistes and have prided platforms such as Tigofest (Tigo Festival) for local artistes to showcase their talents across various genres.
With the launch of Tigo Music we are combining all our music properties including the latest innovations; our partnership with Deezer and the launch of Tigo Music Hub to give it much more focus. This is a first in Ghana and a significant achievement for us as we are creating an exciting experience for our customers and increasing Smartphone penetration in Ghana.
Tell us about the partnership with Deezer and the Tigo Music Hub?
Deezer is an international music streaming service that provides music on the go. As part of the partnership we have developed pre-paid data bundles which give our customers direct access to the Deezer platform and the opportunity to enjoy over 35 million songs including African and Ghanaian artistes on their phones, tablets and computers. The other addition to this innovation is that we will also be sourcing exciting new local content through a new venture with Africa Music Rights, a digital music company which funds, acquires and manages music rights across the African continent. Through this we hope to digitise more local songs and also develop local talents.
The Hub is another exciting element of the Tigo Music experience. We developed www.tigomusic.com.gh with the support of some the most digitally talented young Ghanaians to make it the ‘go to place’ for the extended and extraordinary music experience. It went live on the day we launched Tigo Music and we live streamed the launch concert for people around the world to share our excitement.
We are finalising some innovations on the Hub and I would like to take this opportunity to encourage Ghanaians and people around the world to log on and enjoy music including the latest news on new releases and concerts.
The launch concert ‘Unplugged’ is reported to be one of the best concerts in Ghana for 2014, how does that make you feel?
Very happy. I am proud of my team for pulling it off and proud of the positive response by Ghanaians. It is one of the best concerts I have been to internationally. I had a fabulous time and so did over 30,000 others that joined us including competitors.
We had top notch Ghanaian artistes such as Sarkodie, Shata Wale and 4X4 just to mention a few. There was also Davido from Nigeria and new music sensation Mzvee. Hit after hit we got all the people in the packed stadium singing along and dancing.
What next after music?
For us, music is a long term investment. We want to become an integral part of the daily lives of Ghanaians. We also want to be synonymous with world class music live events headlined by the best Ghanaian, African and global artistes. The future is very exciting and we are poised to become the digital service provider of choice.
I hear you are directly involved with a CSR project to encourage more girls to study ICT. Tell me more.
Well I studied Electrical Engineering and I truly believe the ICT sector offers considerable opportunities for women to bring their personal ambitions and passions together and make a meaningful contribution to themselves, their companies, homes and society. We can develop cuttingedge innovative solutions to solve some of businesses and societies pressing challenges.
A career in ICT also offers us economic freedom and the independence to work from anywhere including remote locations and across multiple sub-sectors. In Tigo Ghana about half of our employees are women. Like myself, some combine work with family and I am supportive of flexible working hours. After all we are an ICT company and therefore can work from remote locations if need be.
I met Regina Agyare, one of our Change Leaders and a social entrepreneur a few weeks after joining Tigo Ghana and I fell in love with the kind of work she did. She provides hands-on training for young girls in deprived communities to code and build websites. I visited the ‘Tech needs Girls’ centre in Accra and I was pleasantly surprised by the enthusiasm of the young girls to become the next CEOs for tech companies.
Like Regina, most of them wanted to have their own start-ups despite being young and that is so encouraging. Ghana needs more of such tech start-ups to become the ICT Hub for the sub-region if not Africa, which I think could and should be a serious target.
My pledge is to support them with the needed resources to embolden them and to spend some time with them regularly mentoring and teaching them several others including the basics of running a successful business. My challenge to them? Be confident and challenge the status quo instead of feeling constrained by history, processes and systems.