Emeka Opara, Rajiv Seghal and Inusa Bello

By Lukas Ajanaku, Lagos, Nigeria

In an effort to empower Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with relevant and affordable telecommunications solutions and grow its subscriber base, telecommunications services provider Airtel Nigeria has unveiled Club Business, a special package aimed at boosting business productivity and profitability.

Rajiv Sehgal, vice president and head, SME and Post-paid, told Biztechafrica on the sidelines of the launch that since a very significant percentage of Nigerians operate within ambit of the SMEs business class, it is naturally expected that more subscribers will latch onto the new product offering thereby pushing up the telco's subscriber base. He assured that the network was formidable enough to withstand additional capacity.

According to the operator, the Club Business offering will enable owners of SMEs to form a club of 20 members with their employees and thereby benefit from specialised discounts including free calls for the for first 100 minutes and subsequent charge of 20k/sec for Airtel to Airtel calls, while SMS to club members will be at N1.

The company’s Chief Operating Officer and Executive Director for Nigeria, Deepak Srivastava, said the Airtel Club Business is specially designed to address the prevailing business environment in Nigeria, providing excellent opportunities for small business owners to adopt creative and strategic initiatives to survive the harsh business climate.

He said the company considers the SME sector as vital to the growth of the nation’s economy and as a result it is committed tocreating products and services that will boost profitability and productivity in the sector, ensuring return on investments and economic growth.

The Airtel Club Business allows a minimum of five users and a maximum of twenty Airtel customers. In addition to the free calls for first 100 minutes and N1 per SMS for Club members, calls to Airtel numbersare billed at 20k/sec, whilecalls to other network will be at 30k/sec after the first minute at 60k/sec.International call charges remain at the prevailing rates.

Furthermore, SMSes to other Airtel lines outside the club will be at N5, while SMS to other networks and international lines will be N9 and N15 respectively.

Also, a monthly Access Fee of N500 would be charged while a monthly minimum recharge of N500 on the Master Line would be required to enjoy the special business solution package.

Under the offer, the Master Line would be responsible for paying access fees and monthly commitment for allother lines in the Club.The first 20 number additions that make up a club would be free while subsequent reviews would be charged at N50.

To activate the Airtel Club Business, customers are required to simply dial *590# from an old or existing Airtel line. The line automatically becomes the Master Line. To add other numbers to the master line to form the Club Business, customers are expected to dial *590*1*Airtel number#.

Information on the Airtel Club Business can be accessed by dialing the My Airtel My Offer (MAMO) toll free line 141. Customers can also visit Airtel Shops spread across the country to get more information on the offerings.

The Airtel Club Business is available to both new and existing prepaid SME customers.

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