Poised for greater heights – Roshi Motman, AfricaCom CEO of the Year Winner

Roshi Motman is not your average CEO. Since taking up the reins as the first female CEO of Tigo Ghana in 2014, she has led the Tigo brand through a remarkable transformation to  position it as the preferred digital brand of choice for clients seeking smart, affordable, innovative services and products.

Fuelled by the passion to exceed customer expectations, she led the company to embark on aggressive network expansion projects and service delivery improvements through multi-million dollar infrastructure investments.

She has also focused on enhancingcustomer serviceavailability, rapid growth of the company’s sales anddistribution network, pluseffecting people and employee cultural changes; particularly through mentorship of young female employees.

Roshi is part of Millicom’s (Tigo’s parent company) drive to increase female leaders across the African continent through an ongoing programme that is aimed at raising awareness, enhancing recruitment and talent management from a diversity perspective.

As a befitting recognition of her outstanding contributions, she was named CEO of the Year at the 2015 COM World Series AfricaCom Awards held in Cape Town, South Africa in November.

The prestigious award recognizes the outstanding contribution of a business leader in the field of telecoms & ICT within an African listed company who contributes towards the expansion, growth and quality of the telecoms, ICT and digital industry.  It also celebrates leaders who promote socio-economic growth through access to telecoms and ICT services, most notably to the disadvantaged segments of society.

In May 2015, Roshi was also recognised at the 5th Ghana Telecom Awards as a trail blazer for Ghana’s telecom sector.

Roshi Motman shares her thoughts with us about the telecom/ICT sector in Ghana and Africa, and winning the AfricaCom CEO of the Year award.

What does winning the AfricaCom award mean to you?

Winning the award gave me a mix of emotions; gratitude, pride and humility. It’s been a fresh boost of energy for me, but most importantly a confirmation of the remarkable efforts of my team at Tigo Ghana – pure dedication and persistence.

What have been some of your high points of your career since you joined Tigo Ghana 20 months ago?

When I joined this business, my agenda was a total transformation of the entire organisation and by this I wanted us to focus on improving our network quality to offer the best customer experience; and I wanted to improve on our people agenda.

We know from customer feedback that Network quality is one of the biggest driving force in this competitive landscape. It is fundamental to customer satisfaction and loyalty and I am proud to say that over the past months we have invested heavily to ensure a more reliable, stable and resilient network. 

Our investments include the $24 million upgrade of our cell sites in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Western regions; the $3.2 million Overhead fibre project from Bogosoin the Western region to Kumasi, the Ashanti region; and the $1 million expansion works on Eastern Microwave backbone.

In 2014 we also went into a strategic partnership with world-class Communications technology and services provider, Ericsson, to help manage and improve on our service delivery.

All these and other innovations in our product portfolios have improved on customer experience.

On the people side, we have done a lot to nurture and develop our talent pool and to also remain attractive to some of the finest professionals on the market. We can boast of some of the best talents in the country.

What have been, and what do you feel are currently, the biggest challenges to the telecoms/ICT sector in Ghana, and across Africa?

The telecoms sector in Ghana is fiercely competitive but ripe with countless opportunities and peculiar challenges.

Over the past 2 years, we have had major challenges with Ghana’s on-going energy crises, battery theft at our cell sites, fibre cable cuts, 18% YTD depreciation of the local currency, and high inflation rates at an average of 17% per annum. All these factors have incurred additional cost for our business and require infrastructural and operational investments.

Across Africa the biggest challenge will be to continue finding innovative ways to leverage the role of the internet and digital technology to advance people's lives -financially and socially. Essentially, telecom companies will have to predict trends and prepare for them.

How do you see the ICT/telecoms sector in Ghana, and across Africa, developing? Any predictions?

In the recent past we have seen a rapid growth of data and digital innovation fuelled by a budding middle class and fast GDP growth. We expect to see even more of this at accelerated rates. The adoption of smartphones in Ghana will continue to be driven by affordability and data explosion.

Usage of instant messaging platforms like WhatsApp will continue to drive adoption of internet.

Two additional developments will be increased partnerships between telecom companies and financial institutions to provide mobile money services to all, particularly the unbanked. This will in turn push mobile financial services to the critical mass.

Increasingly it is also becoming important that as operators we work together to share infrastructure and other facilities. This will reduce our cost of operations and ensure we expand our footprint and continue to offer affordable services to Ghanaians.

What is the way forward for Tigo Ghana?

We have a very clear business strategy for the coming years and this is driven by a deeper understanding of customer needs and the evolution of technology. By harnessing the potential of Tigo Cash and focusing on providing compelling solutions for small and medium sized businesses, we are set to consolidate ourselves as a smart and attractive brand which will mean our stakeholders and customers will be delighted to do business with us.

We will continue to excite and surprise our customers by staying true to our agenda of being the preferred digital lifestyle brand of choice for consumers.

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