Monday, September 19, 2005

Subtext messages

Watching this Vodafone event today, I was intrigued by the section on Egypt within the Other Subsidiaries session, which was presented as a case study of how a company can innovate (micro-top-ups, credit balance transfers) to suit the local market and drive growth. At the end of the Q&A section, Arun Sarin himself asked a question about Egypt and what it means to Vodafone, presumably because none of the analysts took the bait (or somebody missed a cue). Sounds to me like the company is making a case for a successful track record in true emerging markets. Vodafone is talking about Asia and C/E Europe, but my personal bet would be Millicom, which has an entirely complementary footprint. This company today nearly doubled its population under coverage in Africa with an acquisition in the D.R. Congo, and ironically, Millicom at one point in history was the single largest shareholder in Vodafone, but sold out way too early.

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