Vodacom to Cell C: ‘We will not roll over’
New Vodacom Group CEO has signalled his intention of taking the fight to his old boss, Alan Knott-Craig, by slashing international call prices. By Duncan McLeod.
Shameel Joosub has been back at Vodacom — now as its group CEO — for only three weeks, but already he has slashed international call rates in reaction to a similar move by smaller rival Cell C, which is now headed by former Vodacom Group CEO and Joosub’s old boss, Alan Knott-Craig.
And Joosub has sent a message to his old boss: that Vodacom is not going to roll over for Cell C as the market gets more competitive.
Vodacom on Friday announced that it is cutting international call rates to 51 destinations within the next few weeks to 89c/minute. Calls will be offered on a per-second billing basis from the first second of the call, making them 10c/minute cheaper than the rates offered by Cell C.
However, consumers who want to take up the offer will have to pay R5/month for the privilege; there is no additional fee for Cell C customers. Cell C’s 99c/minute rate applies to 50 countries.
“We will react to the competition and beat the competition,” Joosub told journalists at a media roundtable in Sandton on Friday.
“There will be times when competitors do things before you do and you react to it. The point is not just matching it, but giving your customers even better value, and I think that’s what we’ve achieved with international calls.”
Asked by TechCentral what he thinks about competing with Knott-Craig and what he thinks of his old boss as a competitor, Joosub said: “I think Alan’s very smart. He’s been a leader in the industry. He gave me a lot of opportunities. He’s a very clever guy but he’s got his work cut out as well.
“Vodacom will stay competitive and Vodacom is not going to roll over,” he said, before adding: “It’s great competing with Alan.” — (c) 2012 NewsCentral Media