I’m leaving Vodacom with my head held high: Hendi

Tuesday October 12 2021
Hendi PIC

Incoming Vodacom Tanzania managing director Sitholizwe Mdlalose (left) with his predecessor Hisham Hendi during a farewell function held in Mr Hendi’s honour in Dar es Salaam. PHOTO | COURTESY

By The Citizen Reporter

Dar es Salaam. Vodacom Tanzania Plc yesterday organized a social get-together with members of the media fraternity to bid farewell to the company’s outgoing chief executive officer, Mr Hisham Hendi.

Mr Hendi’s tenure at the helm of the telco giant comes to an end five years after he joined Vodacom Tanzania, having previously held the position of Director of Consumer Business Unit before ascending to managing director of the firm in 2018.

In those three years, Mr Hendi managed to propel the company to greater heights in the telecom industry with the expansion of mobile services reach through improved connectivity and digital penetration.

“I leave with pride for all that I was able to achieve. But I also leave with the confidence that Vodacom Tanzania is in safe hands. I know Sitholizwe (Vodacom Tanzania’s new CEO). I worked with him for over three years in South Africa,” said Mr Hendi during his farewell speech.

Asked what he considers to be his success as Vodacom Tanzania leader - and, also, to reveal what he considers to be a disappointment as he departs - Mr Hendi pointed out that most of the things that were in the company’s strategies have been delivered, and now they are charting the way forward.

However, his disappointment is seeing the progress that Vodacom had made to increase the level of financial inclusion in Tanzania being adversely impacted by government levies on mobile money transactions - which means that fewer people can now afford to conduct online money transactions.

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“The levies set us back five years in terms of M-Pesa subscribers, as transactions declined by 30 percent,” he said.

Mr Hendi did, however, show some optimism by highlighting the areas where Vodacom Tanzania will focus on as growth opportunity avenues moving forward. “We have moved into the digital space and, through this, we will continue our efforts to promote financial inclusion. We hope that, with time, we will bounce back,” he said.

Incoming Vodacom Tanzania managing director Sitholizwe Mdlalose said he will continue from where Mr Hendi left off by working closely with all stakeholders, including engaging with policymakers in government to ensure smooth running of the company’s operations.

He also revealed that one of his priorities will be to grow Vodacom Tanzania’s ecosystem by expanding into new and emergent areas. Just like his predecessor, Mr Mdlalose has his focus on the digital space, noting that digital penetration in Tanzania, which currently stands at 25 percent, can be taken even higher.