Safaricom is celebrating its 15th Birthday. How has it progressed over the years?
Year 2000 – The launch of Safaricom at Carnivore grounds in October. That same year saw the introduction of per second billing, as well as a drop in the price of new SIM cards to Kshs.2,500/- People actually once bought lines at Kshs.2,500/!!
Year 2001 – Safaricom connected all major Kenyan towns and subscriber numbers hit 300,000. The respectable 0722 prefix was launched during this year. There’s a running that this prefix shows your age 😀
Year 2002 – This was the year that saw the introduction of the 100 scratch card. As well, the price of a line came down to just Kshs.99/- By the end of the year, Safaricom had almost 700,000 subscriber in their database. It was during this same year that Safaricom covered the entire Mombasa-Nairobi highway.
Year 2003 – This was the year that Simu ya Jamii was launched, making communication even easier. It was in June of this year that the Safaricom subscriber mark hit 1 million.
Year 2004 – This was quite a shiny year for Safaricom as the company scooped CSR of the year, Best Company, and best CEO (Michael Joseph) at the COYA awards. It was also the year that we heard of the previously unheard of 5 Billion in profits. Subscriptions doubled to 2 Million from 1 million the previous year.
Year 2005 – Sambaza and please call me were launched. Safaricom also planted approximately 1 million trees via different CSR programs. It was also the year that subscriptions got to 3 million.
Year 2006 – Our beloved Kenya was at the brink of famine and Safaricom donated 10m towards alleviating hunger in the most affected parts of the country. The same year, the company gave a sneak peek of something big to come by giving a few customers access to banking services via SMS.
Year 2007 – Phones became more than just phones, but rather little banks. This was the year that Mpesa was introduced and caught on like wildfire. Also, we joined the blackberry big boys. Internet services also took a huge leap with the introduction of Kenya’s first ever 3G license.
Year 2008 – The famous and almost infamous Safaricom IPO concluded in June 2008 of this year. The Send Money Home ad for Mpesa also won Best Broadcast Commercial at the Global Mobile Awards.
Year 2009 – The lowest scratch cards namely Bamba 5 and Bamba 10 were launched, taking care of the masses mostly in the informal sectors. Safaricom reached 15 Million subscribers and also introduced Simu ya Solar.
Year 2010 – At 10 years old, Safaricom reported a Kshs.20.9 Billion profit. It took some … for many people to sink that.
Year 2011 – Niko na safaricom concerts started live countrywide. Who can forget Niko na safaricom?
Year 2012 – M-shwari was launched in partnership with CBA.
Year 2013 – Safaricom Jazz festival! This is the year that it was launched. This year it also became possible to sambaza data. The Safaricom Athletics Series also launched this year.
Year 2014 – Introduction of 4G. Also, the Safaricom corporate website was revamped and made accessible to the visually impared.
Year 2015 – 15th birthday which Safaricom celebrated through a series of thank you gestures – thanking customers for their role in the growth of the company. This year, a profit of Kshs.32b was announced.