3 Top Challenges for the AirtelTigo CEO


So the name is finally out. AirtelTigo has been adopted for the newly merged Ghanaian arms of the two (2) telecom giants.   It was fascinating to hear the CEO Roshi Motman introduce members of the team and spur on the team into the new ‘bigness’, ‘betterness’ and ‘strength’.

This is an entry into a chapter that is new and yet old.  For the new CEO it is on industry waters she has chartered before and is very familiar with, but an entity she is very new to.  This throws up a number of challenges to her. Among these are the following;

Merging the Cultures

Both Airtel and Tigo have functioned in their own cultures that have worked (or not worked) for them.  The leader has the task to understand a culture she has never been part of (Airtel), as well as her own that she may be familiar with.  She needs to do this to be able to get the best of both worlds.  The staff who are to reapply for (re)engagement would be a bit unnerving about the situation.  Even those who make it would need to be settled for a smooth take off. This is real test of leadership in how the management team and especially the CEO handles the merging of cultures to get one that drives optimum performance and win in the competition.

The Tigo/Airtel Marriage: Who Smiles?

Maintaining Leads in areas of Current Market Leadership

The merger places AirtelTigo in number 2 of voice subscriptions. The chart below details the positions:

The challenge for AirtelTigo leadership is to maintain the lead over Vodafone in areas where they are No. 2.  Sure the CEO has her strategies tight up and hope that it works well.

Reaching for the No 1 Spot

It may not be enough for AirtelTigo to continue to remain in No. 2 in areas they currently lead.  It would not suffice for business growth to only protect one’s turf but to move to gain more share.  Though that requires a tough stride, AirtelTigo would ride on the advantage of them being bigger, stronger and better than before.  If the cultures  merge right, one would expect the aggression of former Tigo and the innovation of former Airtel to propel them into good heights.  The new position they now occupy also entrusts them with the power to grab number No 1 spots in some of the service areas.  Of course competitors respond to moves by players, so one would expect MTN and Vodafone fiercely protecting their turf and even going for the jugular.  The good thing is that customers may benefit from the residual effects of the battle for supremacy.

Smart Leaders Focus on Execution First and Strategy Second

Congratulations to AirtelTigo and we wish them well.