I am sure we have all heard how France Telecom plans to dominate the East Africa region. They have bought and operate Orange brand in Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius and recently Ethiopia.
The desire to challenge MTN and Vodafone in the region is great but what surprises me is how hard it is to get a comment from anyone from France Telecom. No one seems to know how to get France Telecom representatives in the region.
Sample this; for the last three weeks, I have been trying to get anyone at France Telecom to comment on an article I want to do. At least I knew Ogilvy PR handles Telkom Kenya, so I thought if I asked for their help, they will lead me to the right person.
In response, the guys at Ogilvy said they are trying but till now, no response to my emails on whether you can get a France Telecom rep in the region. I was starting to wonder whether its that hard to get France Telecom.
Then I thought maybe the guy from Ogilvy doesn’t want to help me, after all, it is Telkom Kenya who are the clients and not France Telecom International, though I thought they are in the same extended family.
To cast the net wider, I contacted the corporate communications head at Telkom Kenya to see if I can get some help on that end, after much optimism, nothing has come out of it.
Now am left wondering; is it that France Telecom does not know that they can decline to comment, or is it that there are no France Telecom reps in the region, or maybe the company likely to operate in a ghostly manner.
Whatever it is, I think if France telecom is to challenge the domination of other bigger companies, they need to start acting like them, in response to the public, otherwise their silence does not smell like they are contenders.
I will still continue following up, will share more frustrations….and successes as they come along….