South Africa-based digital communications entrepreneur and award winning economist, Mr Collet Ndlovu, is planning to launch a new data and related mobile service business in Bulawayo under the trade name, “NdlovuData”.
In a brief about the new enterprise, he said, NdlovuData seeks to provide data and related mobile communication capabilities at highly affordable rates that do not overburden local consumers that are already suffering from high levels of unemployment.
“Premised on its theme of creative restoration, NdlovuData seeks to restore confidence and trust in the telecoms products by bringing affordability and ease of communication through innovation rather than disruption,” said Mr Ndlovu, a former central banker.
He believes the proposed investment, whose value could not be immediately given, buttresses the Government’s devolution mantra that each province must have its own economy.
As such, Mr Ndlovu said he has identified affordable data service provision as a key driver to assist the devolution mantra through easing intra and interprovincial communication.
“NdlovuData seeks to challenge the long standing orthodoxy in the globalisation of technologies that rides on the Schumpeterian mantra of creative destruction.
“While the current conventional wisdom is underpinned by former Harvard University’s Professor Joseph Schumpeter’s “creative destruction”, that is to say, destroying existing ineffective and obsolete technologies and replacing them with newer and more robust ones, NdlovuData seeks to work with the existing ones and restore confidence in them through its own innovative creativity,” he said.
Mr Ndlovu said his dream is global in outlook and would particularly use Zimbabwe as the regional launch pad and seek to forge strategic partnerships across the continent.
For him the primary target market for the innovative service is the rural areas and those places that are poorly serviced by existing operators.
“NdlovuData believes that if such communities are equipped with data services and brought to par with their urban peers, then development and in particular globalisation will not by-pass these communities. The days of rural communities being reduced to footnotes and decimals in the globalisation algorithm are gone,” Mr Ndlovu said.
At the core of the service will be affordable data, free calls for NdlovuData to NdlovuData calls, which will be a huge value add for poor rural communities who cannot afford exorbitant telecoms costs.
“The data bundles for NdlovuData do not expire, no roaming charges for those travelling abroad or throughout Africa. The NdlovuData sim also works globally.
“Therefore, its subscribers do not need to change sim-cards when travelling abroad. In summary what NdlovuData is doing is bringing the benefits enjoyed by consumers in first world countries to the rural communities of Africa, thereby putting villagers in the cutting edge of the globalisation of technology,” said Mr Ndlovu.
“Data services has been identified as a key human right issue going forward, hence denial of affordable data services to poor communities is a transgression of human rights.”
Mr Ndlovu said his business has already partially launched in South Africa in line with that country’s fourth industrial revolution and that his choice for Bulawayo was a way of contributing to the city’s re-industrialisation.
“Jobs for the youth will be created and the target is the huge army of unemployed but highly educated graduates who bless the streets of Zimbabwe’s cities,” he said.
“The youth in the rural areas will be given top priority when it comes to job opportunities. The whole of Africa, with the exception of South African operations, will be centred in Bulawayo. Our role as NdlovuData is to complement than compete with existing service providers.”