Pause: Some entrepreneurial insights from Kwesé TV

__The power of research in business.

If you’ve been following the developments on Kwesé TV using the Kwesé App, you’ve no doubt noticed that we’ve dramatically increased the number of channels. Soon we’ll have more than 60 high-quality channels where you’ll be able to watch movies, series, news, dramas, documentaries, sports and more.

Customers will be able to be view most channels using a mobile phone, a tablet, a computer, and even a normal TV. (Due to rights agreements, some programs can only be aired on certain devices.)

__If you live in Zambia, Rwanda, and Ghana, you’ve probably noticed that we’re now advertising the launch this month of our traditional satellite TV service, using a Set Top Box. We plan to roll out in 18 countries by June, so don’t worry if you don’t live in those three countries.

As an astute entrepreneur, have you noticed that we have actually launched four distinct services since we began this venture? I’ll give a special prize to the first 10 people to give me a list of the four services available from Econet Media.

As an entrepreneur, I’ve always urged you to do market and product research. When I launched Kwesé TV, I promised to use it as a case study so you could see how we make decisions based on research.

We used research on customers and their needs to design both the product and how it’s delivered. This is extremely important in business. Here are a few examples of how our research shaped the Kwesé TV service:

# We learned that people don’t want their sports and entertainment linked only to a TV set. They want to be able to view while on the move! In Africa more people have access to a smartphone (200m) than a TV set (60m TVs) so we spent a lot of time and money developing a “mobile-centric” strategy.

During the month of March, you’ll see most elements of this strategy emerge. Study it carefully and see what principles might apply to your own business strategy.

# We also found that most people don’t want to pay for hundreds of channels, many of which are poor quality, and which they never watch. They prefer a “slim bouquet” of high quality content they want to see! This is actually a global trend.

We’ve limited the number of channels to about 60 for the time being. Our focus has been to try to get content which most competitors don’t have, on an exclusive basis. Where we have channels that others have, they have to be “must haves,” such as news channels.

# We found that people who buy a Set Top Box and satellite dish feel penalized by the fact that, if they run out of money, they have no access to any content. We addressed this problem in two unique ways:

1. Our Set Top Box will always show our Kwesé Free Sports Channel, which has premium and exclusive content such as English Premier League and NBA basketball.
2. We’ll allow the customer also to access one local free-to-air national channel through the Set Top Box, even when they have no access to the Pay Channels.

# Our research showed that the payment method of a monthly subscription is too heavy for some people. They really want flexibility. I’ll be able to tell you more about our mobile pricing soon. Right now I can reveal that for those who have a Set Top Box and dish, they have the option of three payment packages: 3-day window, 7-day window and 30-day monthly subscription.

# Our research found that customers were often made to invest in a service without any knowledge about what content is on offer. The Kwesé App (which can be downloaded for free) is a “shopping window” of all our content… channels already available and all the exciting ones coming soon.

# Last but not least: Our research confirmed something we all know… that 60% of Africans are under the age of 30, with the mean-age only 19 years of age! Africa is a continent of “millennials.” This means, for one thing: they want to see and interact with a product or service through the Internet and social media.

What do YOU see as an entrepreneur? At Kwesé, we’re seeing beyond TV.

Next week, I’ll talk about Kwesé, Inc., our channel set up specifically for entrepreneurs!

Very soon we’ll also launch the Kwesé competition that I promised, to find two people who will intern with us for two weeks.

Stay tuned.

To be continued. . .

37 thoughts on “Pause: Some entrepreneurial insights from Kwesé TV

  1. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 1.
    I will ask our people to install a free satellite dish in the home of the first 10 people who give me the list of four services launched to date by Kwesé. If you win, but live outside Africa (or the countries where we will launch) we’ll send you an iPad. Please state your country, when answering this quiz.

    Reply
  2. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Afterthought 2. We’ve set up three websites and are constantly upgrading and improving them. On Monday, we’ll unveil the latest versions of these three sites: Kwese.com, Kwesesports.com, KweseFied.com. I’ll talk about them in more detail as part of a post on digital business strategies.

    Reply
  3. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Smart asks,

    I have a question, will we be able to access much kwese content on smartphone without the need for TV sets in Zambia?

    My reply,
    The simple answer is: YES!
    You can watch most of your favorite shows using your mobile phone. Just make sure you use a data network that is not too expensive. The best is to use a WIFI Hotspot.

    Reply
    • Eric

      Hello Dr. I would like to inquire on how I can access your blog through mail. the RSS field indicated doesn’t seem to lead to the right place. thank you.

      Reply
  4. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Douglas, says:

    Mr Masiyiwa, as a young entrepreneur in Botswana I would love to start a television station which now is still on the infant stages. I would love to be mentored into bring it to a full African Televisiin with high screen quality. Please contact me as I would like to ask you a few questions: dmanyeneng10@gmail.com

    My reply,
    Botswana is one of the countries that has liberalized its broadcasting. It is so easy to get a license.
    I encourage you to develop your business plan first. Try and come up with something that is completely different, or to introduce special content because the competition is going to be very hot.
    Kwese TV has already been fully licensed in Botswana. We have installed all the equipment, and we have it on the schedule for March.

    Reply
  5. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Lapresa, writes:

    Am in Bungoma,Kenya and this man is very educative and inspiring. Have been following him for now 14months and and having alot of developmnt in my life.

    My reply,
    #Appreciated.
    I hope you will also watch Kwese Inc.

    Reply
  6. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Akin, writes:

    Super interested in Kwese Inc. That was actually my first thought as I started reading this piece. I hope am not being too forward but Kwese Inc may well become the Forbes/ Quest means business of the digital age as it tells the story of amazing african entrepreneurs

    My reply,
    I had to check to see if you are not on staff!
    Hahaha!
    Anyway, you are right.
    I want to go much further than that. I want it to help those who have businesses to take their businesses to the next level.

    Reply
  7. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Phiwa, writes:

    Hello Mr Masiyiwa, I live in Swaziland & I don’t hear or see anything about Kwese TV. Is it because of our population?

    My reply,
    Our teams have made several visits to Swaziland already. It is definitely on the schedule of countries that are set to go live very soon.

    Reply
  8. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Manzi, writes:
    Sir I watched a few of the TV series called “The profit” you suggested we watch as entrepreneurs. Its officially one of my favorite shows. It has alot of information and knowledge. Marc lemonis is interested in 3 things. Product, people process. Again sir. How can one be a partner and help distribute your set Top boxes.

    My reply,
    From next week that show is now available on Kwese Tv. We have the exclusive right to show all the episodes on Kwese Tv.
    We have added similar shows from other parts of the world. Our plan is to create similar programming from the African continent. I want to make some of you “stars” on that Kwese Inc.

    Reply
  9. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Victor, writes:

    Thanks as always, Dr Masiyiwa. I have learnt a lot from Kwese TV’s research based decisions. But my concern about Africa when it comes to market research is that statistical data are hard to come by. I run an on demand service platform for artisans/technicians called artisanoga.com, but it has been very difficult for me to find statistical figures about how much the artisan economy is worth in Africa. In the world, it’s a $34 billion a year industry but the statistics have been very vague when it comes to Africa or Nigerian where we are currently operating. How can a young entrepreneur in Africa carry out a robust and cost effective market research?

    My reply,
    I agree with you that getting information for market research purposes in Africa (particularly outside SA), is very difficult. However it is improving rapidly. Some of our entrepreneurs can solve this problem, and I call on them to do so! It’s a wonderful business opportunity.

    Reply
  10. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Motsoene, writes:

    From those 18 lucky countries don’t forget the country which start with Econet Communications from the humble beginnings, the country that supported Mobile EEZI-CELL to ground firmly and later gave birth to the ECONET Inc. , The Kingdom of Lesotho, where it all started.

    My reply,
    I was very excited when the Lesotho government gave us all clearances last week!
    You know I love Lesotho, and I always make sure it is part of my plans.
    I can confirm that it is on the schedule of countries that are set to go live in the next three months. Meanwhile use the Kwese App to access some of the shows.

    Reply
  11. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Gilbert Munditi, writes:

    Dr Masiyiwa, am Zimbabwean and my heart bleeds when I see what other nations are benefiting from you always. I am not saying they shouldn’t, but I am bemoaning our policies which are counter development, which have robbed an entire generation of the economic benefits and entertainment resulting from the wisdom of their kith and kin. “Woe to them who stifle their people”, (Captain Thomas Sankara). One day we shall benefit because God is faithful. Love you lots

    My reply,
    We really wanted Zimbabwe to be on the launch schedule for next week. More resources have been expended to getting the approvals in Zimbabwe than in all the countries put together!
    I remain hopeful that one day the approvals will be granted. As soon as that happens we will get Zimbabwe up and running within a matter of weeks, and we will create thousands of jobs.
    #Sad.

    Reply
  12. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Joseph, writes:

    I managed to locate your people in Lusaka Zambia. I Am interested in being an agent for your product. That is retailing of the decoders and subscription. I think it’s a great idea and will do very well in Zambia. Zambians love EPL but at a lower price. I have been dealing with StarTimes and it has struggled a bit due to lack of EPL. So I don’t want to miss out on this great opportunity.

    My reply,
    Thanks Joseph for your kind comments.
    English Premier League is available on a channel called Kwese Free Sport (KFS). This channel does not even need a decoder, as it also broadcasts for free. I understand that engineers are in Zambia for the launch of KFS, which will come after Kwese Tv, perhaps in a week or so.
    Kwese App, also provides access to club channels such as Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool and Spurs. There are more to come.

    Reply
  13. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    L Trent, writes:

    Dr Strive, as a content producer in South Africa, my question is, what is Kwesé TV doing for children? I have noted that children’s television is horrendously neglected in the South African market. Especially children’s content that focus on holistic development of children from foundation phase development through to entrepreneurial development at the young ages of 6 and above?

    My reply,
    If you go to the Kwese App, you will be able to see and sample the channels that Kwese Tv has for children:
    We have our own channel called Kwese Kids, which has content that we acquire from around the world, and Africa. Once Kwese settles down, I suggest you approach them, there in SA, and pitch your ideas.
    We also have a number of Third Party channels (many of them being seen in Africa for the first time). These include channels aimed at infants, school going children of all ages, and teenagers.

    Reply
  14. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Taffi, writes:

    The next logical step in all of this should be the acquisition of a premiership football team. Think profile, instant global recognition, quality asset, bold statement.

    My reply,
    If an African acquires an English Premier League team, I will applaud him or her. However, if African entrepreneurs who are interested in sport (as a business) begin to invest in African teams, I will put on my dancing shoes, and dance like I was 18 years old!
    There is a lot that has to happen in the way African sports administrators run their sports, if they are to attract serious investment into the clubs. Simply acquiring rights to broadcast African soccer is so frustrating. English soccer clubs get billions a year from Tv broadcasting, that is why they look so attractive. Our teams would be just as attractive if they were able to attract investment.
    There is no need for all the pathetic begging that goes on when national teams have to play, if they were willing to properly engage broadcasters like Kwese Sports.

    Reply
  15. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Dudley, writes:

    My question, will there be an option to select which channels i want to subscribe to? The same way i can choose the subscription period, i would also like to choose which channels i can have accessible on my account.

    My reply,
    I find the idea of allowing a customer to pay for a specific channel quite intriguing. We actually looked into it. The owners of the content are not yet willing to embrace this concept, particularly in Africa. There are also some business considerations which would result in loses for the business, if one tried to implement it.

    Reply
    • Fungai K Moneo

      In Prying we get approval soon not later in Zim. I feel the frustration of trying to archive something back home before making it global…inspired to be Future minister of i.c.t were we get things done to for the people.

      Reply
  16. Ayuk Armslem

    four distinct services since Kwese inc was announced in December 2015 through Mr. Strive’s Blog.

    Kwese TV: Providing high quality and unique content using both traditional pay TV and live streaming on mobile, tablet and computers.

    Kwese Sports: Free live streaming and sports news online

    Kwese free sports: Free sports channels on TV

    Kwesefied: Promoting entrepreneurs in Africa by telling their stories, sort of like Kwese’s magazine

    Reply
  17. Kevin

    Four Services Launched by Kwese to date are.

    1.Catch-up services with Quadrille
    2.Pay television sport service
    3.Pay-as-you-watch service
    4.Free Sport on TV

    Reply
  18. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    I just saw the line up of Kwese Tv channels at Kwese head office in Joburg yesterday, for the first time. I was pretty impressed. There is content for everybody. I love the kids channels in particular, and my Kwese Inc!
    Well done to the Kwese Team which now numbers over 500 people.
    #God bless you all!

    Reply
  19. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    Although we have launched Kwese TV (satellite channels) in 3 x countries. We will be rolling out another 15 x countries over the next 3 months.
    Kwese Free Sports Channel is a separate business, and it is already available directly, and indirectly in 20 countries. It does not use satellites or decoders, and broadcasts freely, just tune your set, if you are in one of those countries (check its website).

    Reply
  20. Bethelhem

    Dear Strive ,it is late to say but Happy Birthday and Let God continue to bless you.
    I have read your post about your June plan to 18 Countries …. For K’Wese TV will Ethiopia be one of the 18 ?if so can you consider us to have part on the job???

    Hope to hear from you

    Reply
  21. Aladelo Seun

    Hello sir, Just wanted to say how happy I am about the path kwese is taking and I’ll really love to work with your brand someday. We Basketball fans in Nigeria are loving it. Hope NBA TV would also be on the decoder when it launches in Nigeria. Thanks….. Aladelo Seun

    Reply
  22. Strive Masiyiwa Post author

    The response to my little competition was really good, and lots of correct answers. We are sifting through them, but I have already decided to increase the number of winners to 25.
    We will announce it in my next post, probably later on today.

    Reply
  23. David Mureithi

    Hallo Strive.I am a great follower of your posts.I can say from deep inside you really inspire me greatly.I am an aspiring entreprenuer and i have a dream to become one of the greatest entreprenuers of the century.This dream is beginning to manifest itself.I have created a great business model and now i am working on getting the seed capital.God has been guiding me through and i can proudly proclaim of his great plan for me.I feel my purpose is to become a great entreprenuer and help impact this continent and world positively.

    Reply
  24. TICH

    SIR
    Its a privilege to come to know about Kwese Tv ,actually its my first day to know about it … my Name is Tich and i am a Pastor in South Africa but im from Zimbabwe and i travel around southern africa preaching espesially in Zimbabwe, but my heart beats for the whole of Africa there is an iniatitive i recently started called CHRISTIAN businessmen fellowship Africa where wouldCHRISTIAN BUSINESSMEN FELLOWSHIP
    (KINGDOM FINANCIERS)
    TO BRING TOGETHER AND RAISE CHRISTIAN BUSINESSMEN/WOMEN WITH THE EYES OF GOD
    MEN AND WOMEN OF INTERGRITY
    MEN AND WOMEN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
    MEN AND WOMEN OF GREAT:
    FAITH
    BOLDNESS
    LOVE
    COMPASSION
    PEACE
    JOY
    EXPLOITS

    MISSION
    AS MENTIONED IN OUR VISION THAT WE TO BRING TOGETHER AND RAISE CHRISTIAN BUSINESSMEN/WOMEN WITH THE EYES OF GOD,WE BELIEVE THAT AS GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGGOTTEN SON THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM SHALL NOT PERISH BUT HAVE AN EVERLASTING LIFE SO WE ARE CREATING A PLATFORM OF MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE DEDICATED AT SEEING AND DOING THINGS AS GOD THE FATHER OF OUR SAVIOUR LORD SEES AND DOES THEM.
    WE ARE DEDICATED TO OPENING THE EYES OF BOTH CURRENT AND ASPIRING BUSINESS PEOPLE THAT BEING A CHRISTIAN AND IN BUSINESS IS NOT ALL ABOUT MIDAS TOUCH BUT, THEY HAVE BEEN MADE CUSTODIANS OF GOD’S WEALTH THEY HAVE BEEN MADE CHANNELS OF BLESSING OR RATHER KINGDOM FINANCIERS SO AS SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN FOLLOWING YOU FOR FEW MONTHS I HAVE BEEN GREATLY INSPIRED AND IMPACTED ESPECIALLY WITH THE PROGRAMS LIKE THE HIGHER LIFE FOUNDATION….. MY HEART’S DESIRE IS TO MEET WITH YOU ONE DAY .

    MY REQUEST IS I WANT TO KNOW HOW ONE CAN MEET YOU AND IF I WANT YOU TO COME AND SPEAK AT ONE OF OUR (CHRISTIAN BUSINESSMEN FELLOWSHIP) MEETINGS HW DO WE GET TO FIND YOU (pardon my english construction)

    ALSO I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW HOW AS CHURCHES WE CAN BE ABLE TO BROADCAST ON KWESE TV
    THANK YOU SO MUCH SIR FOR GIVING AFRICA A CHANCE
    YOURS FAITHFULLY
    Pastor Tich Chimombe
    https://www.facebook.com/Christian-Businessmen-Fellowship-Africa-168518380293871/

    Reply
  25. Eric

    I’ve just a check box on this very comments page. I’ll post again to check it. Thank you so much for inspiring and I’m from Uganda.

    Reply
  26. Thembekile

    The 4 services launched
    1. KFS free to air
    2. Kwese TV
    3. Kwese Sport( AFCON5 Football Fantacy League)
    4. Kwese Entertainment

    Reply
  27. david chilekwa kaimba

    Hi, Mr. strive masiyiwa,
    i would love to know much on how i myself as a SALESNITE/ technite
    needs to work, there are things like sailing the Kwese tv decoders..
    what are the knowledgeable tactics do i need on how to gain much customers??
    thank you….zambia

    Reply

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