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Client Stories

Guiding Cell C to a Stronger Strategic Position

Comprehensive program to define and execute Cell C’s corporate strategy and vision.

“ Cell C has made tremendous progress over the past 18 months and Capgemini have been true partners in helping us on this journey. ”Jeffrey Hedberg, Chief Executive Officer, Cell C

The Situation

With over 4.8 million mobile subscribers, Cell C is South Africa’s third-largest cellular service provider.

Launched in 2001, Cell C witnessed rapid success during the initial years, but gradually began to struggle with changing market dynamics and stiff competitive pressures leading to:

  • slowing subscriber growth
  • high customer churn
  • escalating costs  with little scale advantages
  • lack of clear focus.

The result, an inadequate growth trajectory, was against a backdrop of substantially bigger competitors with deep pockets. Cell C needed a fast turnaround to pull its business back to stability, and then move towards profitability and growth in line with shareholder expectations.

The Solution

Cell C looked to Capgemini’s Telecom Media and Entertainment practice to help them diagnose the problem and formulate a solution.

Led by Capgemini, a joint team of consultants and Cell C team members worked diligently to assess the market prospects and strategic options for Cell C. Working closely with the Cell C Management Team/Executive Committee, the team devised an inspiring vision and a 5-year corporate strategy to put the company back on the path to profitability and growth. The key elements of the strategy were to:

  • focus on operational efficiency for increased service levels and margins
  • exploit increased efficiency to offer best value for money services
  • aggressively increase market penetration via new pricing
  • complement own customer base with targeted Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs) to penetrate hard-to-reach segments.

The Result

The implementation of the strategy has resulted in significant EBITDA and cash flow improvement without workforce reduction. Positive signs are evident throughout the business, signaling success:

  • strategy execution is being driven by the CEO supported by a fully committed executive team
  • company-wide clarity on the strategic direction enabling focus
  • step-change  improvement in customer experience
  • improved IT and network operations ensuring service quality. 

“ Beyond their solid Telco insights, the Capgemini’s collaborative approach has ensured that ideas have been transferred from paper to actions, and ultimately, to results. ”Harri Rauhala, Chief Strategy Officer, Cell C