I remember Pauline, we used to call her Okuyu. Not because she was from the Kikuyu tribe- which she was, but because she had her hand on three or four businesses at a go.
Okuyu would not shy away from businesses that most people thought were undignified. Okuyu sold sox and panties in town, distributed hot lunches to offices, and the last time I saw her, she was delivering fruit salad to people in offices in the CBD. It’s this hustler nature that made us change her name to Okuyu.
One problem with Okuyu is that you could not easily reach her when you needed her. She changed phone numbers by the day. That is how I lost contact with this entrepreneurial iron lady, almost 7 years ago.
Many SME business people have more than 3 phones at a go. This is why Safaricom, the leading Teleco in Kenya, has unveiled a new product to fit SMEs. The innovative product Flex, gives customers the freedom to choose how they want to spend their airtime, be it on calls, SMS, or Data.
Currently across all telco providers, users purchase data, SMS and voice bundles in fixed packages. This may be cost effective in some way, but ends up being a waste to some resources. Let’s use Okuyu as an example, she would benefit from SMS bundles because she communicated with most clients via SMS. Her internet bundles would get wasted because she would never actively use the internet.
Upon signing up for the new service, customers will be able to convert their regular Safaricom airtime into ‘FLEX’ units, which will they will be able to use to gain 35 per cent savings on calls, SMS or data. The new offering will allow ‘FLEX’ customers to earn loyalty points every time they send above Shs 100 on M-PESA.
Flex is just as flexible as it’s name suggests. One can use the Flex Units purchased across the services- valid for voice, SMS and data- without restrictions.
Customers have three options when they sign up for FLEX – Daily FLEX for Sh99 offering 115 FLEX Units; Weekly FLEX for Sh599 offering 700 FLEX Units; and Monthly FLEX at Sh2,499 that is valid for 30 days and offers 3,100 FLEX Units. Customers can roll over any unused FLEX units by renewing their existing FLEX bundles before expiry.
Each FLEX unit is worth 3MB of data, or a 20 seconds call, or three SMS. Customers with an active FLEX plan will earn 3 free FLEX units every time they send money on M-PESA (except for transactions that are below Sh100).
This means, a purchase of one month (2499) flex package is equivalent to either, 9.3 GB of data, 17 hours talk time or 9300 SMS. The good thing is that if you end up not using one of the services, you don’t waste your resources. You distribute them to fit your business lifestyle.
‘Okuyu my friend, you don’t have to change your phone number all the time. I need to reach you’. If anyone knows where Okuyu is tell her that she can #GetMore with just one phone, the Flex way.
All Safaricom customers can access the FLEX proposition using the short code *100# for pre-paid customers and *200# for Postpaid customers or by visiting their nearest Safaricom outlet.