If you look at the financial data coming out of the home of Y’ello, you may not believe that MTN Nigeria is operating in Nigeria. Yes, despite the paralyses in Nigeria, MTN has found a way to keep capturing value. I mean, this company is now at its own level: no one comes close.
MTN has posted revenue of N385.3 billion for Q1 2021, representing a 17% increase from the N329.1 billion reported in Q1 2020. The biggest line is this: “Digital revenue grew by 101.0% and fintech revenue by 28.5% as customers continued to adopt more digital products and services, a trend accelerated by the pandemic. As of the end of March 2021, we had 449,100 registered MoMo agents and 4.6 million fintech customers.” Simply, MTN MoMo would have been one of the largest fintech companies in Nigeria if it was not within the MTN Group!
MTN reported an 8% growth in Voice related revenue topping N208 billion for the period under review. Data revenue continued to lead revenue growth printing at N105.7 billion, a 42.6% growth year on year, showing heavy reliance on data by MTN’s 61.5 million internet subscribers, the highest in the country.
MTN commands the market share for internet subscriptions owning about 42% of the market. MTN also controls 40% of the Voice market share, the highest compared to any other competitor.
What is the lesson? The empires of the future would be built on demand and companies which control demand will capture the most value. MTN has millions of customers, and anything it launches begins with millions of users on day 1. With that in a world where supply is unbounded and unconstrained, MTN becomes dominant since the demand is already in-house.
This is the video on the Airbnb piece: If you want to win in the 21st century digital economy, you must control or influence demand, not supply. In the industrial age economy, power went to gatekeepers of supply. Today, the empire builders are those that control demand. This is possible because digital supply is unbounded and unconstrained, making it largely not a factor. Digital utilities like Google, Facebook, and Airbnb which control demand become the new gatekeepers.
Invest to control demand if you want to thrive in the 21st century.
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