Faced with a prolonged civil war, the oil-dependent economy was brought down, forcing people to choose between buying mobile phones or consuming bread. Africa’s largest telecom operator, MTN group, with the turnover of R146 billion in 2015, has been challenged by the sinking economy in the world’s youngest country. MTN South Sudan with an approximate subscriber base of 1.2 million, however, resilient in its marks, invested a hefty amount of $170 million in the past two years in the hope to generate profits but in vain.
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MTN South Sudan took extreme measures to curtail costs by laying off staff, scaling down operations and putting an immediate stop to all growth plans. However, continued survival in these conditions depends upon becoming more cost-efficient. MTN management decided to tap into the full potential of the electronic channel and endorsed it as the primary channel of subscriber mobile recharge by curtailing distribution of scratch cards. The transition journey was not all steady and smooth in start as MTN South Sudan faced difficulties in strategy implementation, but they addressed those issues tactfully and almost doubled the number of active agents in just one month of transition.