By Prince Osuagwu& Laide Akinboade
Zain Nigeria finally and formally changed its brand identity to Airtel. This was after concluding a $10.7 billion transaction in June this year, which gave Indian Bharti Airtel the Zain Group’s Celtel Africa Unit.
The name change, which happened Friday across the country changes the African footprints of Zain to now AirTel . The name change brings to sixth the number of times the company would have to change identity since 2001 it started operations in Nigeria .
In a colourful celebration to herald the new name in Abuja yesterday, Chairman of the company, Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal promised that the company has come to stay.
He also promised that the company would bring innovations that would not allow it dissolve into another company just like the company has done i9n the past.
According to him, “Bharti began its African journey by promising to deliver world class and affordable mobile services to customers and delighting them with innovative products.
I believe we are taking a major step towards delivering on this by introducing the heart of our business the Airtel brand across our operations in Africa .
“our African customers would not be able to enjoy the same best in class brand experience as our cuistromers across India , Sri_Lanka and Bangladesh . We remain committed to taking our network deeper into Africa by ensuring our services touch the common man and bridge the digital devide in the continent”
He expressed confidence that in the coming years Airtel will win the heart of customers across Africa and emerge as one of the most admired brands in the continent.
Meanwhile, the special guest at the occasion, President Goodluck Jonathan who was represented by the Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili tasked the new company to imbibe good business ethics, promising that his government would give it every support, especially as it has committed to making telephony available and affordable to the rual communities.
Akunyili also on her own capacity as the Minister of Information tasked the new company to see that more Nigerians rose to the top of the company even as she urged it to make more investments in the country.