MTN CMO Somdev Sen, Enlightens How The Telco is Engaging The Youth

Somdev Sen, MTN Uganda’s Chief Marketing Officer. (FILE PHOTO) Somdev Sen, MTN Uganda’s Chief Marketing Officer. (FILE PHOTO)
<center>Somdev Sen, MTN Uganda’s Chief Marketing Officer. (FILE PHOTO)</center>

It is often said that the youths are the Vanguards of the Future. This inevitably presupposes that there is an immense need to guide, empower and prepare them for the imminent future. As a company that envisions delivering the benefits of a modern connected world, MTN has taken a strong position on harnessing the infinite power held by the youth to make this vision a reality not only for the leaders of today but also for the leaders of tomorrow.

Mr. Somdev Sen, Chief Marketing Officer at MTN Uganda, enlightens how the telco is engaging the youth.

What does Uganda having such a young population mean to MTN?
A young population presents massive opportunities for both the youth and the MTN brand. At MTN, we believe that everyone deserves the benefits of a modern connected world, so for the brand, a youthful population presents the opportunity to deliver that expectation through connectivity and digital innovations.


The youth are early adopters especially of technology, this means that with a youthful population there is a higher demand for better technology that enables both utility and business aspirations. And to the youth, MTN presents an always-ready partner for skills, innovations, and employment for a vibrant generation of young and ambitious minds.

What do you think are the expectations of the youth from MTN? 
They expect an agile and innovative brand that is fast to address the unique needs of young people and willing to partner with them in understanding before innovating solutions that address their ever-evolving aspirations. The youth expect MTN to partner and empower them with platforms that allow them to express their views, connect them to their friends, be their best pastime yet help them harness their skills, empower them to build their future.

However, most of all they want us to provide all of this in the most affordable way.

How is MTN strategizing to meet the expectations of the youth in Uganda?
MTN understands that the youth are unique in their aspirations and expressions, that is why the company launched the MTN Pulse brand that addresses the youth differently from how other audiences are reached. The Pulse brand derives insight from how the youth live their lives and how they express and present themselves. At its core, MTN Pulse is a brand platform that empowers the youth to discover, pursue and realize their unique power while preparing them for a bright future.

What are some of the salient features of the MTN Pulse brand that make it so popular within the youth segment?
MTN Pulse as a brand is bright, vibrant, and aspirational for youthful Ugandans. It reflects the ever-changing lifestyle of today’s youth. Pulse is not just about affordable tariffs but more about building a fun-filled and youthful lifestyle where the phone is beyond just making calls or using social media. The Pulse app, which is at the heart of the Pulse experience, is a unique experience that allows our young pulsers to interact with us constantly.

Recently through the Cr8YoBundle offer, we have gone to the extent of providing our youth or Pulsers as we refer to them, the ability to choose what they want and not be prescribed what they need. Isn’t that what our young hearts had always been looking for?

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Apart from Pulse, What other activities is MTN currently undertaking to support the youth?
Though the momentum has been disrupted by Covid-19, MTN has and will continue to run programs that allow the brand to engage with Pulsers. These include lifestyle sponsorships like the Buzz Teenies Awards, Pulse Rap Battles or the Hip Hop Awards, career development programs like the Career Fairs in schools, or the Open API tech skills programs offering young people opportunities in the digital sector.

The youth are known to be early adopters of technology. How is MTN supporting the youth to ensure that they get access to digital platforms that help them to learn grow and emerge successfully?
Well, to us the importance of the role the youth is going to play in Uganda’s future is much beyond just products and services. In fact, we are constantly shaping our own future strategies to clearly fit into their shoes. Yes, today’s youth are significantly smarter than what we were at their age and they are far more tech-savvy than we will ever be. And that is why MTN is fast adapting to their new needs.

Starting from our Pulse brand, we have been aggressively investing our time and effort in building digital platforms like Ayoba, a meeting place for our youth that is beyond just a messenger service. We are focused on creating amazing platforms of youth infotainment like Tidal, GoGames, Kibanda Xpress. Last but not the least, our mobile money-based Open API platform is paving way for our youth to develop their entrepreneurial aspirations the digital way.

As the CMO of MTN Uganda What is your message to the youth of this country?
I encourage the youth to dream big and live their lives to the fullest, however, I would also want them to remember that success is but just an output of the hustle that one is ready to put in today and there is no shortcut to it.

As an MTN brand, we recognize the energy of our youth and we’ll continue to innovate and partner with them in their respective hustles to unleash opportunities that can be harnessed into a successful future. When this effervescing spirit of the young is backed by a fast-evolving brand called MTN, I can assure you that We are and we will be Good Together.