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Fouad Chalabi: The man who once controlled 65% of MTN Ghana Revenue Legally

Fouad Chalabi: The man who once controlled 65% of MTN Ghana Revenue Legally

Part 1. “You think you are smart? Go ahead”

Fouad knew he was a foreigner and had to adjust to the culture and nature of his new home. The company he worked for was working with global standards and templates and because they were making “good money” nobody saw a need to question the status quo, except Fouad.

Mr Chalabi allows himself to be led by his curiosity.

When he sees something that, to him, doesn’t make sense, seems unaligned, or inconvenient, he feels compelled to find out the why so he can invent the how and monetize the what. What is the problem?

In 2005 he noticed:

→ The point of prepaid credit is to recharge as and when.
→ Sales should be quite steady throughout any month.
→ Ghanaians have a peculiar purchasing cycle where customers mostly top-up at the end of the month when they get paid.
→ That’s when they pay rent, fill their petrol tank, and pay major bills.
→ Therefore, buying credit is considered a major expense at the current price.
→ Everything in the market that continually sells is in very small affordable volumes.
→ Unlike anywhere else, Ghanaians prefer products in bite-size daily doses.
→ The (then) current cost of the plastic recharge cards makes reducing the denominations impractical.
→ It should be possible to transfer a digital product between digital devices at minimal expense.

These are some of the thoughts that Fouad was trying to reconcile until he chanced on an obscure service.

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