Safaricom Launches Dot Braille Watch for Visually Impaired Customers

Nairobi Securities Exchange Chief Executive Officer Mr. Jeff Odundo has sent the clearest signal yet, that leading retailer Tusker Mattresses may be considering a special listing at the bourse soon. Speaking, when he addressed Tusker Mattresses Staff and Suppliers at this year’s Tuskys Partners’ Dinner on Thursday night, Odundo described Tusker Mattresses, as a formidable organization that is ripe for future listing at the NSE in coming months. The retailer which operates Tuskys Supermarkets and Mavazi Lifestyle clothing stores in Kenya and Uganda, Odundo said, is currently under a listing incubation programme with NSE and stands a good chance at unlocking value and raising development funds through a listing programme. Such a programme, he explained could focus on an Employee Share Ownership Programme (ESOP) scheme for the benefit of Tusker Mattresses Staffers, suppliers and related stakeholders. “We are starting on a journey and we are encouraging staff and suppliers to buy into the scheme when it is set up,” Odundo said. The NSE, he confirmed has been enjoying a more than eight month working relationship with the Tusker Mattresses team led by Group CEO Dan Githua as part of the preparatory steps towards a potential listing. “We called into Tuskys a few months ago and we feel at home that this firm is almost ready to list at the NSE,” Odundo said, “adding that, as Tuskys employees, it is important to build a very good company that can help you unlock value when you come to the market.” During the event, Tusker Mattresses Group CEO Dan Githua confirmed the retailer is looking forward to doing great things in 2019. The firm, he said, is pursuing a corporate strategy guided by a clear vision to be the leading regional retailer. “At Tuskys, our DNA is founded on integrity and the Management team is spearheading efforts to inspire confidence and unlock value for all stakeholders,” Githua said. Leading suppliers to Tusker Mattresses such as Menengai Oil, Kenchic, Samsung Electronics East Africa and Coca-Cola scooped various performance excellence awards. Mombasa based Tuskys staffer, Kennedy Mkombola who is also the Tuskys Bandari Supermarket Branch manager led 12 staff members in picking various employee awards at the event.

Persons living with visual impairment and blindness can now access M-PESA messages independently in braille format and conduct financial transactions with confidentiality following the introduction of DOT Braille Watch, a partnership between Safaricom and DOT incorporation.

The Dot Braille Watch is an innovation that is an equivalent of a smart gear that displays SMS notifications in braille hence enabling a visually impaired person to read.

“We are committed to the empowerment of persons with disability by facilitating the availability and affordability of assistive devices and technologies in line with our mission to transform lives. This partnership with DOT incorporation will make life easier for our visually impaired and blind customers through innovation,” said Sitoyo Lopokoiyit, Chief Officer, Financial Services at Safaricom.

Safaricom has doubled its efforts in creating an enabling environment for the Blind and visually impaired, through call optimization where the special trained call agents can directly receive call queries from this group of people.

Last year, Safaricom introduced the Interactive Voice Response (IVR), an M-PESA solution that would enable the visually impaired and blind customers to be in control of their M-PESA transactions.


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