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MOZAMBIQUE - Telecoms & IT

Agnelo Laice

Managing Director, MultiChoice

Bio

Agnelo Laice is the Managing Director of MultiChoice.

"Mozambique is one of the countries where, fortunately for us, television still lies at the core of family entertainment. The sector is growing rapidly."

Agnelo Laice, Managing Director of MultiChoice, talks to TBY about operations in Mozambique, the local entertainment industry, and plans for the year ahead.

Can you provide an overview of MultiChoice’s presence and operations in Mozambique’s media and entertainment industry?

The MultiChoice group has been present in Mozambique for 29 years now, and we were the pioneers in video entertainment and satellite TV in Mozambique. Our story in Mozambique is heavily rooted in the development of local community. We are also pleased by the fact that we are the market leaders in Mozambique, demonstrating the trust that clients place in our ability to deliver the best, not only in terms of local content but also the delivery method to our clients. We operate using two of our main brands: DStv, which is a more premium brand; and GOtv, which is more mass market. DStv has been in the market for 29 years, while GOtv has been in the market for nine years now.

What innovations has the company introduced in Mozambique’s entertainment industry?

We are extremely proud of being an innovative company. Innovation is truly at the core of our DNA as a business, and we have been leading the industry in Mozambique in that sense. We were the first video entertainment subscription type of business on television. In Mozambique, we were the first company to launch a dual view PVR decoder. We were also the first to launch DTT, the terrestrial satellite television in Mozambique, through our GOtv brand for the mass market segment. Recently, we launched a decoder that we called 3-in-1 for customers to watch three different types of content in the same house. We also follow market trends, such as offering more services and making it much easier for clients to watch our content, not only through linear TV, but through other digital platforms as well. MultiChoice recently launched value-added service, which we call DStv Stream. It essentially offers clients the ability to watch our content on cellphones or smart TVs, among many other innovations that we have launched in the market. We are clearly transforming our business as part of our strategy to become a platform enabler and not a traditional content provider. There have been interesting developments, not only in Mozambique, but at group level, which includes investments in a fintech business called Moment that aims to build a domestic and global payment platform in Africa. And along the same lines, we also relaunched Showmax, our streaming platform that is fairly popular in Africa. Our aim is to transform the streaming game in Africa and be the number-one streamer on the continent. We relaunched the platform in partnership with leading partners globally, including Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Peacock, which is NBC’s streaming platform.

How does MultiChoice contribute to the local economy, both in terms of employment generation and economic impact?

MultiChoice is one of the largest companies operating in Mozambique, with 168 full-time employees as well as almost double that number of outsourced employees; however, more than the number of direct employees, the economic linkages of our company to our system and economy are invaluable. We have more than 700 agents spread nationwide, and each of them employs between two to five people. For most of those agents, our business is their main income source. In addition to those agents, we also have some 550 certified installers. We have the ability to reach different geographical areas of Mozambique. As a company, MultiChoice has a direct economic impact on the country’s GDP, and we are by far one of the largest tax contributors to this country. We are extremely proud of our role in developing the local community.

What are the current trends and challenges facing the media entertainment sector in the country?

Mozambique is one of the countries where, fortunately for us, television still lies at the core of family entertainment. The sector is growing rapidly. TV penetration in relation to the GDP per capita of Mozambique is comparable to the benchmark in Africa. The subscription TV segment in Mozambique is perhaps one of the most competitive on the entire continent. Opportunities abound, because the country is rapidly growing in terms of its population. The market is growing, and we are proud to be at the core of innovation and contributing to market growth.

How does MultiChoice engage with the local communities and contribute to social development initiatives?

MultiChoice is perhaps one of the largest investors in the creative industry in Mozambique. In 2022, we launched the first dedicated local content entertainment TV channel in the country the first of its kind. We have a number of free-to-air channels in Mozambique, though they are more generic. Our new channel, called Maningue Magic, is a dedicated entertainment channel that screens locally produced novellas, soaps, local series, and more. By doing so, we are actively encouraging the ecosystem within the creative industry that supplies us with the content. Over and above, we have a social responsibility program called the MultiChoice Talent Factory where we select students, not only from Mozambique, but also in the other countries where we operate, to attend courses. Every year, we select two Mozambican students to participate in courses that are fully paid for by the company. At the end of the courses, some of the more experienced students went on to start their own business.

What are your plans for the coming year?

We aim to consolidate our position as the leading brand and player in our country. The core of our goal is to continue improving our value proposition and put the customers at the center of everything we do. We plan to continue investing into reinforcing the content we offer to our clients, including but not limited to local content. We will also continue investing on digital channels and diversify our revenue streams, in line with our Group strategy. We expect to continue consolidating our growth as we have been doing in previous years.

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