Competitive strategies adopted to drive performance by firms in the telecommunications industry in Kenya
Competition is the main driving force leading managers to search for areas of competitive advantage that leads to greater financial success. For companies to survive in the market from challenges like, volatile customer demands, technological changes and globalization they need to continuously assess the environment, trace the root of competition and adopt strategies that earned them a competitive advantage over the rivals. This study sought to determine the competitive strategies adopted to drive performance by firms in the telecommunication industry in Kenya. The data was collected from the nine firms in Kenya namely Safaricom Ltd, Airtel Kenya, Telkom Kenya, Jamii Telkom, Access Kenya, Liquid Telkom, Internet Solution, MTN Business and Wananchi Group. The respondents were one top manager from each of the firms using non-probability sampling technique. Data was collected using questionnaires and analyzed through descriptive statistics on quantitative data and content analysis on qualitative data. This study established the root of competition and how strategies like cost leadership; differentiation strategy and focus strategy are used to gain competitive advantage. The study concludes that the firms in the telecommunication sector adopt various strategies including: differentiation, cost leadership and focus so as to acquire and maintain sustainable competitive advantage. The study further concludes that the cost strategy was visible in the organizations and they kept on changing this strategy when it was no longer successful. The organizations need to continue innovating products which would compete with other companies’ products and at the same time they should do aggressive marketing in order to change the perception of customers regarding the pricing of their products. The study recommends that although the organizations are market leaders they should consider other competitors prices as the customers are conscious about the lowest rates they are offered and not necessarily the value. These would ensure that the organization maintains their market share which is under threat from other competitors.