The Nigerian behind Ivymobile UK
Updated: Sep 2, 2019
Booking an appointment to meet with the managing director of Ivymobile UK was as expected from a UK based business man, however, somewhere in my head, I still had the reservation, that I might be in for a 'cat and mouse game' as it obtains in Nigeria, a long wait ahead probably awaits me .
To my surprise, I was received in a rather informal manner, that I had to put my face to my hand as I turned up to the meeting not only late but over dressed in my "best" suit, all just to give an impression that I am smart, fashionable and well educated. All these do not seem to catch Ayo Samuel's attention, he insisted I call him 'Ayo' and that I should drop the frequent use of refering to him as 'Mr Ayo Samuel'.
Throughout my conversation with Ayo, I noticed that he replied mostly with Yoruba language and some snippet of Hausa words, it took me a while to realise how very Nigerian this Ayo is, but when he does speak in his unblemished English I get confused and wonder how long he's been here in the UK.
Okay, 'let's talk about Ivymobile'. How did it all start, (the when, what, who and where) were all type of questions I asked him. From its' name, he said, "Ivymobile is a mobile telecommunication services provider and we are powered by O2UK and Vodafone networks, as they say in the industry, we piggyback on O2 platform. We commenced negotiation for the platform in 2015, approved in 2016 and started our operations in 2017." As with other telecoms companies that don't have the infrastructure on ground, we are more or less a reseller business. Here in the Uk, there are the four big boys with the infrastucture: O2, Vodafone, EE and 3G networks, all other companies are branded resellers.
So Ivymobile is positioned somewhere between all these game players, like Tescomobile, skymobile and the likes, I asked?
You are correct to say that. The only difference is, we don't use an Ivymobile branded sim, we give to our customers all the benefits that come with our network, that means if your plan is X amount of data and minutes and the customer want it on O2 network, we send an O2 sim to them, likewise Vodafone.
So, what other benefits do your customers get?
Most importantly, our prices are competitive and contract terms are always monthly, in line with our company policy. This affords our customers to cancel their contracts at any time. We don't tie our customers down to a 12 or 18 months contract. Also, our customers are part of the larger Ivy community.
We have recently been very popular amongst African international students, as we do not stress them with their credit ratings. Our relationship with our customers is that of trust, we provide good quality service as both of our networks have 99.9% Uk coverage and we trust our customers to notify us should they need to cancel their contract. It is a simple symbiotic relationship which without our customers, we won't be where we are today.
I noticed the prices on the company wesite are available from other companies?
Yes, we mostly list all plans at normal prices, as I indicated earlier, we service a market that we call, 'community', who knows that our best prices are advertised on our social media platforms and they know that we do mostly a direct sale service. All they need to do is order a sim card of their choice network, indicate the plan they want in the note section and make payment by direct debit.
What about the international student?
International students would have to have settled down to some extent, opened a UK bank account before they could be part of our community. We are always glad to help them settle down. Our customers also have a choice of paying for the whole year in advance if they want. As I said, we work with our customers need in mind.
International calls service is one that would attract most Africans?
Customers can buy international call minute add-on, however, we advice, to download whatsapp or make use of any of the free internet social calls.
We definitely support quite a number of Afro-carribean based charities and associations here in the UK. Remember, we are a community.
Before I could finish asking my questions, Mr Ayo Samuel's, (oops! Ayo's) phone rang, which subsequently meant he had to attend another meeting, my time was up, before then I was happy to scheduled a follow on meeting, where I would dwell more on the person of 'Ayo Samuel' rather than the business, Ivy Mobile.