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Mobile Money for the Unbanked

By Philip Levin

Organisational Structure to Win in Mobile Money: An Interview with Frederic Blehaut at Orange Group

Organisational Structure to Win in Mobile Money:  An Interview with Frederic Blehaut at Orange Group

At the MMU Working Group in Milan this October, we had the pleasure of getting Frederic Blehaut’s thoughts on Orange’s approach to organisational design for mobile money. Frederic is the Business Manager for Orange Money in the AMEA region, looking over 11 live deployments.

Frederic describes how Orange’s approach to organisational structure has evolved through trial and error. What was once thought of as a VAS or supplemental product is now seen as a separate business entirely “much like [mobile] broadband.” This shift in mentality brought the following changes to Orange’s approach:

  • The realization that (in Frederic’s words) “the key success factor is clearly not the product … that the key success factor is efficient processes, simplicity of the customer journey and distribution” led Orange to believe that mobile money probably does not belong in the product group but as a separate business unit reporting directly to the CEO.
  • Ideally, mobile money should have a separate sales and distribution structure from the core GSM business. CEOs of individual operations need to be bought into the benefits of mobile money to make the requisite organisational investments.
  • Existing telecom expertise may need to be supplemented with external skills in financial processes and security.
  • The head of mobile money should be a “CEO profile” rather than a “product manager profile.”

At the end we heard of the interview some great additional insights from other members of the Working Group. Thanks to Frederic and the Working Group participants for deepening our understanding of organisational structure. Anyone interested in hearing more should read MMU’s research on the topic.

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