Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) of the MTN Group
Driven by its strong belief that everyone deserves the benefit of a modern and connected life – particularly on the African continent – MTN Group is committed to bridging the digital divide, bringing connectivity and financial inclusion to its operating markets.
“We are building the largest and most valuable business platform with a clear focus on bringing Africa and its enterprises forward,” says Dirk Karl, Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) and Member of the Board at MTN.
Procurement transformation: leading the charge
A successful and perceptive procurement leader with an international career spanning 25 years, Karl has been CPO at MTN since 2017. As part of his role, Karl leads the group’s procurement transformation strategy, and is responsible for the group’s supply chain and sourcing.
“When I talk about procurement, I always translate it into change management and commercial advisory. My background has primarily been in training, banking and the automotive industry. When I joined MTN Group, I brought with me my expertise and skills vital to drive transformation and change. This helped me to drive the primary target of connecting to markets, knowing new trends, innovating in the market and bringing them into the business.”
Karl’s favourite thing about the industry he works in
When it comes to the industry he works in, Karl enjoys the fast-paced nature of the telecommunications industry. “It’s an industry with a lot of innovation,” says Karl.
“It’s an industry that reinvents itself all the time. We’ve seen 2G, 3G, and 4G – and, now, we’re seeing 5G being rolled out into markets while already conducting research and taking part in forums that are looking at the next generation of technologies. So, there is constant evolution and innovation happening in the industry.
“But the innovation doesn’t stop there: the consumption and data demand from customers requires innovation in how organisations engage with their vendors and supplier markets, in order to keep up with the demand.”
Inspired by diverse and high-performing teams
Every day, Karl is inspired by the way that MTN Group has established its global sourcing and supply chain. “We are working with an international community. My colleagues and employees represent 29 different nationalities, so we have a diverse and high-performing team here at MTN Group,” says Karl.
“What also inspires me is the purpose of my role. I am not only working for the purpose of fulfilling, the activities that I do as part of my role are for a good cause – connecting the unconnected and providing financial and digital inclusion for all.”
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“Our digital journeys need to be absolutely frictionless. We do have traditional channels as well. But our digital touchpoints – our apps, websites, and user interfaces – are critical to our success.”