Our Business Model

In allocating our capital to our strategic levers among the various value drivers, we need to consider the trade-offs between the resources available to us. The <IR> Framework categorises these resources into six capitals that are affected or transformed by the activities and outputs of an organisation. All our decisions seek to maximise positive outcomes and mitigate negative impacts.

OUR RESOURCES

Financial capital

The pool of funds available to Blue Label.

Manufactured capital

Physical objects and infrastructure that are available to Blue Label to use for the distribution of goods and services.

Intellectual capital

The knowledge-based intangibles that sustain the quality of our product and service offering, which provides Blue Label’s competitive advantage. These include our innovations, collective knowledge and systems.

Human capital

The competencies, capabilities and experience of our employees and how they innovate, collaborate and align with Blue Label’s objectives.

Social and relationship capital

The strength/efficacy of our relations with various stakeholder groups and networks, as well as our brand and reputation, and our social licence to operate.

Natural capital

Any natural resources or environmental assets, which provide a flow of useful goods and/or services, now and in the future.

OPERATING INPUTS

  • Equity capital;
  • Debt capital; and
  • Working capital.

Property plant and equipment to the value of R224 million, including:

  • R116 million vending machines and POS devices;
  • R27 million computer equipment; and
  • R30 million motor vehicles.
  • Skills, expertise and institutional knowledge;
  • Entrepreneurial culture and agile practices;
  • Operating systems, policies, processes and procedures;
  • Reporting and communication;
  • Proprietary technology, software and IT systems; and
  • Targeted analytical processes, machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • 1 412 staff members;
  • Experienced Board, executive and senior management;
  • Performance management system; and
  • Various training courses.
  • Relationships with all stakeholder groups, including:
    • Employees, customers, shareholders, government and regulators, partners and suppliers and media.
  • SED initiatives:
    • Trust Blu Foundation NPC;
    • Boys and Girls Clubs of South Africa; and
    • Education Africa and many more.
  • Electricity;
  • Water;
  • Fuel; and
  • Paper.

OUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

Blue Labels diverse product and service offering enables us to bring mainstream products and services to the mass market. Presented below are Blue Label’s various divisions. (Entities are wholly owned by Blue Label, unless otherwise indicated.)

Blue Label Distribution: BLD are specialists in prepaid products and the electronic distribution of virtual merchandise across South Africa, through extensive distribution channels. These encompass, but are not limited to, banks, retailers, spaza shops and other informal traders, as well as petroleum forecourts.

Blue Label Connect (Pty) Ltd: BLC distributes tailor-made hybrid top-up airtime and data contracts on behalf of all major South African cellular network operators.

Ticketpro: Ticketpro allows our customers access to exclusive transport services, travel services, sporting events, and entertainment.

Comm Equipment Company: CEC has evolved from a specialised lender to a fully operational business unit with esponsibilities that range across the Cell C postpaid offerings.

BluAdvance: Allows qualified customers the chance to take out a prepaid electricity advance on their meter, with the ability to pay it back at a later stage.

bluNOVA: Blu Nova has become one of the leading practitioners of data and decision science in South Africa. We have deployed a state-of-the-art decision engine that supplies intelligent data leads and assists in securing new business.

AltBureau: is a data bureau based on API marketplace technology and serves as a platform to provide services to both external and internal clients.

Blue Label One: Engaged in media advertising.

T3 Telecoms SA (50% shareholding): A mobile value-added services and product distribution company.

The Prepaid Company: The leading distributor of prepaid products for all the major SA network operators, with trusted proprietary technology that guarantees purchasing efficiency and sound inventory control with an emphasis on mutually beneficial terms. The business provides wholesale and community sales, starter packs, handsets, tablets, and bulk printing vouchers.

Glocell Distribution: Glocell Distribution’s core strategy is in the distribution of starter packs through its established channels.

Robtronics Service Solutions: (51% shareholding) Robtronics Service Solutions specialises in handset repairs and reverse logistics supporting the repair process.

GloCell Retail Solutions: GCRS is a distributor of all prepaid network operator products, prepaid products and value-added services to retail, which include national retailers and petroleum forecourts.

Mobile Macs (50% shareholding): Provides the most costeffective full maintenance scooter rental model available in the South African market through the supply of data, airtime and electricity products.

Cell C (49.53% shareholding): Cell C Limited operates as a mobile operator in South Africa.

Blue Label Data Solutions (81% shareholding):BLDS is one of the market leaders in consumer data, big data, validation, verification, cleansing of data and lead generation.

iTalk Holdings (40.5% shareholding): Contact centre management, IP telephony products, connectivity solutions, lead warming, VAS product sales, system integration and consultancy.

iTalk Financial Services (30.38% shareholding):Contact centre management, IP telephony products, connectivity solutions, software development, system integrationand consultancy.

iTalk2U (40.5% shareholding): iTalk2U is a safe and secure web-based application that was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, where working remotely was becoming more “normal”. It is a decentralised sales platform that allows people to make sales and earn a commission while working remotely. The vision is to combat unemployment by educating and uplifting South Africans by providing a workfrom- home employment opportunity.

Blue Label Communications (57.26% shareholding):Blue Label Communications offers three business verticals, namely reverse data billing, SMS, and voice.

Blu Train Group (64.68% shareholding): Blu Train Group provides unfunded learnerships, training, recruitment, and payroll requirements.

One World Telecoms: Engages in VAS product sales and contact centre sales.

Transaction Junction (60% shareholding): A businessenablement transaction platform that delivers digital payment solutions suit the needs of businesses across diverse markets.

LIPA Payments (36% shareholding): Payment software solution for banks and fintechs that allows small merchants to perform digital transactions NFC and Bluetooth technology.

Cigicell (74% shareholding):Cigicell partners with municipalities to grow their revenue while providing prepaid electricity and water services.

Utilities World (25.1% shareholding): The core focus of Utilities World is the design of prepayment revenue management software. The business also oversees the design, manufacture and installation of prepaid electricity meters. The systems they develop have been in use for a number of years by local municipalities, both in South Africa and internationally.

VISUAL Revenue Management (55.5% shareholding): key player and strategic partner in the municipal space of South Africa. The immediate focus of VRM is revenue management, spatial data solutions, infrastructure.

ReWare: ReWare is a provider of smart meters that record actual electricity consumption assisting in monitoring, verifying and managing consumption.

iCrypto (14.29% shareholding):iCrypto enables organisations to eliminate cyber risks such as identity theft, access breaches, data breaches and ransom attacks, while enforcing compliance through technology-leveraging biometrics and tokenised identity.

Mobii (29.9% shareholding): Mobii Systems Group provides match game analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) enabled products.

OUR RESOURCES

OPERATING OUTPUTS

OUTCOMES AND RESOURCE TRADE OFFS

Financial Capital

  • Revenue: R18.9 billion
  • Gross profit: R3.48 billion
  • Capital expenditure: R119 million
  • Finance activities: R1.4 billion
  • Lease payments: R42 million
  • Taxes paid: R215 million
  • A strong balance sheet and sufficient working capital to fund the operations that support long-term sustainability;
  • Investments into technology, processes and key personnel that ensure sustainability and competitive advantage;
  • Economic benefits to employees, partners, and suppliers; and
  • Good stewardship of our investors’ financial capital.

We leverage financial capital to invest in our business and to grow our competitive market position. This has a positive impact on the human, intellectual, and social and relationship capitals. We create jobs, support the growth of small businesses, and relentlessly drive financial inclusion for the mass market.

There is an important trade-off between short and long-term investment associated with financial capital. It is important to balance the interest of short-term benefits with those of long-term sustainable growth objectives. While both are important for different stakeholders at different times, it is a key focus in our strategic decision-making process.

Manufactured Capital

  • Capital expenditure incurred: R119 million.
  • Ability to deliver valuable services and solutions in response to changing consumer demands;
  • Strategically located outlets offering convenient customer access to products and services; and
  • Secure and productive working environments.

By investing in equipment, outlets and distribution capacity, we increase our manufactured capital, but negatively impact natural capital and, in the short term, financial capital.

Automation of routine tasks through technology may in the long term reduce human capital.

Intellectual Capital

  • Purchase of intangible assets: R104 million*
  • Accelerating our digitisation projects to fast-track our ability to be responsive to our new environment
  • Improved responses to changing consumer needs
  • Brand reinforcement and market communication
  • Accelerated deployment of new technologies
  • Effective controls and processes
  • Full legal and regulatory compliance
  • Risk identification and mitigation
  • Creative solutions increase productivity, cost savings, and synergies; and
  • Proprietary systems/solutions add value and secure sophisticated contracts.

Our technical innovation and entrepreneurial drive are central to effectively serving the unbanked market segment.

Improved investment in business processes and new systems is growing our intellectual capital and indirectly benefiting our human, and social and relationship capitals, but negatively impacting financial capital in the short term.

Human capital

  • Building an organisation that is future fit, inclusive business with a growth mindset
  • Salaries and benefits spend: R946 million
  • Employee well-being is part of our strategy to succeed
  • Employee engagement is more centred around creating meaningful jobs and creating an environment that creates purpose
  • A leadership development programme that is designed to allow for the development of emerging talent and middle and senior management leaders
  • 75% of respondents in our Engagement Survey are satisfied in their work while 90% agrees that the job they do is meaningful
  • Continue to invest in learnership development and leadership programmes to enable us to grow individuals and critical skills.
  • A vibrant, diverse and flexible workforce committed to the long-term success of Blue Label;
  • Improved effectiveness, skills and expertise;
  • Inclusive leadership that promotes innovation, team-work and job satisfaction;
  • Corporate culture that values honesty, integrity and ethical behaviour; and
  • Increase investment in ensuring that our team meets the highest standards of professionalism and excellence.

Our appeal as an employer of choice, our brand value and the fact that we recruit and attain the most innovative and skilled increase our intellectual capital.

Social and relationship capital

  • Building sustainability programmes that impact communities and youth development
  • Initiatives aimed to build entrepreneurs and SMMEs
  • Supporting flagship beneficiaries that align to our shared socio-economic values through the Trust Blu Foundation
  • SED spend: R14.9 million
  • Strategic partnerships with renewable energy suppliers for one of our prime SED projects in Orange Farm
  • Business efficiency through collaboration with producers and suppliers;
  • Building trust and respect;
  • Social relevance in the communities we operate in;
  • Brand reinforcement and market communication; and
  • Sustained confidence from shareholders and investors.

Trusted, long-term partnerships with customers. Stakeholder-related investments reduce our financial capital in the short term but positively impact our social and relationship capital. Over the longer term, this enables us to have a community of stakeholders that are loyal and supportive to our brand and provide our social licence to operate.

Natural capital

With the rise in the cost of natural resources, along with business expansions and new ventures, there has been an increase in the cost and usage of electricity, water, and fuel. Efforts to transition to a paperless environment yielded a significant decrease in paper consumption. The extensive load shedding experienced in FY23 has caused a notable upsurge in diesel usage for generators and a corresponding low annual increase in electricity consumption.

  2023 2022    
  R’000 Usage R’000 Usage % increase/
(decrease)
in spend
% increase/
(decrease)
R’000 Usage R’000 Usage in usage
Electricity (kWh) 4 199 2 176 072 3 575 2 026 636 17% 7%
Water (KL) 598 12 324 463 9 927 29% 24%
Petrol (L) 14 808 636 063 10 042 484 921 47% 31%
Diesel (L) 2 731 107 916 1 696 85 325 61% 26%
Paper (kg) 216 7 970 183 8 614 18% (7%)

Includes subsidiary operations.

  • Responsible management of waste and emissions; and
  • Focus on sustainable use of our resources.

While certain business activities impact our natural capital (for example, use of fossil fuels and related emissions), these positively impact the human, social and relationship, and financial capitals.

We are aware of the environmental impacts of our operations and activities and focus on the responsible use of resources. Blue Label views digital products and services as having significant potential to deliver positive environmental outcomes.

* Excluding costs relating to the subscription income sharing arrangement and subscriber acquisition costs (refer to note 4.2 of Blue Label annual financial statements).