Naspers keeps an open mind on business opportunities


“As a company, a lot of our success turned out from having an open mind, looking at new opportunities and at new ways to deliver either content or communication to our customers, and we will certainly keep doing that,” van Dijk told CNBC Africa.

“The pace of change on the internet is only increasing and if you don’t start new things and keep an open mind then you’ll be stale and obsolete.”

[DATA NPN:Naspers] recently announced that it would be transforming itself into a predominantly ‘mobile content’ company.


“We are investing quite significantly in being a mobile content player. We’re not trying to be a mobile operator like MTN, but rather our applications that customers use, will be primarily used on mobile devices,” said van Dijk.

“We’re investing aggressively to make sure that we have the best applications out there, that [give] people the best experience.”

(READ MORE: Naspers focuses on fuelling organic growth)

He added that some of Naspers’ internet companies are already delivering substantially to its bottom line.

“The overall results that we show are very much a mixture of significant investments and further growth but a number of our core businesses are profitable and generating significant returns. We are quite comfortable that the rest of the businesses, with good execution, will get there as well,” van Dijk said.

“We look at where we see opportunities for growth and our investments are very much driven by what we think will, over time, be solutions that customers will like and use, and where we can make good money.”

Van Dijk also stated that in a number of the company’s markets, the majority of the interaction with their products has happened through mobile devices.

“India is an example [of] where we’ve gotten, already, well above 50 per cent. There are other markets like Indonesia where we are running at more than 80 per cent of our traffic and usage being mobile,” he said.

“In all markets, its changing rather dramatically and I expect the vast majority of our traffic to be mobile in all our business, a year or two from now.”

(READ MORE: Koos Bekker steps down as Naspers chief)

George Herman from Citadel stated that this is a new world and that few people understand it better than Naspers.

“The market was a little bit negative when Bekker took a sabbatical, when he comes back he’s going to have a head full of plans again,” he said.

“Nobody understands this new world better than them, they will find new opportunities. They planned the transition to the new management well so I don’t think there’s any change in the strategy of that company.”