By Munene Maina
Muki Savings and Credit Cooperative Society, a fast growing rural based Sacco in Kinangop, Nyandarua County, is a story that began with the sowing of small but well-selected seed that blossomed into an inspiring co-operative.
Muki’s phenomenal growth has been a tale of humble beginnings using members’ own savings, and using members ingenuity to progress steadily into a vibrant entity, benefiting from the harsh realities of mobilizing capital, customers, facilities and dealing with competition that most businesses face.
For over a quarter of a century ago, the Sacco has had an outstanding management which has turned it into a huge institution admired and respected across the country.
At the age of 34, Violet Ndung’u, Muki Sacco Chief Executive Officer (CEO), now shoulders all the responsibility for ensuring the Sacco is at the top of the ladder of the co-operative movement.
Her eyes are well trained to transform the Sacco.
She is cognizant this will not be achieved on a silver platter and she is well psyched up for the task.
At the top of her agenda is to fully actualize the Sacco’s vision; to be the leading Sacco in the region addressing the community’s financial and non-financial needs.
“We want to grow our financial muscle to be fully independent of any external borrowings while offering the best of services to our members,” said Ndung’u
She also wants to have Sacco membership enlightened of how best to invest their wealth through patronizing Sacco’s products.
She says the Sacco is placing all the necessary measures to ensure members receive good returns from their investment.
With a majority of more than 29, 000 Sacco members being dairy farmers, Muki has made it easy for them to access stocks at pocket-friendly prices.
Ndung’u notes that the Sacco has greatly contributed to the economic empowerment of farmers and business people in Nyandarua County.
Started in 1989, the Sacco was the only financial institution serving residents in Kinangop and surrounding areas.
“There are so many testimonies by our farmers who have experienced a complete turnaround in their livelihoods,” avers the CEO.
She adds the Sacco will continue taking proactive approaches in developing products and services that are well tailored to suit their members’ dynamic needs. Youths are well catered for in the society.
With a promising future, the CEO says she is rallying her team in pushing the society to greater heights of success.
She is confident as a team and with the support of the board of directors and members; they will realize their defined set goals.
A graduate of Strathmore University, Ndung’u traces her leadership qualities back at Loreto Girls High school where she completed her ‘O’ level education.
“I was a prefect at high school and also a youth leader at my church which has enabled me to perfect my leadership skills,” she says.
She joined Muki Sacco in 2013 as a marketing manager from a bank with a focus to grow her career.
She was later promoted to operations manager before being made the CEO early this year after her predecessor left for other engagements.
Growing up in Kangemi, Nairobi she had a liking for the banking sector, an aspiration she has accomplished.
“I am glad that my family has always been there with me. This keeps me motivated,” says Ndung’u who also holds a master’s of Business Administration degree from the University of Nairobi.
She was among women in leadership who were sponsored for a mentorship program in Canada last year. “Women need to believe in themselves and be ready to face all manner of obstacles in their journey to their desired destiny,” she says.
Her Sacco has made notable achievements in embracing technology such as mobile banking services. It has also remained innovative in offering a variety of competitive products to people from all walks of life.
It is, for this reason, it has continually won awards during the Ushirika Day celebrations annually countrywide.
Some of the awards include the Best in Dividends pay-out, ICT, Front Office Activity Services (FOSA) products and the best Capitalized Sacco at the county level.
Muki, formerly Mkulima Kinangop Sacco has been on an upward growth trajectory. Currently, the Sacco asset base stands at over Sh650 million and a loan portfolio of more than Sh500 million.
The Sacco, which is fully licensed by the Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA), has seven branches.
The CEO says there is room for the government to support co-operative sector.
Going to the future, she says the Sacco will be establishing agency banking, better its mobile banking and provide members with ATM cards.
For Ndung’u, the seed inform of a transformational idea sowed by a group of 29 farmers sitting on stones and off-cuts 28 years ago is blossoming to a respectable Sacco, has come to maturity to soar higher in achievements.
“It is our joy to see the Sacco continue accomplishing economic and social welfare of members. This is through mobilizing savings and providing affordable credit facilities in integrity, efficiency, professional and transparency way,” says the CEO.