Thamani Sacco has come a long way and has supported its members to upgrade their living standards, majority of them being farmers. Its CEO, Rose Kithinji said the Society, formerly Nithi Tea Growers Sacco Ltd was registered in November 1987 with the mandate to mobilize member’s savings and ensuring that they access credit. The Sacco’s area of operation is Tharaka Nithi County and the neighbouring counties. “The Society operated Back Officeactivity with four employees until September 2000 when it opened Front Office (FOSA) service and increased the employees to 18 (eighteen) members of staff, and it changed its common bond from being a tea growers’ to a public entity in order to allow people from other agricultural undertakings and business enterprises to join as members,” she said
. Speaking to Sacco Review, Kithinji said the Sacco was first licensed by SASRA in October 2011. “To date the Sacco has 30 members of staff, seven Board members and three Supervisory Committee members drawn from all the Tharaka Nithi County Electoral Zones,” she said.
With its head office in Chuka Town in Tharaka Nithi County, the CEO noted that they have a fully operational branch in Chogoria Town,and Marima Town. “I have been working for the Sacco since 1990 when I came in as a general clerk but operated everything including record keeping, member registration and marketing attending to over 2000 members. I have enjoyed a cordial relationship with my team and, believe with this relationship, we will prosper,” the CEOobserved. She said since she was appointed to the apex in 2011 when Sasra came in, the Sacco has had made substantial progress.
“At Thamani Sacco we value all our members hence we ensure they receive the best service ever. We have two key departments; Front Office Service Activity (FOSA) and Back Office Service Activity (BOSA). All our members can
now access the Sacco ATM services in all the 47 counties,” the CEO said. She said Thamani Sacco Ltd offers a variety of products to its members since they have products and services for all, and called on more people to join the Sacco.
“I have worked on our website which now hosts all our products and services, member registration forms and all the society information that is important to the members as well as potential ones. It is regularly up-dated and members can get detailed information without necessarily visiting the society offices. This also gives the members an opportunity to learn about our Sacco online hence saving time and money,” she said. Kithinji said that the Sacco computerized it’s operations in year 2004. To be sure of the right vendor in the market, they visited other Sacco’s for bench marking thus giving the opportunity to technologically. “Member registration has risen from 6,000 in 2011 to 18,000 in 2015 whereby 8,300 are account holders while the rest are shareholders. We are set to recruit
civil servants as we have got the required documentation.” she said. Other developments are training of its board members in partnership with Kenya Institute of Management on leadership and accounts.
She said though she faces some challenges as a woman, she is strong enough to handle them. “I thank the Board members for their understanding on handling official matters. I have strong attachment to them and even to members that I know most of them by their names, the level of income and have seen most of them grow,” she said.
She said time management is a factor and as a woman, she ensures that while not in the office she spent time with her family.On future plans, Kithinji said they are set to open branches across the County since the three existing ones are do not serve its members adequately.
They are set to invest more on the lower zone of the County since the upper zone has been kept safe. “We are planning to spread our wings to other towns within the County, especially the lower zone. We have realized
that our members are increasing day by day and thus the need to spread,” Kithinji said. She added that they are set to develop products tailor-made for the youth in order to get attract them to join the Sacco.
Madam Kithinji called on women across the country to work hard and achieve their dreams since everything is possible.
Thamani Sacco has been a regular winner of Best Managed Rural Sacco during Ushirika Days in the country and that shows that the Sacco has high hopes of retaining the award this year among other awards.