By Munene Maina
Mr James Hari has a clear-cut vision. The Muki Sacco Chairman envisages a financially strong institution and prosperous members.
His distinct plans include taking Muki Sacco to the top tier co-operative and assisting farmers in value addition of their produce for better income.
But Mr Hari is not an overambitious person; he has trained sights on a pragmatic approach. To achieve the goals, he is rallying his team to support the efforts to make Muki the leading Sacco in the region.
In Ndunyu Njeru, a trading centre nestled between Aberdare National Park and Mt Kipipiri Forest Reserve, in Kinangop Constituency where Muki has its head office; more people are joining the Sacco. This is owing to excellent service delivery.
The Sacco is setting an indelible mark in provision of financial and non-financial services.
Despite Nyandarua County having huge agricultural potential, Mr Hari regretted that most residents are not economically empowered.
The county is leading producer of milk, potatoes, carrots and many other horticultural products.
“The county is rich; all we need are industries that will process our produce to add value. This will ensure farmers earn more from their activities,” he said.
The Sacco, through its affiliate Kinangop Dairy Ltd, has been processing milk and this has immensely boosted farmers’ income.
Mr Hari noted that by getting the right partner the Sacco will fund establishment of processing factories in future.
“People of Nyandarua all they need are right industries that will add value to their produces. This will create jobs and improve farmers earning,” he averred.
The Chairman exudes confidence that the Sacco will assist in establishment of value addition plants in the area.
Having worked at KBL for over 20 years as Training Manager before retiring, Mr Hari is a stickler for excellence.
He joined Muki Sacco Board of Directors in 2015 before ascending to Chairman’s position in 2017.
His immediate focus was to streamline the Sacco’s operations and build a strong capital base.
“We had to ensure all our staffs in all our branches were qualified. We also started to implement performance management system. Our employees work on targets that they must deliver within the stipulated time,” said Mr Hari. For him service delivery should never be comprised.
He said the Sacco has managed to increase core capital to Sh127.9 million as at the close of fiscal year 2018.
“We also intend to grow share capital to Sh120 million by the end of 2019. We rallying our member to increase their shares to a minimum of Sh20, 000,” he said.
Besides, Muki Sacco under his leadership, has introduced new products, increased its asset size and loan book.
“Our next business frontier focuses on bettering our ICT platform for efficiency and security,” he said. The Sacco is planning to roll out agency banking.
The Sacco has enhanced its core banking system and by close of 2018 it had recorded phone transactions worth Sh91 million.
Mr Hari noted that majority of Sacco members are farmers who are without constant income, thus the Sacco products are designed in way that meets their needs.
“We have to ensure that we do not over lend to our members in the name of having more businesses since this may grow our non-performing loans,” the chairman said.
He attests that the Sacco has upgraded members’ standards of living to a large extent.
The fast growing Sacco recorded tremendous growth in the year 2018.
Its total assets jumped by 7 per cent to reach Sh687 million while members’ deposits increased to Sh486 million, which was 9 per cent increase from Sh455.5 million.
The Sacco disbursed loans worth Sh 486 million to members during the period.
“The Sacco continues to thrive year after year, maintain an upward trajectory,” Mr Hari told members during the Sacco’s 29th Annual General Meeting this year.
For the outstanding achievement, the Board of Directors recommended a pay-out of dividend at a rate of 10 per cent and interest on deposits at 8 per cent.
The society has also initiated Corporate Social Responsibility including donating text books to schools and offering training opportunities to college students.
“Going to the future we want to rebrand and continue delivering smart products and uncomplicated service. We have to achieve our mission to provide affordable credit facilities and tailored banking services through product diversification and efficient management to optimize customer satisfaction,” said Mr Hari.