By Jackson Okoth
Naku Savings and Credit Co-operative Society (Naku Sacco) Limited- which previously drew its membership from employees of several retail outlets, has shed off this exclusive structure and rebranded to Shoppers Sacco.
The rebranded society is now offering financing to shoppers to acquire products from the major retail stores. This product loan will enable the member to select a specific product the Sacco will finance through a loan that will be repaid within a year.
“As a Sacco, we are rebranding to Shoppers Sacco in response to competition dynamics, to re-energise the brand and also widen membership catchment areas .The rebrand is not only about changing the logo and Sacco name but is about radically improving and re-engineering our financial products and services and providing our members and other stake holders with impeccable customer service,” said Mr. Wilfred Aima, National Chairman, Shoppers Sacco Society Limited.
Shoppers Sacco has increased its network and opened four new satellite branches in Mombasa, Nakuru, Eldoret and Kisumu- all of which shall soon be converted to fully-fledged branches with a new Nairobi CBD branch to be opened before the end of the year.
“I am confident that the rebranding of your Sacco will enable you now to refocus your strategic direction, appeal to new and contemporary customer needs and remain relevant in the current era. This will further broaden your membership and financial products by extending economic participation by all Kenyans, including those in the Diaspora,” said Mary Mungai, Deputy Commissioner for Co-operatives Development, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Co-operatives.
Ms Mungai, who was the Chief Guest,representing Co-operatives Principal Secretary, Ali Noor said Saccos operate in a highly competitive financial landscape dominated by Commercial banks, micro finance institutions and international financial players, a factor that impacts negatively on their growth potential.
“In this regard and for the sector to remain competitive and to sustain its market share, there is need for the board and the management to develop marketing strategies informed by thorough knowledge of the target market and modern and secure physical facilities that portray a safe institution for members’ savings,” she noted.
Naku Sacco, founded by Nakumatt Holdings, was established in 1993 under the Co-operative Societies Act with the sole objective of uplifting the social economic well-being of its members through mobilization of deposits and offering affordable credit facilities.
The Society targeted employees of Nakumatt Supermarket before opening up its membership to other players in the vast retail industry.
These included Seal Honey Ltd, Sun matt Ltd, Tusker Mattresses Ltd, Woolmatt, SaltesSupermaket, Transmatt, Enkarasha Department Stores, and Eastleigh Mattresses Ltd among many others.
“The new identity, which comes with opening of its doors to other members marks an important milestone in the history of the Sacco which is a brand name committed to serving all shoppers by offering attractive savings and affordable loan products,” said Mr James Muchira Njagi, CEO of Shoppers Sacco Society Limited.
Over the last two years, the adoption of various forms of innovation has positively influenced the content and quality of operations at Shoppers Sacco.
The management has intensified investment in ICT which has improved on customer service and provision of effective and efficient services.
“Currently, our members are able to access statements online through the website and the Sacco has developed a mobile banking application downloadable from Google app store. They are also able to use the Co-operative Bank Sacco-Link network ATMs to access their accounts,” said Njagi.
He added that these are essential alternative banking channels that members have been able to appreciate as 90 per cent of all member cash deposits and withdrawals rely on these channels. Members in other countries – Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda purely rely on these Channels to access their accounts”.
With rebranding, Njagi pointed out, the future of Shoppers Sacco is bright and it has ambitious growth strategies in place so that over the next four years, it can push growth of Asset Base to Sh10 billion, Member Deposits to Sh6.2 billion, Loan Book to Sh8.6 billion, Total Income to Sh1.3 billion while increasing the network to 10 branches.
“This will be achieved with support from members, delegates, board of directors, staff as well as ensuring compliance of laid down regulations,” said Njagi.
The Sacco has upgraded the mobile app so that members can access Credit Reference Bureau services and can be able to download credit report, clearance certificate and also be able to get an overall credit score. This will allow the members to know their current credit ratings.
On the other hand, as part of loan appraisal, the Sacco uses CRBs data to get credit information on prospective borrowers that facilitates assessment of credit requests to mitigate risks of bad debts. The Sacco is able to assist the borrowers pay-off loans in other financial institutions enabling them to have a clean credit report.
Naku Sacco renamed Shoppers Sacco, targets more members
By Jackson Okoth