By Our Reporter
Felix Ochieng has a well cut-out vision on Siraji Sacco’s growth plan.
When you meet him, the Chief Executive Officer is crisp, precise and articulate on the strategic development plan for the Sacco he has headed for the last nine years.
Clad in black suit, a striped shirt and a matching tie, Ochieng cuts a figure of a man on a defined mission.
Through his guidance and the board leadership, Siraji Sacco has so far come a long way both in financial performance and members’ livelihood transformation. The Siraji brand is now well known.
It is among the less than 200 Saccos licenced by Saccos Societies Regulatory Authority (SASRA) to offer Front Office Service Activity (FOSA) in the country’s over 20,000 co-operatives strong movement.
Ochineg has exuded confidence that he will steer the Sacco to greater heights.
“The Sacco has made major strides in growth. We have immensely contributed in building our members social and economic welfare. This has been our joy,” he said.
But he is not resting on his laurels as his primary goal is to ensure the society builds a stronger assets base and improves on its liquidity.
“We are working our way to hit a billion mark in society’s total assets. We also want to move our customers outside the banking hall by providing them with alternative service delivery via modern technology channels,” he explained.
Ochieng describes his now success stint at the helm of the Sacco management as a tough ride that has left him better.
He joined Siraji Sacco as a manager in 2009 from Macadamia Sacco in Thika where he had worked as a book keeper, administrator and manager.
“The Sacco had 900 hundred members then and only offered BOSA services only. The Sacco operated from a small office at Home Grown Flower farm and had a wanting operation system,” he recalled.
Ochieng’s foremost task was to secure an Integrated Management System (IMS) and develop a strategic plan, 2009-2014.
“Change never comes easy, we had to ward off opposition from some who were not ready for the change for the fear of the unknown,” says the CEO.
Staying put to his resolve of turning things around, the Sacco gradually started recording growth. In 2011 the need to move the Sacco from the farm to Timau town was inevitable. Its assets base stood at Sh82.6 million, membership went up to over 1,500; deposits had increased to Sh57.2 million and a loan portfolio of Sh59.9 million.However, having opened its common bond to register members from other sectors besides the flower farms employees, the Sacco growth took an upward trajectory curve to the delight of members.
Currently the Sacco has increased its membership to over 7,739 and with an assets base of about Sh346 million. The Sacco has loaned members over Sh251 million and has members’ deposits of more than Sh182.5 million.
The Sacco has won numerous awards among them best compliant and best governed in Laikipia County.
Besides empowering members economically it is also in the front line carrying out Corporate Social Responsibility such as educating needy children within the county.
For Ochieng, changing lives keeps him going. “Siraji is a society that assist members save and achieve dreams at affordable credit. Most of our members are low income earners,” says the CEO aged 39 and married father of four.
He was born and bred at Thika studying at Kahuho Uhuru High school, where he traces his leadership qualities, before joining KCA University to undertake Certified Public Accountant course and Bachelor in Commerce.
Under his watch, Siraji Sacco has recorded tremendous growth as all indications point to a bright future.
Started in 1996 the Sacco has become a darling to resi¬dents from all walks of life.
“This is no mean feat; it has taken dedication, hard work and commitment from our able board of directors and employees, and good will from our Sacco members,” said the CEO.
The Sacco is com¬mitted to providing quality and affordable banking services and credit facilities to all its members countrywide.
With the new developments, the Sacco has expanded its network with a second office at Naivasha town and marketing office in Nanyuki town.
It was the first Sacco to be licensed by SASRA in Laikipia County.
Through its subsidiary society Siraji Housing, the Sacco has been providing modern shelter for members as well as enabling members acquire property. It is currently working on its second phase of housing project having sold 40 plots in the first phase.
“Siraji Sacco prides of services and products that meet the needs of members. This keeps it in touch with its customers. With 2015-2019 Strategic Plan, we are looking ahead to accomplish much in service delivery and better more livelihoods as we incorporate modern technology in all operations,” said. Ochieng.