CANDID TALK

what we don't say out loud.

January 5, 2017
by Kate Mwamba
3 Comments

Bootlickers thrives, until……….

  As a young Banker, almost 10 years ago, it was my first foray into the corporate world, and little did I know that I was encountering the first specimen of what would turn out to be a special corporate … Continue reading

October 4, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
0 comments

Organisational Bureaucracy……

  Last week I had made a deal that prompted a new bank account. I walked into Equity Bank, Harambee avenue branch at 2 .15 pm i remember glancing at my watch. The sooner I stepped into the banking hall … Continue reading

September 21, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
0 comments

Finding my way…..

For some time now my family and I have been resettling back in our native home, Nairobi. For those who have lived in Nairobi know how fast life is in this town and how addictive the place can be once … Continue reading

August 29, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
0 comments

Is Capping Interest Rate a Zero-some Effect?

Submitted by Kevin Gikonyo, Former Banker,financial market consultant and a contributor to Nairobi business Monthly. Harry Markowitz a renowned scholar corralled a theory in 1952, otherwise known as the Management Portfolio Theory (MPT). His empirical literature emphasized on diversification of … Continue reading

June 29, 2016
by Kate Mwamba
0 comments

 

A famous saying goes thus: “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go further, go with others.” Another one says that, “He who travels alone goes fast, but he who travels with others goes further.” I would like to remind you again that if you really want to go beyond the limits in your life, you only need three things: people, people and more people.

The struggle between the book smarts and the street smart

The struggle between the book smarts and the street smart

In my past experience as a credit officer I had many chances of interacting with all sorts of business persons and I can tell you for free that most successful and influential business persons are not book smart but street smart. The stories of success are most humbling yet they upheld a vision and sought the opportunities in smart way. In a book written by Robert Kiyosaki titled, Why A Students Work for C Students and B Students Work for the Government.  Simply explains that because C students are known to be street smart and charming. They are very good with people and very good with numbers. They can easily influence and are convincing because they have what I call ‘likability.’ They are likable and like people too; they know how to treat people, respect them and make them feel valued. They are less egocentric and more people empowering. They understand the universal truth that the greatest desire of every human being is to feel important, and whenever they interact with others, they apply this law. They make others feel superior to them and in the process, find their way around them, cross all barriers, go beyond limits and reach the summit of their potential.

Examples the late, great Steve Jobs dropped out of school before graduating. Thomas Jefferson dropped out after only a few months of formal education. John D. Rockefeller dropped out of high school two months before his graduation and decided to go off and start a little company called Standard Oil. Walt Disney, Richard Branson, Elton John, James Cameron, Frank Lloyd Wright all dropped out of school to pursue their passions. These are just a few names on a very long list of brilliant or ambitious individuals who gave lackluster performances in the classroom but crushed it in real life!

We know now that there are many different types of intelligence and grades only measure a select few, and poorly at that. A GPA does not measure a person’s emotional intelligence, it does not measure their leadership ability, it does not necessarily measure their ability to think outside of the box and solve problems. It does nothing to evaluate a person’s ability to predict the needs of society or consumers. It does nothing to illuminate the ability of an individual to work with others and find middle ground in standoffs or conflicts. All of these things are vitally important to an individual’s success in life and almost none of them are measured by grades. Grades, GPAs and standardized test scores largely measure one’s ability to answer questions and regurgitate information and not much else.

Think about this. Throughout history, legendary leaders have had great people skills. Your people skills will take you to places where your brain and papers cannot. A book  by Robert Shemin titled, How Come that Idiot’s Rich and I’m Not? Well  most ‘idiots’ outsmart most educated fellows for the simple reason that for their advancement, the ‘idiots’ solely rely on their gut and power of leverage. What is leverage? It is simply using other people’s goodwill, other people’s intelligence, other people’s resources, other people’s influence, other people’s ideas and other people’s contacts

 

“Shopping for the right Bank”

March 19, 2015 by Kate Mwamba | 1 Comment

Statistics shows that 80% of business start-ups fail within the first 18 months of inception. This is influenced by so many factors that include lack of technical know-how from the management, competition, liquidity issues, lack of proper plan and implementation and sometimes poor follow up, hiring of incompetent employees, lack of properly marketing analysis and trends, untimely launch of a product line, poor company structures policies and procedures and lack of proper company culture etc.

The first 3 years of the business is the teething period and after the business stands the test of time; it is considered solid. Any Business requires a bank that really understands its need. An ideal market means the financial institutions are thriving to outdo the competition. But where to start shopping for a bank might be tricky. Often we rely on referrals and good word from friends, acquaintances, even the media advertisement, internet or any other reliable source.

Most businesses prefer to have more than one account in different banks or financial institutions, the idea is called spreading the business risk (portfolio diversification) by not putting all your eggs in one basket. It brings some peace of mind to the business owners and at the same time variety of choice for different service or product.

What to look for while shopping for a bank would be:

  • The accessibility.

Proximity of the financial institution from your business premises. The branch network. How fast can you get to and ATM (VISA). Does the bank have online banking platform?

  • The services Rendered.

Do the products envisioned in the bank’s catalog in sync with your long-term goals. What are the fees imposed on various transaction services being provided? Any other specific service being sought.

  • Contact Person.

Do you have a relationship personnel available to your queries from the branch level? How are you treated when you visit the bank? How long does it take for your issues to be sorted? Queue management?

  • The Banks positioning in the market.

How are the books of the account, how long has the bank existed, what is  the background history, is it listed in the stock exchange, who are the owners, what is its vision, what is the long-term strategy of the bank in the market/industry that you are ventured into.

  • The policy and procedures.

What are various procedures involved when handling a startup when they want to borrow, what are the requirements and threshold for such business and other business too. How flexible is bank in terms of pricing and other lending conditions

Look out for a good word that relates the bank that you want to invest in. Some banks may be good at one product and fail in the other .Know what best you will get from each of the institution in mind. Have reliable sources to verify the information before getting in.

Keep facts together preferably in writing before diversifying your business portfolio. Separate the pros and cons of each chosen financial institution and brainstorm before making decision. My two cents in this is that when a business rushes into investing in a bank without full knowledge of its fine prints certain things are bound to happen.

  • The Bank accounts may be expensive to operate since assumedly the start up business has little to spare in terms of account charges at the beginning thereby causing much accumulated bank charges and in the end causing negative reference to both the business and its owners adversely the business will not borrow in any financial institution till this debts are settled and the same information will remain in file for 7 years .Anyone can access this information. The business image here is damaged

The business should have current account for its operation do not be advised otherwise. Most  current  account are charged ledger fees and as much as most business start up love to shy away from charges ,it’s important to have a current account since most lending institutions base their lending policies on current accounts only. Savings accounts as the name suggests are purely meant to save not for a business daily transaction. Its only prudent for new businesses owners to shop for bank products that have got minimum transactional fees and more benefits in return (maximize return on investment).

February 28, 2015
by Kate Mwamba
4 Comments

What the numbers game mean to a banker.

  “People ask, when will bankers have enough? But it’s not about the money. It’s a highly addictive status game. Pay marks your status in the organisation. This is why there is no saturation point.” Banking is a great place … Continue reading

February 27, 2015
by Kate Mwamba
24 Comments

Tanzania Bank Launches Deposit ATMs

In an effort to improve customer service, the National Bank of Commerce (NBC) has announced the launch of deposit taking Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) at various branches across Tanzania. According to the Head of Digital and Alternative Channels for the … Continue reading

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