Leading Finance House in Ghana: Beige Group

“BEIGE besides Banking, does Pensions, Investments, Insurance, and we also have a private equity wing that is investing actively in small sized companies in the country. Our portfolio has increased more than six fold in the past three or four years.”

Interview with Mike Nyinaku, CEO & Founder of Beige Group

Mike Nyinaku, CEO & Founder of Beige Group

It has been four years since we last met, what have been the major developments at the group? What have been the main milestones?

Lots of things have happened but the main thing has been our evolution into a provider of a broad range of Financial Services. We started off as a provider of a single line of financial services which was Tier 2 banking, however, we have evolved into a provider of a universal range of financial services. Now, BEIGE besides Banking, does Pensions, Investments, Insurance, and we also have a private equity wing that is investing actively in small sized companies in the country. Our portfolio has increased more than six fold in the past three or four years.

Which of these areas that you mentioned are showing the strongest growth?

I would say that our banking portfolio is contributing close to 70% of our financial services portfolio.

In the future, what areas would you like to focus on? What is your strategy?

We want to spend a lot more energy on the provision of our services to the informal sector. We are currently an informal sector kind of institution; that is where we have our unique expertise. We see ourselves doing a lot more in that sector, especially at the retail level between now and the next four years.

Will you be launching any specific products or services?

The good thing is we almost have all of our products launched already so we just need to have a consistent drive to penetrate the market with our already existent products. We are meeting the needs of clients through several channels already. We have over 100 products across our five subsidiaries.

Our portfolio has increased more than six fold in the past three or four years.

Please tell us about some of the awards that you have received, for example the Entrepreneur of 2016. Which do you value the most? To what do you attribute this success?

The award that I value the most is the SME Company of the Year 2016 because it is a testament of what our clients want to say about the services that we offer them. What I have obtained as an individual is only a pat on the back and l dedicate it to my team. I am happy to see the company grow from strength to strength because that is what provides inspiration to our clients as well as to our staff and the people we work with.

What about the entrepreneur award?

That is a feather in the cup but I don’t think it is as valuable as the recognition from our clients and other stakeholders.

Tonight there is a ceremony for the SME awards, is it a different one?

I am not sure.

As a leader, what would you say to young entrepreneurs in Ghana?

We drive a series called “Aspire” which is a youth development initiative that we do through The BEIGE Foundation. The idea is first of all to invoke a sense of drive in our youth and also to encourage them to graduate their aspirations. We like to preach the message that it is important to aspire to greater heights but it is almost more important to graduate the steps to get there because Rome was not built in a day.

Regarding the financial sector in Ghana, what are the trends nowadays? Where do you stand in the sector?

Unfortunately, or fortunately we are in almost every sector. For the informal sector businesses, our market share is around 20%. It is significantly high.

What would you say are the main differentiation points between you and your competitors?

It is the strength of our distribution network and the reputation of our brand. Also, the uniqueness of our service delivery model: we are an institution that is very practical in the area of financial services. We have tailor made approaches to suit our varied circumstances which makes it easy for customers to access us and for them to have their needs met within our framework, more so than in the very westernized traditional institutions.

When we meet again in two years from now, where would you like the BEIGE Group to be?

When you walk into our service centers you will see our mantra visibly displayed, it says that by 2020 we will be the finance house of choice throughout this country. We are definitely sure that we will achieve that.

What is your major challenge in the financial sector?

The challenge has to do with customer identification. We do not have a national identification system in the country and that makes it difficult for us to advance services to persons for whom we require strict identification. That is a major challenge but we are thankful that this government seems to have an agenda to address this and so we believe that when that happens along with the physical address system it will improve the risks associated with lending to persons who would hitherto not have IDs.

Is there anything that you can directly influence regarding any challenges for BEIGE Group?

A lot of influence can come from the associations that we belong to, not from a corporate initiative perspective. For example we belong to the Ghana Association of Bankers, and the Association of Savings and Loans Companies. Through these we are making our voices heard through the right channels in the corridors of power so that when policies are being formulated, our thoughts can be heeded when and where they matter.


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