Melbond Microfinance, as it marks 10 years of operation, has assured stakeholders including shareholders, customers, staff, management and industry regulators, that its plan in the nearest future is to consolidate its market position as a microfinance company.
Kwabena Gyansah, Managing Director of Melbond Microfinance, speaking at a short ceremony to launch the 10th anniversary noted that Melbond is growing stronger and stronger each year, and the dream is to become the largest microfinance company and not necessarily a savings and loans company.
“We would rather grow to become the biggest MFI in Ghana than rush to become another savings and loans. So far, we have seven branches spread across the environs of Accra and even in Kumasi.
“The next step is to grow our profitability. For us to become relevant into the future, that is what we should be focusing on. We plan build our base, invite potential investors and expand the business. As an MFI there is no need to rush,” he told his team.
Meeting BoG capital requirement
Mr. Gyansah was emphatic about Melbond fulfilling the central bank’s requirement that all microfinance companies meet a minimum capital requirement of GH¢2million by June, 2018. “We are going to meet the GH¢2million, and we are almost there. We actually want to expand and even exceed what the regulator wants, but still be an MFI,” he said.
Board chairman’s remarks
Bishop Edwin Ewusie Brookman, Chairman of the company’s board, noted that, indeed, ten years is a major milestone for an institution, but the celebration is not so much a festivity as an opportunity to pause and assess the journey so far.
“Throughout our ten-year journey, we have had to look continuously at our model as a microfinance business. From a process-driven institution 10 years ago, we are looking at a results-driven institution going forward in our move to making a great difference while ensuring financial soundness at all times in the delivery of financial solutions to our loyal clients,” he stressed.
Bishop Brookman urged the board, management and staff of this noble institution to redesign themselves for the new challenges and opportunities that will face the institution in the coming days, weeks and months.
“Our new Ten-Year Strategy provides a sound platform. We must constantly rethink our tools, our systems, our responses in order to continually maintain the confidence of our regulator, loyal clients, partners and other stakeholders,” he urged.
DMD’s words of encouragement
Deputy Managing Director Operations, Dinah Colecraft, encouraged both management and staff that even though the company has reached this milestone, there are higher opportunities out there.
“Within these 10 years there have been process changes, and some of these changes were hard for our staff to take; but with constant guidance, direction and good operational systems and procedures, they are now up to date to follow-through the processes in accordance with our guidelines and operational documents and what the BoG wants from us,” she said.
She noted that the company will soon add a couple more branches to cover areas that are yet to be covered, which includes some regions.
To mark the 10th anniversary, Melbond undertook a donation exercise, held a durbar and dinner with customers, and followed it up with a thanksgiving service. But throughout the year, the company has plans to stay active to continue with the celebrations.
“To customers we can only say ‘thank you’. We are here because of them; we have gotten this far because of them, and their loyalty is immeasurable because some of them are our unofficial ambassador,” the Managing Director added.
“Melbond Microfinance was incorporated in September 2007 under the name AAG Broadway as a financial NGO. Armed with a GH¢1,000 and an office measuring about 7 square feet in the Kaneshie Market Complex, we started operations.”
Today, with seven branches and counting, and staff strength of over 100, Melbond currently serves over 60,000 clients and is affecting thousands more directly and indirectly.