HOW TO JOIN KUMEKUCHA'S CLUB1999 TODAY

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Monday, August 20, 2007

What Are The Weaknesses Of Equity Bank?

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I did find the inevitable "warts" in this star player of a bank.

Top on the list of its' weaknesses emerges from the style of management. The tight-control-one-man show that built the institution from nothing (actually Equity missed being put under receivership by a whisker—but I'll explain that story in a minute) to what it is today is still very much in place.

This is not the place where staff can share ideas and suggest things. Everybody knows that doing so is way too dangerous. That is how such talented members of staff like Kariuki Nguru and more recently, Joyce Sang lost their jobs. The way to keep your job at Equity is to do exactly as you are told and to oil the right egos frequently enough. This is more than a little dangerous for an institution that has reached the size that Equity Bank has.

It is instructive that this was the same problem that Uchumi Supermarkets had. The dukawalla management style of former CEO Suresh Shah was good for raking in the profits but skills were hardly passed on down to lower cadre workers. Interestingly this is something that Nakumatt Supermarkets have...

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