Founded in 1993 by farmers from the Central Region of Kenya, growing, rebranding and permeating over the years into all corners of the nation, Unaitas has become the go-to deposit-taking Sacco for hundreds of thousands of people across the country.
The Unaitas Kisii Branch, one of the over 30 Unaitas branches, is a portion of the entity that has now achieved the level of a full-fledged bank, exceptionally serving the public since its establishment in 2018.
The financial institution covers its clients’ requirements on agribusiness (tea, coffee, dairy farming and horticulture), Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), personal lending, and chama lending, among many other products.
“Kisii Branch is a versatile one. We are in all quarters of agriculture, SMEs, personal lending, group lending, real estate loaning and other financial aspects,” said Mr. Isaac Karoga, the Manager, Unaitas Kisii Branch, during a recent interview with The Scholar Media Africa.
The Sacco has been supporting farmers through loans and supporting their agribusiness demands and modern agricultural financial requirements.
They also offer loans to parents for school fees and development, project, consumer, and business loans for starting or boosting businesses.
Beyond the loans, Unaitas Kisii has been supporting chama competitions and gifting the winners handsomely and promoting financial literacy seminars and clinics to train groups and business owners on financial intelligence and management skills.
“We also offer installments to people in the trade industry. We give billboards, performance boards, letters of credit, contract financing, overdrafts; anything you can access in a bank, we’re in it,” he said.
While the region has numerous other financial outlets, Unaitas stands tall due to how it handles its clients with understanding and urgency, and the very-affordable rates on its products.
Mr. Karoga also expressed his approval that the clientele has given them immense support.
“The market is good, with a lot of booming businesses; we are working to fill more gaps and reach the unreached. It has been a tremendous growth and we look forward to getting better,” he explained.
Amidst the numbers
“Unaitas is the only Sacco that cuts across, lending finances to individuals and groups in diverse sectors, doing check-offs and signing MoUs with private companies,” says Mr. Karoga.
With the growth in technology, especially in the banking sector, Unaitas has been up-to-date enough, offering top-notch, fast and secure mobile and online-banking services to its clients 24/7 through Unaitas Mobile App, ATM and USSD.
The options allow clients to access and repay finances in the comfort of their residences, thus time-saving.
To fully cater to the needs of its clientele, Unaitas has invested in its success, giving it the strongest asset base, according to Mr. Karoga.
“It is the only Sacco that is part of the banks offering funds for mortgage, through the Mortgage and Securities Regulation and Compliance service.
Challenges and way-out
However, their sailing has not been without facing waves.
Competition from other financial institutions, challenges with penetrating the interior parts of the county, and farmers choosing to sell their farm proceeds in cash at times, among others, have been shaping the Sacco’s experience in the market, giving them more opportunities to offer solutions.
“However, they have not been stopping us in any way; we have been working round the clock to offer solutions to every challenge we face,” he assured.
The Unaitas Kisii Branch Manager says that the strategic setting of Kisii town has been to their advantage because the business people can access them from other counties neighboring Kisii and can also easily move their businesses.
“We overcome our challenges by being unique in offering our products and being accommodative to our clients; treating them with dignity, listening to them, providing them with solutions and assisting them when they need us,” he adds.
The branch manager says that beyond the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities they have had in the recent past, such as visiting and supporting children’s homes in the county, they are planning to conduct more in a bid to give back to the society significantly.
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Unaitas Kisii Branch, according to the beneficiaries of their services, remains the go-to Sacco for anyone seeking financial support and training, all at the best rates in the market.