Challenges faced by Kenya Commercial Bank in selecting foreign markets
The objective of the study was to determine the challenges Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd face in selection of the foreign markets. This study sought to answer the following research question: What are the challenges that Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd face in selection of the foreign markets? This research adopted a case study approach to determine the challenges that Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd face in selecting and entering international markets. The pertinent primary and ~ secondary data was collected to meet the objectives of the study. The researcher personally interviewed the interviewees using the pre-prepared interview guide. The study used both Primary and Secondary data. Structured interview guide and personal interviews consisting of open ended questions was used to avoid subjectivity resulting from limiting the respondent's answers to questions. The Kenya Commercial Bank Ltd officials targeted for interviewing were the head of marketing, head of operations, head of human resource, head of finance and head of administration. The open-ended interview guide enabled the interviewees to give as much information as possible without any form of limitation. The researcher designed the interview guide on the basis of the objective of the research and the study's literature review. The primary data was supplemented by secondary data from the existing records of Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), Journals and organization's internal circulars. Content analysis was used to analyze the data collected. This was a systematic qualitative description of the composition of objects or materials of study. It involved observation and detailed description of themes, items and content from the interviews. Study findings indicate that the biggest challenges faced by KCB Bank Ltd in internationalization include bureaucracy in host country government administration, corruption, huge costs of entry and the language problem. Other challenges include host country residents fearing foreigners and the name of the bank. Lack of openness by host government and its people was another key challenge in some foreign markets. There were also some specific country risks that challenged KCB entry in various regional markets. This was brought by the uncertainty about the environment, which has three sources: political, financial, and economic. Other major challenges emanating from organizational system include challenge in sourcing start-up capital, challenge in integrating the IT platform to coordination the whole branch network, approval of foreign market investment by the bank's board and resistance by management and staff. The following key recommendations were made after considering the study findings. First, regional governments should ensure that their markets do away with market imperfections such as high cost of entry, poor infrastructure, poor regulation and corruption. This will go a long way in increasing competitiveness in such markets which is beneficial to customers. Secondly, globalizing companies need to reformulate their global or regional strategy, adopting a broader focus. This entails developing new initiatives to stimulate and capture demand in their traditional markets and at the same time they must formulate new strategies to target the wide range of growth opportunities in other countries throughout the region.