Strategies adopted by Kenya Commercial Bank to gain entry into East Africa region financial market
Increasing trade within the East Africa region is beginning to drive ever-increasing demands and opportunities for businesses in this region leading to the expansion or reorganization of Kenyabased banks in the region. They have no choice but to evaluate and choose strategies that will enable them penetrate and gain competitive advantage in the new market. Entry strategies are crucial to the survival of new firms as they ensure that the firms are moving on the correct track right from the start without deviating from their goals. KCB, Kenya's biggest retail bank, is pursuing regional expansion programme, a strategy to meet the ever increasing demand for banking services in Eastern Africa region. The study therefore sought to identify Identifying Strategies used by Kenya commercial bank when entering its new markets, the level of success or failure of these strategies; the causes of success and failure and recommendation of possible solutions. The methodology employed in this study was case study. Case study was used because it would provide both qualitative and quantitative information on research subject. The tool mainly used -was interview and secondary to it was the questionnaire. KCB was the bank selected for the case study as it had already ventured in to four other Eastern African countries and was now considered as a major player in the region. The researcher used Microsoft Excel and SPSS software for data analysis and presented charts, tables and narratives on the findings. The major findings from the data collected were that KCB targeted new geographic areas and new distribution channels. They did not focus on service improvement for niche markets nor was price reduction for penetration cause of failure in Tanzania. The ease of perretration, demand of banking service and liberalization of the market were most important for KCB. Financial market forecasts and SWOT analysis and sensitivity analysis have greatly made KCB to make right market entry strategies. They targeted profitability; market share and break even period were not defined. KCB lacked market exit strategy and they relied heavily on Greenfield Investment Approach. From the major findings the study concludes that when a firm wishes to enter a market it should prepare beyond market entry and have policies for measuring key performance indicators before and after entering and that it was important to have policies to guide entry and exit strategies, investment criterion and technology to be used. KCB' s success were mainly due to its research, planning and soft issues it had handled properly while its failures were mainly on policies made which they needed to address.