Foreign market entry strategies used by Ecobank Kenya Limited to enter the Kenyan market
Entering new markets, despite the huge potential that it provides, does involve big risks. Foreign market entry mode is an institutional arrangement that makes possible the entry of a firm's products, service, know-how, management and other resources into a foreign market. A firm can set up an entry to a foreign market in only two ways, it export its products to a foreign market or it can transfer its resources such as technology, capital, know-how, brand name to a foreign market in which those resources can be sold directly to customers or combined with resource in the host country to manufacture product for that market. The further opening up and liberalization of the Kenyan banking market has increased the opportunities for foreign investments and market entry in the banking sector. The markets in transition have many opportunities but also face threats for foreign investments, strategies for entering these markets or further increasing investments in these markets are seen to be more complex and the ones determining the entrants' survival on the market. This study sought to investigate the foreign market entry strategies used by Ecobank to enter the Kenyan market. 56% of the respondents were middle level managers followed by top level management staff at 33% while lower level managers were represented by II % of the respondents. The top and middle level managers were chosen upon because of their critical role in formulation and implementation of strategies such as new market entries and forms of entry which is the subject of this study. The Bank considered several strategies 111 its assessment of entry strategies into the Kenyan financial market including: direct investment by entering the market as a new organization and start building its market share. Acquisition strategy was effective as it enabled the Bank to receive warm reception on the market from the customers to the acquired bank as the Bank was struggling in terms of performance on the market and as a result of the acquisition, customers received a sigh of relief especially considering the fact that the acquiring Bank was a Pan African Bank operating in more than four African countries.