Strategies employed by the national bank of Kenya to gain competitive advantage
Firms the world over, have had to use one strategy or another, in order to gain and maintain competitive advantage. This is as a result of the globalization trend that has intensified the level of competition among different firms, causing them to strategize in order to stay ahead of competition. The banking industry has witnessed intense competition the world over and the Kenyan banking industry is not an exception. To survive in this market, commercial banks have adopted different strategies to gain and sustain competitive advantage derived from their capabilities. In a competitive banking industry like the Kenyan situation, absence of well-defined competitive strategies can lead to weak positions and result in performances that are below the industry average. The purpose of this study was to examine the competitive strategies adopted by the National Bank of Kenya to achieve competitive advantage in the market. The study adopted case study design to carry out this research where an interview guide targeting 5 senior officers of the bank was employed to collect data. Both primary and secondary data were sourced and used for analysis through Content Analysis method. The study revealed that NBK has traditionally pursued low pricing strategy to capture the market share and sustain competition. It also came to the fore that the bank is currently undergoing a restructuring process and is embracing cost efficiency strategy to spur growth and gain competitive edge in the competitive banking industry. The study recommended that the bank should focus on improving its ICT infrastructure, streamline credit management processes, expand the branch network and train staff to be more customer-friendly to exceed customer expectations to gain and sustain competitive advantage. The major limitation of the study was that the respondents were cautious about revealing a lot of information on the strategies they use, given the sensitivity of such information. Further research may be carried out to establish how the strategies employed by the Bank can be used to compete with other banks within its strategic group.