Strategies adopted by dtm's to position themselves in a regulated micro finance sector in Kenya
Kasanga, Lilian N
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Organizations can only adapt to changes in the macro-environment. Tney neither can change the environment nor stop it from changing. When fundamental, sometimes structural, economic, political and social change occurs, strategic planning places an organization in a more agile state of preparedness, more attuned to market and other external conditions and therefore better prepared to flex or substantially change their strategic thrusts and operational plans at both local and higher corporate levels (Koch, 2006). The Micro Finance industry in Kenya has been faced with a changing financial and regulatory environment with the establishment of the Micro- Finance 2008 act. This research project provides an overview on the concept of strategy and the DTMFI sector besides evaluating competitive and positioning strategies at play•.• The research sought to identify the various strategies adopted by DTMFI's to position them for success and a sustainable future in the now regulated MFI industry. The population of study was restricted to the eight DTMFI's licensed since the regulation of the MFI industry by CBK, namely: Faulu, KWFT, Rafiki, Remu, SMEP, Uwezo, Century and SUMAC. A ninth one, U & I DTM was licensed in May, 2013, at the point of finalizing this research and therefore could not form part ofthe study. The study involved the period of time since the licensing date of the MFI to present, meaning the first five years since regulatory regime set in. The first chapter analyzed the literature relating to Strategic Management, Competitive strategy, positioning strategy and how they interact for successful management of firms. In the literature review, it was established that the concepts of competitive and positioning strategies interplay in determining the overall long term success of an organization in the face of a rapidly changing environment. (Mintzberg & Waters, 1985). Secondly, the process of adopting strategies that are resilient enough to create a unique place in the market is not an easy task, but working towards improving the company's productivity while staying true to the core competencies and positioning efforts can yield excellent results. In essence, the literature review provided a theoretical foundation on how critical the competitive and positioning strategies are in charting the direction of a firm. The study data was collected through a Cross-sectional survey and judgement sampling method was applied. In order to address the primary objectives of the research, a structured questionnaire was created using SurveyMonkey, a web based survey tool that is used to define the survey and capture responses from the various respondents through email. SurveyMonkey is an excellent instrument for surveys that provides tools to make surveying easy and strong analytics to interpret the results, gather the data as well as commence the analysis ( (Blinklist Web Apps, 2013). Factor analysis was applied as well in the data analysis process. The results collected for this research revealed that DTM's in Kenya employ a combination of strategies to position themselves for success. The results also indicated that differentiation strategy is one of the most applied for competitive advantage. The researcher recommends that Managers ensure that strategy deals with the barriers to goal achievement for it to be effective and verify that their goals are consistent with their mission and vision as well as adoption of a clear strategy so that all stake holders share the strategic vision of the' organization. The researcher also recommends for a posttransformation period strategy which clearly stipulates how the institution will maintain its original mission and remain competitive. Further to this, the researcher recommends further studies to be carried out in the area of the process of managing change by DTM's in a regulated industry to shed more light to the transitioning MFI's.