Competitive strategies adopted by bank of Africa Kenya limited in retail banking in Kenya
The choice of a competitive strategy is critical for the survival and success of any organization. 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. This study was set out to investigate the competitive strategies adopted by commercial Bank of Africa Kenya limited in retail banking. The study adopted case study design to carry out this research where an interview guide targeting 9 senior managers of the bank was employed to collect data. Both primary and secondary data were sourced and used for analysis. The findings were analyzed by use of content analysis. The study revealed that BOA was majorly using cost leadership, differentiation and expansion strategies to penetrate the highly competitive retail market and enhancing its brand image. It also emerged that the bank had also started to apply market development strategies to enable it catch up with the stiff competition in the banking industry. The study recommended that the bank should focus on improving its ICT infrastructure, enhance the use of focus strategy in their products/services offering, and continue on its branch expansion strategy and collaboration strategy. The major limitation of the study was that the respondents were cautious about revealing a lot of information on the strategies they use and also the decision making process by the group’s head office. The scope of the study was also a limitation as this was a case study. The researcher recommended that further research should also be undertaken to determine what strategies other companies in different related industries use to build competitive advantage. Also a similar study can be done in other banks or the Kenya Banking industry to establish if the findings will be similar. The researcher also suggested a study to be done on several or all banks in Kenya to arrive at a generalization as it is difficult to summarize case studies into general propositions and theories. The study established that Collaborative strategy has been well employed by the bank. Partnerships with various institutions have increased brand image of the bank as well as its competitiveness. The results have been a win-win for the bank, its clients and the staffs in general. The findings showed Bank of Africa, Kenya has been successful in blending the mix of Generic strategies and Ansoff growth strategies. The combination of the two sets of strategies was shown to be beneficial as the strategies complement each other.