Choice of strategy in a competitive environment case of Equity Bank
Today's world has become more complex marked by more technology and less government regulation. To be successful in this environment, managers must demonstrate personal commitment to the success of the organizational unit and excellent communications. Moreover, managers must educate and train individuals to work together as members of teams, and measure performance improvement. The purpose of this study was to understand what competitive strategies Equity Bank has employed and factors that influence choice of such strategies. Specifically, the study wanted to identify alternative strategies that Equity Bank has adopted to remain competitive and to establish the determining factors that Equity Bank considers when coming up with such strategies. The study used a case study design. A case study design was deemed appropriate since case studies are used to organize a wide range of information about an entity and then analyze the contents by seeking patterns and themes in the data. The population for this study was the senior management of Equity Bank based at the head office. The sample was selected purposively and included all the six department heads at the head office. Data was collected using in-depth interview technique. The interview guide contained open-ended questions to gather qualitative data. Study findings indicated that Equity Bank has been adopting various strategies. These include conducting aggressive marketing campaigns, adopting a market-driven approach of ensuring a mass market is reached and ensuring excellent service delivery to its clients. The bank also pursues a commitment to being a broad based bank, engaging in strategic change management, focusing on microfinance customers and an impeccable attention to client service. Other strategies adopted by the bank include transforming from a building society to a bank and free account opening drive. Factors affecting choice of strategy included human resources, competition, the bank’s development partners, social political environment and legal and regulatory framework. Other factors included availability of capital and the general economic conditions. The study recommends that Equity management should strive to maintain the client-focused culture, even with growth. Equity Bank should also aim at maintaining a quality loan portfolio and a satisfied customer base. The study also recommends to the bank to continually train its staff in the management of risk as the bank becomes more dynamic and complex. Equity Bank should also improve on its market intelligence to continue monitoring its competition and ensure that it gives products and services that are always ahead of competition. Lastly the researcher recommends that the bank addresses the need for commercial banking capacity in staff and systems to accommodate the growth and reduce the high employee turnover by ensuring that staff members are clear on the functioning of the comprehensive incentive system.