Strategies adopted by Kenya commercial bank group ltd to gain competitive advantage
Strategy is key in developing competitive advantage. Competitive advantage is key for success of organisations. Different organisations use different strategies to achieve competitive advantage derived from their capabilities. The Kenyan banking industry has been affected immensely by the business environmental changes such as technological innovations, globalization, privatization, implementation of economic reforms, increased customer demands and liberalization of both domestic and foreign markets that has led to increased competition, forcing banks to adjust their strategies in order to survive. It has had a drastic change where many non-banking financial institutions such as microfinance institutions (MFIs), building societies and Saccos are converting into fully fledged banks. This has led to a tremendous increase in the number of banks to the current 43 thereby setting in increased competition. KCB has risen to becoming the best performing bank in the banking industry in Kenya surpassing other banks in the industry that had consistent performance over the years. This study was therefore aimed at understanding what strategies KCB has adopted to gain competitive advantage over its peers in the Kenyan banking industry. The study adopted a case study design to carry out this research where an interview guide targeting 5 senior managers of the bank was used to collect data. Both primary and secondary data were sourced and analyzed through the Content Analysis method. The study revealed that KCB has adopted strategies such as invention and innovation of new products and services, quick and convenient sales and channels for more coverage, aggressive brand and targeted marketing, excellent customer experience, reliable and agile technology and systems, employee training and development, good corporate governance, risk management and customer centric operations to gain competitive advantage in the Kenyan banking industry. The study recommended that the bank should focus more on utilizing its large asset base more efficiently to generate higher profits than it is currently making. Through it operations, it should further improve efficiency in the delivery of its product and services to its customers, and reduce costs hence achieving higher profits as well. The major limitation of the study was that some respondents withheld some information they considered confidential and sensitive on the fear that it can leak to their competitors.