Safaricom Investment Co-operative: Setting standards on matters investment
Established in 2009 with the aim of investing members’ contributions in real estate development, buying and selling of land, value addition on land parcels, trading in marketable securities and money markets, Safaricom Investment Cooperative is emerging as a market leader unrivaled as it seeks to conquer within and beyond the Kenyan borders.
By Corporate Watch Team
- Statistical data has shown that the annual demand for housing is at 200,000 units in urban areas, and 350, 000 units in the rural areas with Co-operatives being the most preferred channel to mobilize resources for middle and low-income level individuals for the purposes of real estate development.
- Banking on good governance, credibility, professionalism, transparency and accountability under the stewardship of Chief Executive Officer Ronald Musundi, Safaricom investment Cooperative commonly referred to as SIC is delivering the promise and has since cut itself an unrivalled niche catapulting the investment Cooperative above the rest in its eight years of existence.
- Safaricom Investment Cooperative currently boasts of a membership of 4200 up from 3000 one year ago when Ronald Musundi took over as CEO. The institutions’ capital base stands at 2.2 billion while the asset base stands at 3.6 billion as at 2017
- SIC’s success has been as a result of team work with each and every person working towards achieving a common goal while positioning every team player’s positive attitude and determination to achieve
Venturing into an already crowded investments market eight years ago, Safaricom investments Cooperative took a leap of faith going into land buying and selling. However, in line with the revised co-operative laws that require that all Sacco’s concentrate on their core mandate that is mobilization of savings from and disbursement of loans to their membership and to keep off non-core activities. There was a need to form an organization open to Safaricom and non-Safaricom staff that could deal with the investment needs of its membership.
With the right mindset, and putting into consideration the ever changing investments market trends and needs of shareholders, the investment cooperative expanded to offer a wider range of products and services including Real estate, online share trading, marketable securities exchange, treasury bills, money marketing instruments among others with real estate development taking Centre stage as its main investment platform following increased demand for housing.
Statistical data has shown that the annual demand for housing is at 200,000 units in urban areas, and 350, 000 units in the rural areas with Co-operatives being the most preferred channel to mobilize resources for middle and low-income level individuals for the purposes of real estate development.
Banking on good governance, credibility, professionalism, transparency and accountability under the stewardship of Chief Executive Officer Ronald Musundi, Safaricom investment Cooperative is delivering the promise and has since cut itself an unrivalled niche catapulting the investment Sacco above the rest in its eight years of its existence.
‘Sometimes back, the Ministry of Cooperatives set up SASRA which provided a framework where mainstream Saccos were directed to focus on their core business which is savings and lending, any Cooperative that was interested in handling investments was required to set up a special purpose vehicle for that venture leading to the birth of Safaricom Investment cooperative’ explained CEO Musundi in an exclusive interview with The Corporate Watch Magazine.
Despite a low market trend witnessed this year mostly due to the prolonged electioneering period, the investment cooperative has been on the forefront with dynamic innovation putting forward an investment team that is keen on identifying the best areas to invest considering the economic trends, concept designers that work to deliver superior quality products, project management players who ensure timely delivery cutting on costs and a fund raising team that together with the financial advisory team have ensured tailor made products to suit the investors needs.
Safaricom Investment Cooperative currently boasts of a membership of 4200 up from 3000 one year ago when Ronald Musundi took over as CEO. The institutions’ capital base stands at 2.2 billion while the asset base stands at 3.6 billion as at 2017 compared to the capital base of 1.8 billion and asset base of 2.5 billion recorded in 2016. The CEO is hopeful that the numbers are set to double in in the next two years.
According to the CEO, SIC’s success has been as a result of team work with each and every person working towards achieving a common goal while positioning every team player’s positive attitude and determination to achieve despite challenges.
‘Investors and shareholders trust and believe in us because we promise and deliver on our promises. Investors are only comfortable when they are assured their investment is safe and keeping our investors investments safe is our forte, We work tirelessly to maximize our investors wealth’ Mr. Musundi adds.
In response to emerging trends and in the spirit of devolution, SIC is gradually spreading its wings to the counties covering Kajiado, Uasin Gishu,Narok,Kiambu, Nakuru, Mombasa, Machakos, Kwale, Kilifi, Kisumu with the expansion projected to cover more counties in 2018. The CEO says this expansion is expected to grow at a fast rate with SIC positioning itself as a strong brand in the market.
‘ In any business there is competition, the key difference is what is your competitive advantage, for us we have a strong management and leadership team, we offer demand driven and solution based products and services. Furthermore, we do not focus on competition but rather on giving our customers value for their money,’ noted Musundi.
Leveraging on technology SIC has set up an IT system to update members on products and services while also keeping in touch with members on social media which is one of its biggest communication platforms as social media takes over as the next frontier for interaction with local and diaspora investors and potential investors. The investment cooperative has also invested on a robust online share-trading platform that is a game changer in the shares buying and selling. This platform is one of the institutions strongest points when it comes to share trading as its members can float and buy shares electronically.
Looking into the future, the CEO reveals that SIC is in the process of kicking off a number of new projects in 2018 top of the list being the Athi River 84 Mansionates expected to break ground in January, 300 apartments in Ruaka also expected to kick off in January 2018.
‘Our vision is to be the investment vehicle of choice in Kenya and beyond, I am happy to report that most of the stakeholders have bought into that vision including staff, our members our customers and other stakeholders. I would like to be the person who is going to make that a reality,’ says Ronald Musundi.
The CEO adds that through research and expertise the institution is always improving on its products and services as well as customer service delivery in a bid to grow its brand relationship with customers and offer the best quality products for investors.
‘As we steer this ship called Safaricom investment Cooperative towards realizing its core objectives, mission and vision I have no doubt in my mind that it is achievable’ the CEO concludes.
Ronald Musundi has over 10 years’ experience in the investment space and has worked with global investment firms.
He holds MBA (Finance), B.Com Finance Hons. He is an ICPAK member in good standing, MKIM and Association of Accredited SME Business Consultants® (ASMEC).