Top 25 Brands Transforming Lives in Kenya 2021

NCBA is today a recognizable brand in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania Uganda and Ivory Coast.




The NCBA merger journey

September 30, 2019, is the effective date announced by the Central Bank of Kenya for the merger of Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) and NIC Bank to become the NCBA Bank Kenya Plc. One year down the line, the NCBA Bank Group had serviced an estimated 40 million customers as of October 2019, in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Ivory Coast.

What do you get when you bring together a bank with a strong asset finance franchise and superior retail banking capability with a bank with a strong corporate banking and unparalleled leadership in the digital banking space? After a successful 10 months of painstaking negotiations, the merged entity, NCBA Group PLC was finally launched on 1st October 2019 following the integration of NIC and CBA.

Breaking new ground as the country’s first merger of equals in the banking sector, the consolidation of the two banks was sealed with an unwavering promise to deliver a complete and seamless range of financial services to its customers, underpinned by a strong relationship management and a culture of customer service excellence.

The Group’s bold ambition to become a large Pan African banking player saw it expand its offering to provide a full range of financial products and services to corporate, institutional, SME as well as consumer banking customers.

NCBA is today a recognizable brand in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania Uganda and Ivory Coast. The Bank’s race to become one of the top African banks is expected to be accelerated by a focus on scaling up retail banking; deepening its strength in corporate banking and asset finance; propelling digital transformation and becoming a distinguished brand known for excellent customer experience.

NCBA Group Managing Director John Gachora.

Young and ambitious, NCBA Bank Kenya Plc has begun expanding its retail network in Kenya with the opening of five additional branches in 2021, with 10 more branches in the pipeline in the immediate future.

Numbers That Matter

In bringing this insight to life, in January this year, NCBA Bank unveiled a ‘Numbers That Matter’, campaign echoing the bank’s focus on creating a more wholesome, rewarding banking experience for its customers.

The campaign brings the customer’s story of real life meaning behind the financial services solutions they have received. The campaign underscores NCBA Bank’s commitment to its customers, allowing customers to tell of the authentic and real moments that matter to them.

The campaign mirrors NCBA Bank’s purpose, ‘Inspiring Greatness’, which is its commitment to support customers to go for those things that matter most to them.

Supporting engines of growth

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are the real engines of growth and play a significant role in the economic development of the country. The sector contributes an estimated 80 percent of employment and is crucial in reducing poverty, stimulating entrepreneurship and promoting innovation for achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Despite their critical role in national development, research indicates that 50% of new businesses fail within the first two years of operation. It is with this in mind that NCBA Bank has partnered with Strathmore Enterprise Development Centre (SEDC) under the Strathmore School of Management and Commerce (SMC), to contribute to empowering SMEs for business competitiveness.

In addition, NCBA Bank has signed the Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) with the Government of Kenya, which seeks to improve and stimulate the national economy by encouraging additional lending to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), increasing investment opportunities for MSMEs as well as strengthening skills and capacities of proprietors of MSMEs.

A responsible corporate citizen

NCBA Bank has helped shape societies by creating opportunities and by helping individuals and businesses to realize their ambitions as well as by helping to build and innovate the financial infrastructure.

The strength and sustainability of NCBA Bank business is earned daily by keeping its promises to customers, employees, shareholders, and communities. 

Under its 3 strategic pillars: People, Planet and Profit, NCBA Bank supports a number of initiatives including youth education and enterprise; financial innovation; environment and natural resources and preventative health and wellness.

Under education sub-pillar, NCBA Bank supports bright students from disadvantaged homes and backgrounds, in line with the global UN agenda, SDG 4, that singles out education and training as a vehicle that will drive the country into a middle-income economy by 2030.

NCBA Bank has partnered with Junior Achievement (JA) Kenya to run a financial innovation boot camp for high school and university students dubbed “Social Innovation Relay (SIR)”. SIR is a global initiative that brings together experienced business mentors and students to advance real world social problem solving in their local communities and beyond. This program themed “Game Changers” aims to encourage youth who are members of the Junior Achievement Club to develop transformational innovative solutions that will help solve everyday problems and have create positive change.

NCBA Bank is also cognizant of SDG 3, which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Currently, the world is facing an unprecedented global health crisis, the Covid-19 Pandemic, that is spreading human suffering, destabilizing the global economy, and upsetting the lives of billions of people around the globe. In this regard, in April 2020, NCBA Bank committed Ksh100 million to help the fight against the Covid-19 Pandemic. The funds were donated towards the government’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund, which was set up by H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta to mobilize resources to support the fight against the pandemic.

NCBA Bank also maintains an unwavering support to its customers by helping them weather the adverse effects caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. Among the key mitigation actions taken by the bank include: rolling -out loan moratorium programs to offer short-term financial relief during the Covid-19 Pandemic; restructured corporate and retail loans repayments, extended loan repayment periods by up to 12 months and absorption of the associated transactional fees.

On the environmental front, as Kenya continues to lose about 12,000 hectares of forest land cover each year due to demand for fuelwood, charcoal, wood products, population pressure for settlements, infrastructure development, and conversion of forests to farmlands, NCBA Bank is active in this area. To avert a crisis, the Government has adopted a coordinated approach to manage, conserve, and expand forests sustainably to attain a minimum 10 per cent forest cover nationally by 2022. To achieve this target, the country requires 1.8 billion seedlings. Through the bank’s Change the Story campaign, NCBA Bank kicked off development of Indigenous Tree Seedling Nursery project in Karura Forest, in partnership with Kenya Forest Service (KFS).

This started in July 2020 and the bank’s target is to eventually grow 1 million seedlings and currently, percentage of work done is estimated at over 90 per cent. The seedlings are projected to be ready by the end of 2021. All individuals, groups and organizations can buy the seedlings at a subsidized cost, thanks to NCBA Bank’s contribution.   

Sports development

NCBA Bank has initiated various sporting programs across the country.  As part of its support of sports development, the bank has introduced an all -year-round amateur competition across various golf clubs, dubbed the NCBA Golf Series. It will also have the NCBA Junior Golf Series as complementary competition to the NCBA Golf Series. The junior tournament is expected to cater for the budding golf talent in Kenya for children aged between 6 and 18 years and will include 2-day golf clinics and the junior competition.

As NCBA Bank celebrates its second anniversary of the merger during the shelf life of this issue, October 2021, it is clear that the vision of the board of directors of building a truly transformational pan African bank is on track.

John Gachora is currently leading the team at NCBA Bank, providing vision and strategic direction as the employees and customers ‘Go For It’.

According to LinkedIn, John Gachora is driven by self-improvement, integrity, hard work and an ability to absorb, John has differentiated himself by often starting with the end in mind, placed against a strong belief that he can model anything. This, John has done with the successful merger that led to the formation of NCBA Bank.

Going by the smooth transitioning to the new bank, NCBA, John’s experience on Wall Street, coupled with international exposure in the US and South Africa, working for reputable international banks are serving him well, as he responds to the potential of a huge unbanked population, through innovative banking products on offer by the NCBA Bank.


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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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