25 April 2012
- Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, MINISTERS, Director General ZNBC,
- Leaders in Government
- Our Host, Luckie Chiyowele
- CEOs, Leaders in Business
- Ladies & Gentlemen
It is a pleasure to be here tonight. On behalf of TopFloor and the American Chamber of Commerce, thank you for giving me the opportunity to have a few moments of your time.
We are all here because we have some interest in providing financing to SMEs, we want to access financing for our own SMEs, or we’re maybe interested in the subject. More than this, we are interested in either accessing better finance or capturing more customers by providing better financing.
But what is better financing? And what are the ingredients that go into better financing?
Better Financing is where we provide lower rates, flexible pay periods, flexible collateral arrangements, better terms, faster delivery, or better service. I wear two hats, TopFloor and American Chamber of Commerce, so I will give perspective from both.
Each of the ways in which providers can improve their offerings (and the rest of us can improve our access to and reduce our cost of capital) depends upon two things: Human Capital and Access to Capital.
One of the American Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 strategic goals is to increase FDI and improve access to low-cost capital. We are connected with American sources of capital, which can be much cheaper and more flexible than local sources. For example, Atrafin, which provides access to EXIM bank financing, will provide short, medium and long-term capital at rates as low as 6% for SMEs on American export goods such as trucks and equipment. We are developing strategic relationships to improve the number and quality of these offerings we can bring to the Zambian market from the US.
Cheaper access to better capital is important, but how do you provide faster delivery and better service? How do you develop the talent to create an efficient business and innovative products fit for the market? People are your most important asset. I repeat, People… Are your MOST…. IMPORTANT… ASSET.
TopFloor is the leading provider of certified trainings in Zambia. We strategically enhance human capital so your financial institution can provide better products faster and with better service than your competitors. We have the only Zambian experts in CISCO and IT Service Delivery (ITIL), and have also developed relationships with American experts as knowledge partners to utilize global best practices in training and development to make your staff the best. However, we do not fly-in and fly-out of your business. We are first in Zambia and are here to provide you sustained support. By improving your human capital, you can increase the market knowledge, creativity, and service delivery of your staff.
Specifically for the financial sector, we provide ITIL and LEAN Six Sigma for Services. Let us talk facts quickly of gains through these trainings:
- Increase disbursals per Loan Officer per month by 25%
- Reduce your annual IT budget by 10% while improving outcomes
- Decrease in collection times by 35%
- Reduce non-performing staff by 50%
- Increase Customer Service, Standardize Service, Reduce Downtime, and more
These are real results that will deliver better financing to more SMEs in Zambia. And with the increase in capital requirements, every financial institution needs every kwacha they can get.
So when we think about better finance, the two things to focus on are improved linkages and improved human capital. With this recipe, financial service providers can deliver, and SMEs will win.
Thank you, and I look forward to meeting you at the break.