Sunday, December 8, 2013

UOB Celebrated Grand Opening of Gisozi Branch...

On December 6th, 2013, UOB celebrated the grand opening of its 11th branch and 44th business outlet in Gisozi, Kigali. Gisozi is booming with construction of many commercial buildings and retail strip centers.

Gisozi Branch has been established mainly to relieve Gisozi clients from having to travel to Nyabugogo Branch that is already overcrowded with too many clients. The banking hall is packed with clients from 7AM. The number of clients who will save time for travel is approximately 1,000 and this number is expected to grow as the area expands.

Our celebration was more like a dedication. We began with a prayer by UOB's director Christine Baingana, followed by the speech made by UOB's chairman of the board, Francis Pelekamoyo. A representative from Gasabo District also delivered a congratulatory speech for our opening. I had a privilege of making a speech that centered around our appreciation for our clients and UOB's uniqueness as a financial institution compared to other commercial banks and microfinance institutions.

The differences may be summarized into three P's:

Purpose: UOB's purpose is not to maximize the profit, like many other commercial banks. Rather its purpose is to maximize the holistic transformation impact on the clients that UOB serves. This fundamental difference is clearly stated in UOB's vision and mission statements.

Products: Therefore, UOB's products are not developed to maximize the bank's profit. Rather, they are developed to see how much impact they will generate. Product Fit Test is done for all new products. UOB has developed and implemented agricultural loans for inputs and production, the highest risk in already risk agricultural lending because of the mandate. Also, UOB has launched the school fee loans, college tuition fee loans and school improvement loans. Moreover, UOB is considering launching renewable energy loans and health finance because they are believed to provide significant impact on the clients for their transformation.

Process: UOB's process is established with the client's convenience and benefits in mind. The process should be courteous, speedy and accurate. It is called the UOB Way or the CSA Way. The foundation for the UOB Way is Colossians 3:23,24 where we are encouraged to work at everything with all our hearts as if we work for the Lord. It is a daunting mandate, but we are determined to stand up for it and live up to it.

I was so grateful for the clients we have been called to serve, the staff who is like-minded and dedicated to the cause and the board members who are firm in supporting the mission with their professional skills and experiences. This would be the last delivery channel that UOB will open with me as the CEO. So I thanked God for His use of the skills and experiences that He has invested in me over the past three decades.

A client testimony, tape cutting, cake cutting and branch tour all made the day's events special. Anita, a famous radio anchor, has entertained a big crowd who gathered around and also introduced a series of products that UOB offers, including Edu Finance products sponsored by DFID Rwanda, mHose, agricultural loans and remittances. It was a great event that collected many positive feedbacks from people.

Our staff did a wonderful job in making the event a great success. I am grateful for them. The following are some of the photos taken for the activities done on the celebration. - Jeffrey

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