Business

Interview to the Managing Director of MyBucks Malawi

Zandile Shaba

Career

Current
– Managing Director for MyBucks Banking Corporation Malawi
– Chairperson Institute of Bankers (IOBM)
– Chairperson, Board of Trustees for Employers’ Consultative Association of Malawi (ECAM)

Previous
– Managing Director for BancABC Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe
– Overseer of Finance Discount House at Finance Bank Zambia

Academic

– MBA from National University of Science and Technology of Zimbabwe
– BSc (Hons) in Political Science and Administration from the University of Zimbabwe

Interview

Interviewed on March, 2021

“WE ARE CURRENTLY THE ONLY BANK THAT HAS A BANKING DIVISION AND A MICROFINANCE DIVISION THAT FUNCTION SIMULTANEOUSLY.”

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
First of all, tell us about yourself.

I am Zandile Shaba, the Managing Director for MyBucks Banking Corporation.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
Why did you choose a career in the banking and finance industry?

I have worked in Banking all of my working life. My first job was a clerk in the International Department of a bank.  I then went to University and came back and enrolled as a graduate trainee. In those days, banks invested much time and money in training career bankers.  I later worked in Corporate Banking before becoming a CEO. My first positing as CEO was in Mozambique in 2002. Since then I have worked in Zambia, Zimbabwe and now, Malawi.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
What is your education background and working experience to date?

I hold an MBA from National University of Science and Technology of Zimbabwe and a BSc (Hons) in Political Science and Administration from the University of Zimbabwe. The academic process opens the mind and expands your capacity to receive and absorb knowledge. With the internet, we have very little excuse for ignorance in areas we choose to focus. So I read a lot and watch a lot of educational videos on various subjects.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
You were selected to lead MyBucks Malawi. Why do you think they considered you? Do you think there is a ‘secret to success’ to why you’re in such a position?

I had joined Finance Bank Zambia (FBZ), where I mainly worked on handling the sale of FBZ to Atlas Mara. I was also overseer of the Finance Discount House unit. In 2017, an opportunity arose for me to move to MyBucks Banking Corporation formerly known as New Finance Bank. My vast experience coupled with my knowledge garnered through continuous learning and reading made me to be well positioned for this post.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
In a short time, MyBucks has become one of the leading banks in Malawi. Can you tell us a brief history of MyBucks?

MyBucks has really become a leader in most aspects relating to banking. In 2015, we were established as New Finance Bank. In 2017, MyBucks S.A acquired 50% of NFB. In 2018, we acquired Pride Malawi. In 2019, MyBucks S.A acquired 100% of NFB and merged with GetBucks, rebranding as MyBucks Banking Corporation. In 2020, the bank acquired Nedbank Malawi and we are still growing.

Currently MyBucks Malawi is a fully fledged bank with branches in Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Zomba, Mangochi, Dzaleka, Kasungu and Madisi. Currently, it has a fully-fledged delivery channel of 17 branches, over 80 agents and 30 ATMS across the country, offering a full range of banking products and services that include Bancassurance and microfinance products. We also have a Bureau de change with footprint in Lilongwe and Blantyre.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
How is the business growing?

We started with 23 vehicles including 5 motorcycles but now we have 85 Vehicles. My aim was to expand this business, so whatever I was getting, was re-invested into the business to grow. The number of employees and branches is also increasing comparatively.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
How can you describe the growth of MyBucks in terms of what it has achieved so far?

There has been a tremendous growth. Through our journey it is evident that we chose both the acquisition route as well as the organic root in order to penetrate and grow in this market. So far through this approach we have seen our market share grow sustainably within a very short period of time and we are one of the fastest growing banks in Malawi.

Our footprint has also grown, making us more accessible. We now have 17 branches, over 90 agents and 30 ATMS across the country, offering a full range of banking products and services that include Bancassurance and Microfinance products.

Most importantly we are also registering growth in all key financial metrics. From the Audited results that we have published for the year 2020 and in comparison with prior year we have registered 58% growth in total Assets, 65% growth on our Loan book and 62% growth on customer deposits resulting into a profit of Mk2.2 Billion representing 53% growth and a Return on Equity (ROE) of 27% representing 52% growth.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
What is MyBucks strength?

Our strength lies in the fact that we cater for Corporate, Retail and public sector- from entry level to middle market, to affluent. We are currently the only bank that has a banking division and a Microfinance division that function simultaneously.

Being a full-fledged bank, we cater for all banking needs: transactional, borrowing, trading, insurance, forex and investment banking needs. You can see that this is a wide scope which few banks embark on. We are a one stop shop where anyone can Get Banked, Get Insured and Get Cash.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
Would you tell us the vision for MyBucks?

Our vision as MyBucks is to be the best digital bank in Malawi. We are a purpose-driven bank and we believe that we will attain this aspiration by consistently delivering on our purpose of “Making People’s Lives Better Through Convenient & Simplified Banking Using Technology & Partnerships”.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
What do you think about gender equality for top positions in Malawi?

Most sectors including the banking sector have many female bankers at lower levels of the structure. We also have a number of female Heads of Department in most banks. However, it is evident that we need more women at the top. Although there are many cultural and structural reasons why we have few women at the top, many women choose not to prioritize their careers due to competing demands that women have.  As I mentioned, I have worked in a number of countries before arriving in Malawi. I had to make some difficult choices and sacrifices in order to do so. If my husband and family had not been supportive it would have been difficult for me to pursue my career.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
Have you had any challenges in your career because you are a woman?

Well, I have been fortunate. I received a good education and much support from the people around me. So the odds I faced were not insurmountable.  The challenge for me is not to take my life for granted and always look for the opportunity to pay it forward.

MALAWI PLUS
MALAWI PLUS
How do you spend your free time?

Read books, watch movies, travel and spend time with family. I am also learning to play golf.

CEO’S PRINCIPLES
  1. Develop and Have a ‘Can Do’ Mentality.
  2. Encourage Staff
  3. Don’t Subscribe to Business as Usual
  4. There Is Always Room for Improvement

I believe everyone should develop and have a ‘can do’ mentality. I hold talks with my staff, encourage them and give them direction on this. I don’t subscribe to business as usual. There is always room for improvement. Change the way think and change your results.

ADVICE TO SOMEONE WHO ASPIRE TO BE IN SIMILAR POSITION

Never say you can not do it. If you have a vision, all things are possible. Risk is there to be mitigated, but it is also there to be taken. You have to think big and assume no limitations.

Interviewed on March, 2021