Nairobi-based car dealership Maridady Motors is set to launch a savings and credit society (Sacco) to help clients acquire assets without having to go through the tough conditions set by formal lenders.
Eric Mwangi, the company’s chief executive, said the Sacco will mainly target those seeking to acquire assets such as personal and commercial cars. Taxi drivers, boda boda riders, mechanics, and car-wash operators also qualify to join the society.
“I have seen what diligence, persistence, integrity and trust can do to develop an organisation be it social or economic. I would want to replicate the same at Maridady Motors Sacco,” Mr Mwangi said adding that the society will seek to economically empower young men.
Through the Sacco, taxi drivers, who are able to save Sh2,000 per day will qualify for a new car once they hit Sh350,000 in savings, while boda boda riders saving Sh300 per day will qualify for a new motorbike once they hit Sh50,000.
Mr Mwangi says the Sacco will enable Maridady Motors to support and handle clients, who have been denied loans by mainstream lenders such as banks.
“The client will save with us up to 50 per cent of the cost of the car or machinery and we finance the remaining 50 per cent through the Sacco,” he said.
Unlike the conventional Saccos, however, members of Maridady who raise up to 50 per cent of the value of the asset they want to acquire will not require guarantors.
“The guarantor model will only apply for those unable to raise 50 per cent of the asset value,” he said.
Maridady Motors, which also handles direct vehicle imports for clients, said it is working on a scheme that will enable it to finance direct imports.
“Many Kenyans would love to import vehicles directly but lack the finances to do so,” Mr Mwangi said adding that the company is working on partnership with Co-operative Bank and a Japanese firm to offer the service.
Throughout its 10 years of operation, Maridady Motors has stood out as a business that is sensitive to the environment in which it operates – a stand that has seen it invest significantly in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities that benefit local communities.
So far, Maridady Motors has adopted Liberty Vision Learning Center – a school for under privileged children in Mji wa Huruma slum, which neighbours Nairobi’s upmarket Runda Estate.
Each month, the company pays the school teachers and is now preparing to start participating in the school’s motivation activities such as the prize giving day. It also plans to sponsor field trips.
Mr Mwangi said the trips will aim to expose the children “to a different kind of life” rather than what they are used to in the slums.
Maridady Motors also donates toys, stationeries and learning materials to children across Kenya in places of worship. Every weekend, Maridady Motors staff deliver toys, gifts to Sunday school-going children in major towns.
Mr Mwangi reckons that toys are important because they shape a child’s dream.
“At Maridady Motors, we believe that toys must inspire. They are not just play items. They align children’s minds towards something – like owning a car, a plane, a house, and such others,” he said.
Since January, Maridady has distributed 1500 toys to Sunday school children within and outside of Nairobi.
The most recent beneficiaries are Nairobi Chapel Kiambu Road, Mountain of Deliverance Church in Nakuru, Christ Seekers Ministries in Murang’a, and ACK Mukuria Hungu Church.
The company’s clientele is spread all over Kenya. Mr Mwangi says the power of referral business is what has kept Maridady Motors moving.
“Our clients trust us and they do referrals even through social media. Most of our clients are also repeat clients,” he said adding that the clients include individuals, private companies, banks, schools, colleges and small and medium enterprises (SMES).