Francis and Margaret Kigo are having trouble repaying their loan, and together with MYC4 credit operations manager, Titus Kuria, co-founder of MYC4 Tim Vang and Mutindi Ndamburi from Fusion Capital I’m on my way to pay them a visit to hear what can be done about it.
The Kigos have a filling station in a Nairobi suburb and a fleet of seven busses. Up until recently everything was running smoothly, their diesel was 1 Ksh cheaper than at other filling stations, business was good, customers plenty (among them a lot of government vehicles), and the repayment of the loan was on track. Not anymore. Checks have bounced. Now they are trailing behind.
Margaret explains: – Business has been slow, our profit on the diesel is very small, we buy at Kshs 86,5 and sell at 87,7. And people don’t travel so much anymore. We cannot go on like this. We have paid our first loans, and we do not want to ruin our good name with Fusion Capital, she says.
Titus Kuria says, that the couple has been a good client until recently, and that a good customer deserves to be backed up. – The key issue is to make sure that they prioritize the loan.
But there are limits, and it is soon made clear to Margaret, that she and her husband must wave goodbye to their busses, if the repayment does not get back on track. To me it seemed as if this was the moment where Margaret recalled that their busses are the collateral for the loan.
But what do the provider do, when times are hard for the client? Mutindi Ndamburi, Fusion Capital, says that they pay visits to the client and sit down with them to locate the problem. – We encourage them to pay the loan, and if we can assist the client in any way, we do that before we send the debt collector. But sometimes things happen, and a loan defaults, she says.