Home » Kenyan tycoon Suresh Bhagwanji Shah’s I&M targets 100 branches in Kenya by 2026

Kenyan tycoon Suresh Bhagwanji Shah’s I&M targets 100 branches in Kenya by 2026

I&M doubles down on Kenya retail with branch blitz

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Suresh Bhagwanji Shah

Kenyan financial services group I&M Group, founded by businessman Suresh Bhagwanji Shah, is setting its sights on solidifying its position in the country’s retail banking sector with an ambitious plan to double its brick-and-mortar presence.

The three-year roadmap, dubbed iMara 3.0, outlines a goal of reaching 100 branches by the end of 2026. This target necessitates an aggressive expansion strategy, with I&M needing to open at least 17 new branches annually, up from its current network of 50 locations across Kenya. 

“A significant aspect of our strategy revolves around scaling up our retail business,” Gul Khan, CEO of I&M Bank Kenya, said. “We are intensifying efforts to fortify our presence in retail banking, striving to attain global relevance for Kenyan consumers.”

I&M doubles down on Kenya retail with branch blitz

I&M Group is pursuing a two-pronged expansion strategy in Kenya, combining a physical branch rollout with a focus on digital platforms to fuel retail banking growth. The emphasis is on capturing a larger share of the MSME sector, a key driver of Kenyan economic activity.

The group kicked off its Kenyan expansion in mid-January with the inauguration of eight new branches. This represents the initial phase of a plan to add 12 more by year-end, significantly boosting I&M’s branch network across the country.

These strategic branch openings span diverse regions, including the Coast, Nairobi, Naivasha, and Tatu City in Kiambu County. According to I&M officials, the expansion is driven by both growing customer demand and meticulous research to identify optimal locations.

Suresh Bhagwanji Shah owns 10.98 percent of I&M

Founded in 1974 by Suresh Bhagwanji Shah, I&M Group serves as the non-operating holding company for I&M Bank Limited. The financial services group boasts active operations in Kenya, Tanzania, and Rwanda, alongside a joint venture in Mauritius.

Shah, renowned for his pivotal role in elevating I&M into a leading banking group in East Africa, maintains a substantial 10.98 percent stake in the leading financial services provider, equivalent to 178,514,362 ordinary shares.

I&M’s expansion strategy emphasizes its commitment to financial inclusion and accessibility across Kenya. By offering a combination of physical and digital banking solutions, the conglomerate aims to cater to the evolving needs of consumers and solidify its position as a dominant player in the country’s financial sector.

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