Ramesh Khudoiev, Chairman of Kazkommertzbank Tajikistan, discusses the bank’s evolution over the last 7 years and its focus on innovation and efficiency.
How was Kazkommertzbank, Kazakhstan’s largest private bank, able to establish a successful subsidiary here in Tajikistan?
This was achieved by following the bank's development strategy and taking into account the capacity of the financial market of Tajikistan. Actually we officially began operations on October 10, 2006, when we opened our representative office in the Republic of Tajikistan.
Contrary to all forecasts, during a short time we managed to raise a talented, young management team, and successfully met the challenges that were presented to us. Following this we were convinced that we needed take our operations to a new level.
To do this, the management of Kazkommertsbank decided to establish the subsidiary, the bank that exists now - JSC Kazkommertsbank Tajikistan (Kazkom). In October of 2007, our bank successfully completed state registration through the Ministry of Justice and in January of 2008 we received a license from the National Bank of Tajikistan.
In early 2010, the Bank opened a branch in Sughd Region, Khujand. This decision stems from a desire to be closer to our customers in the regions of Tajikistan.
Today we can proudly say that our “parent bank", Kazkommertzbank, was the first foreign bank to begin full banking operations in Tajikistan.
How do you leverage on the wider Kazkommertzbank network?
Representing our bank, which is among the ten largest banks in the CIS, is a big responsibility. Despite the fact that some experts doubted that given the market conditions, with a number of other banks offer identical services, and taking into account that many of which have a well-established network of branches and offices across the country, that opening a new bank would not be cost-effective. Their doubts become our main motivation and provided encouragement for our development, because we offer our customers new, competitive banking products and services, and most importantly, a new level and quality of service.
Today Kazkom is a bank based on advanced technologies and with an excellent reputation. Utilizing the experience and technology of the "parent bank", we have reached a new qualitative level, pioneering the arrival of innovative technologies to the banking system of Tajikistan.
Our goal is to be a leader among financial institutions in the country. Our slogan is “We are together” which characterizes the corporate culture of the whole Kazkom team.
What are some of the unique projects Kazkom has been involved in?
Since the establishment of our presence in the Tajik market, Kazkom has supported and funded a large number of different projects, including:
- Cooperating with the National Bank of Tajikistan in the financing of the cotton sector
- Funding the supply of petroleum products
- Funding the ICT sector
- Financing the hydropower sector
- Funding the health sector
- Financing food production and consumer goods
How would you rate Kazkom in terms of financial indicators and efficiency?
Financial indicators illustrates the dynamic growth and financial stability of the bank. Assets have increased annually, and a high rate of return on equity (ROE), reflects the degree of the effective use of resources. Kazkom intends to maintain its position as the most efficient financial institution in Tajikistan with the lowest ratio of operating expenses to operating income. Despite the positive trend, we are not resting on our laurels, we now offer our customers a full range of banking services, including letters of credit, bank guarantees, and document collection.
To date, our customers are able to use the services of our financial portal (www.homebank.tj), which includes telebanking, online banking, mobile banking, we are the only bank that for the convenience of our customers provides a call-center 24/7.
In addition, the bank launched a mobile payment service through ATMs and a financial portal, SMS banking service, money transfer with Visa Money Transfer and other innovative products for the market of Tajikistan. I am confident that our customers will benefit greatly from our services.
How are you ensuring the quality of the bank’s portfolio?
Kazkom believes that maintaining its existing customer base, reducing the amount of non-performing loans and improving the quality of assets are all essential to ensure its sustainable development. In addition to developing our risk management system, Kazkom will continue to assess all non-performing loans on a case-by-case basis with each client to help improve their accounts and to increase recovery rates. We also aim to actively work on transferring non-performing assets to specialized distressed asset management subsidiaries.
How would you describe your client focus?
In order to cater our clients’ requirements, we are focusing on delivering a range of non-credit products and services, including trade finance operations, the administration of tender guarantees, the sale and maintenance of payment cards and mobile and internet banking services. Kazkom intends to redefine the quality of its capabilities to ensure it provides every client with the greatest amount of support and services.
Also, to maintain Kazkom’s reputation as the most technologically advanced bank in the country, we are constantly developing our remote services, such as internet banking, card payment infrastructure, internet acquiring, and mobile services and applications. Developing remote banking channels demonstrates how Kazkom is committed to employing world-class practices to preserve resources (particularly non-renewables), save clients' time and improve customer experience.
What are your final thoughts of management priorities?
Maximizing operating efficiency remains paramount. Kazkom’s main priority is to keep operating costs low to ensure that we maintain our highly competitive position as the most efficient financial institution in Tajikistan with the lowest cost-to-income ratio.
For more information, please visit www.kkb.tj