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TN Holdings empire grows

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TN Holdings (TNH) plans to add four fast food outlets within a month in an aggressive strategy meant to strengthen and consolidate its flagship arm, TN Bank’s deposit base.

On Saturday, the group unveiled its supermarket and fast foods business.

The supermarket chain, TN Mart and the fast foods business, TN Grill are new additions to the TNH family.

The supermarket and fast foods outlets are housed in TN Malls.

Tawanda Nyambirai, TNH group CEO, said the new fast food outlets would be introduced within 30 days.
He said the group was working on other products to fine-tune the supermarket business.

“Before we roll out our next mart — there are a number of add on products that we need to introduce. For example, we are making an application to introduce cheap transport service for the convenience of our customers,” Nyambirai said.

He said the group plans to offer selected customers grocery on credit leveraging on their accounts in the furniture business, TN Harlequin Luxaire.

“These are customers who have bought furniture because their furniture is collateral. In a country where banks don’t normally lend to people because they don’t have collateral but because of the diversified nature of the group that we have, we create collateral for you,” Nyambirai said.

“You buy furniture and you have paid three months without defaulting, it qualifies you to buy grocery on credit.”

Asked why the TN group had ventured into so many businesses thereby diverting from its core business — banking — Nyambirai said the focus is on the bank that is at the core of its model and other businesses are channels through which “we are delivering banking services to our customers”.

He said that it is now a global trend where banking institutions are abandoning traditional models because they are no longer viable.

“If you have a whole branch that does not do anything except sell banking products and if you try to calculate revenue per square metre you realise most of the branches are not breaking even. So it is important for banks to efficiently utilise the space they occupy by selling not only banking products, but by inviting partners to occupy the same space and draw customers so that they can access more products,” Nyambirai said.

The model, Nyambirai said, has ensured the bank weathers the liquidity crisis presently gripping the banking sector by leveraging on the synergies within the group.

“When the liquidity crisis started in October we did a cash promotion for furniture which raised $6,5 million in one month, which helps oil liquidity. That is why we are able to say to customers we are prepared to sacrifice profitability and sell things to you at half price,” he said.

“At times when you sell on credit you are chasing a profitability objective then at times you want to oil your wheels on liquidity, you cut the price by half, chase a liquidity agenda and sacrifice on profitability.”

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