Mobile lending company Tala has appointed Ivan Mbowa, a former senior executive at Citibank Kenya to lead the Kenyan business. Ivan has extensive knowledge in the finance world having worked in the field for more than 14 years. Before his appointment, he served as the co-founder and CEO of Umati Capital, a new financial company offering credit and payment services.
Ivan takes over from Rose Muturi, who led the firm for one and a half years. The new boss is expected to grow the business, and lead the company in developing new products for customers such as customized loans.
Tala has been operating in Kenya for five years. In that period, it has grown its customer base to 2.5 million borrowers and loaned out roughly $600 million (KSh60.6 billion). The mobile-based lender targets people who lack access to conventional banking services. Tala’s clients are mostly young people looking to start or grow their businesses. At a past interview, the former Regional Manager Rose Muturi revealed that 85 per cent of their customers are between 18 years and 45 years.
The digital lender operates subsidiaries in Tanzania, Mexico, India, and the Philippines. Nonetheless, Kenya is its largest market; taking 60 per cent of the business. The company plans to grow its network in Africa and Asia, where the unbanked population is still large.