Jean-Luc Nzoubou, who joined the Advans Group since its creation, has taken the lead of Advans Banque Congo. In an interview with Projecteur Magazine, Jean-Luc talks about his new role and his ambitions for the MFI. Find out more below.
After more than fifteen years with the Advans Group, the Board of Directors has decided to entrust you with the reins of its Congolese subsidiary. What does this appointment mean to you?
It is an honour and a source of pride. I thank God and express my gratitude to the Board of Directors for this sign of confidence. I also thank all my colleagues with whom I have worked in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire and recently Nigeria, it is thanks to our common successes that I have come to this point today.
What are your main missions and the different challenges you plan to take up?
We want to put our customers at the center of our strategy, improving the customer experience. We will also continue to improve our organizational performance in order to increase productivity. We will do this by relying on the solidity of the Advans Group, a reference player in the microfinance industry and the support of recognized local partners, with a deep knowledge of the Congolese market such as the FPM (a fund specializing in financial inclusion, editor's note).
What do we need to know about you and your background (academic and professional)?
I have a fully Cameroonian education, I studied law at the University of Douala, then management at Essec Douala. This training was complemented by various certifications, including the latest coordinated by Sciences Po Paris.
I joined Advans Cameroun (the Group's first subsidiary) in 2006 as the first employee. I held several positions in both support and sales in several subsidiaries (Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria) before my arrival in the DRC. These different experiences within Advans, as well as in multicultural environments, are assets that I bring with me to the DRC.
Can you tell us about the products and services that make Advans Banque Congo special on the local market?
In all its subsidiaries, Advans positions itself as a financial services provider with a mission to democratise financial services. In the case of the DRC, we have a diverse variety of products and services, ranging from loans for entrepreneurs, public and private sector employees, savings products suitable for all types of customers including children and financial services aimed at making the customer experience more rewarding.
What is the profile of the people you accompany or support?
We support MSMEs (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), operating in sectors as varied as trade, agriculture, crafts. We also support employees in the private and public sector, associations, NGOs, etc.
What are the main strengths of your company? How do you intend to impose yourself on the microfinance market in Congo?
In fact, today, we are already a major player in microfinance in the DRC, as in other subsidiaries of the Advans Group. Advans Group has more than 20 years of experience in providing financial services in emerging markets. In the DRC, we aim to continue our development, which is going through a post-Covid 19 phase, consolidation until 2022 and an accelerated recovery in growth from 2023. We also capitalize on quality human capital, with a perfect knowledge of the market.
What are the advantages of digital finance for MFI clients in Africa, particularly in the Democratic Republic of Congo?
Digitalisation brings flexibility and efficiency. It improves productivity, which is a major challenge, especially for MFIs where operating costs are high. For MFIs, the notion of proximity is the essence of the model, the human side of the relationship will remain essential and digitalisation contributes to a better knowledge of our customers to better serve them. In the DRC, with a population of nearly 110 million inhabitants and an area of 2,345,000km², digitalization is a necessity for any MFI that has solid ambitions.
Speaking of ambitions, what are yours with Advans in the DRC? How do you see the company you are now in charge of in 5 years?
The potential in the DRC is immense and thanks to the support of our reference shareholders, with proven expertise in several regions of the world, we will take the place that ultimately belongs to us, namely the first.
Advans' ambition in the DRC is to conquer the leadership of the microfinance sector!
On a personal and professional level, what can we wish you for the next ten years?
To succeed in my mission, that of positioning Advans as the leader of the microfinance market in the DRC. This will mean that our current and future customers will have been satisfied with the services offered, that our shareholders, satisfied with our performance, will have continued to support us, that our employees who are fulfilled and proud to accomplish an impact mission, will have given their best every day to achieve our objectives.
Find the full interview here (in French).