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MOZAMBIQUE - Finance

Carlos J. Nhamahango

CEO, Letshego Bank

Bio

Carlos Nhamahango, 46, is the Chief Executive Officer since April 2018. He Joined Letshego in October 2011 as Chief Financial Officer. Before his appointment at the Banco Letshego, Nhamahango held various management positions, namely Chief Financial Officer, Regional Manager, Head of Private Clients and Banking Services, Accountant and Risk Officer at former Banco ProCredit, where he worked from 2001 until when he joined Banco Letshego. Experienced, with a proven record, in establishing operations and cross-functional partnerships, to provide positive results. Agile, strategic leader with experience in the conduct of financial function, human resources, risk, financial inclusion and financial sector operations. Particularly skilled in simplifying, reorganizing and leading teams productively, while ensuring that the organization has robust internal controls and is in compliance with the rules and regulations issued by the Central Bank in its role as the financial system regulator. He has a degree in Business Administration University “A Politecnica” ( BA), Banker Certificate in Germany and Leading Digital Practioneer and Digital Money Course from Digital Frontiers Institute, attending GIBS Program ELDP and various Leadership in-house TLDC and Hay Group and as well other technical courses in Risk, Accounting and People Management. Carlos top 5 strengths are Archiver, Include, Responsibility, Strategic and Arranger and since his leadership he has took the organization on the Top 100 Largest Organization, 25th Best Enterprise on the KPMG Ranking and Number 4 over 20 in Profit from Banking Survey of 2021. He is married to Suzane and father of three Kids Nicole, Junior, and Alcer.

"In 2023, we began building a new platform that we are calling the Digital Mall, an all-in-one platform."
TBY talks to Carlos J. Nhamahango, CEO of Letshego Bank, about recent changes in the bank, human resources development, and the future of the sector.
What have been some recent developments in Letshego Bank?

In 2023, we began building a new platform that we are calling the Digital Mall, an all-in-one platform. 66% of the Mozambican population lives in rural areas, and there are districts without any branches at all. This is a major constraint to achieve financial inclusion because people need access to financial institutions; however, brick-and-mortar branches are expensive, requiring infrastructure such as telecommunication, roads, and more. The Digital Mall solves this problem by having many shops all in one place that also provide services such as lending, deposits, insurance, and payments. We also have a service called Beyond Banking that connects specific people. The app can serve medical professionals, enabling patients to find doctors and have a consultation with them regardless of where they are. The doctor must be a Letshego customer because patients will pay the doctor for the consultation. This is useful for less serious ailments that do not require patients to go to hospital. Customers can upload all their information to the system, where it is all saved upon their consent, and we receive it in our end.

Will this service be launched in 2024?

We plan to launch it this year. We also tested internet banking in the Digital Mall where customers can do quick transactions. Right now, only lending is available, and we have been in contact with the Central Bank in early 2024 to gain approval. The Central Bank must approve any feature, terms, or conditions. We are developing deposits and mapping the insurance in the Digital Mall. Customers can do everything they want in the same place. We hope to bring in 1 million users to this platform. We want to reach agents, stores, and people in more isolated areas in order to boost financial inclusion. We also want to add more services such as cash in/cash out, which will be a game changer for us. We also have the support of MasterCard with the national switch.

How are you training your employees in order to provide the best banking solutions?

At the group level, we partner with a company called Coursera, which has around 4,500 courses on its platform that are provided by reputable universities around the world. These are self-learning courses. For staff like branch managers and regional managers, we have identified certain topics that are mandatory. We also have some mandatory trainings for the team to provide consistent customer service. Putting the customer first requires solid training. We also have to provide training for regulations. We have a marketing and product department as well as a department that only focus on enhancing products, improving and creating campaigns, testing products, interacting with the central bank, and taking products to the market. We started training branch managers, regional managers, head of departments, chairman, and the boards in 2023. The board also meets for two days to discuss everything that we achieved in the past year and develop a vision for the coming year.

How do you see the banking system and the financial inclusion in Mozambique’s future?

Our central bank must take risks, as any innovation depends on the regulatory environment. The current regulatory burden does not truly encourage growth or innovation. Mozambique is the only country in southern Africa that does not use cloud technology, for example, which would give us scalability and elasticity. It would enable us to have more customers and provide other products; however, but because the regulation does not allow it, we cannot provide this. On a more positive note, the sector is moving in the right direction. If we all join our efforts, the customer will benefit in the end. In the digital era, I do not see us integrating with a monopoly of one insurance company in the Digital Mall; rather, I envision us providing customers with multiple options for insurance. The customer can read the terms of conditions and decide which one they prefer. I cannot say for certain what will happen in the next few years, though we are progressing positively, and I expect to see more innovation in the sector.

What is the future for Letshego Bank?

We would like to be first in every aspect. As CEO, my aim is to remain among the top 10 banks. Letshego is already there, but I want us to stay there. We are always pushing to achieve the best. I would also like to be seen as one of the best companies in Mozambique. We manage this business with 100% Mozambicans, which is outstanding. We also plan to launch the Digital Mall later in 2024. We are meeting our challenges with regulations to achieve greater financial inclusion. We also plan to provide more mass market solutions to the entire country. That is how I see Letshego progressing forward.

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