Oct 18, 2021
Amret CEO Sharing His Thoughts On 30 Years of Growth and Progress
An exclusive interview with Dinn Dos, CEO of Amret MFI
1. What would you consider to be Amret’s greatest achievements in the last 30 years?
For 30 years, Amret has been fostering financial inclusion, providing access to financial services to over 500,000 customers ranging from low income farmers to SMEs that are underserved or unbanked since 1991. Our greatest achievements are not just measured by the number of customers we serve but it is all about making an impact to our customers and their communities. Throughout the years, we grew with the communities we served. We build meaningful and personal relationships with all our customers by giving them every attention to meet their financial needs in the most responsible manner. Today, 68 % of our customers are women.
We focus on empowering women financially and believe that with additional and more adequate access to finance, women can contribute much more to the Cambodian economic growth and community well-being. We have since build our reputation as one of the most responsible and credible financial institutions in the country with 158 branches including door step services.
2. How has Amret transformed over the last 30 years?
Armet has grown from a microcredit project implemented by a French NGO; with primary objective to accelerate financial inclusion in Cambodia and with a special focus on farmers. With this vision, we went into the market with a single product (Group Loan) to meet the needs of farmers. The largest loan amount was only US$100. Amret has come a long way since for the customers experienced a broader range of products beyond simple microcredits; from savings, loans, funds transfers, bill payments, insurance, to a variety of distribution channels like ATM, door step services, and mobile banking. Since 2015, Amret is a subsidiary of Advans, an international group of microfinances present in 9 countries.
Our strategies evolved with the digital age and the modern consumer needs. Amret has invested substantially in IT infrastructure besides transforming our business operation to provide seamless banking services to customers. Now, after 30 years, we have become a full-fledged MDI and a fully client centric financial institution with a total asset of over USD 1.2 billion.
3. What makes Amret special and different?
Our philosophy is always about customers and it is clearly captured in our tagline “With you, for you. Always”. The moto is simple, putting customers first and fostering trustful relationships. Customer transactions are never treated as business, to us it’s always a personal relationship which exudes trust. This is our DNA and it is this reason why our customers so highly value our relationships with them. Customers believe we are fair, and feel that they are being treated as a friend or as a business partner. We are always improving our services to meet the changing needs of our customers as a service provider.
4. How has Covid-19 pandemic changed Amret’ s business and mission lately?
The pandemic hasn’t changed our mission towards our customers and the communities we serve. Since the crisis started, we have been putting in place all possible solutions to support our customers affected by this global pandemic. Our highest priority throughout this period has been to ensure the safety of our customers and staff. We manage to deepen business relationships with those customers who are in challenging position financially and consider their financial difficulties during this crisis time by adjusting their repayment through pro-active policy to grant grace periods to help them maintain their businesses and their livelihoods.
In light of the unprecedented challenges, we continue to focus on helping our customers to recover from the impact of Covid-19. I am proud that Amret was the first MDI in Cambodia to renew its Client Protection Principles certification from Smart Campaign, in the midst of this crisis, in December 2020. In the same time, we are adapting our business operating model to drive higher efficiency and resilience to cope with these business disruptions.
5. How do you see Amret in the future?
Amret will continue its vision and sustainable journey going forth; as a financially strong institution, entirely devoted to serving its customers responsibly. Looking beyond the immediate threat and ongoing effects of the Covid-19 crisis, there is still much to be accomplished. We are committed to play a major role in supporting a stronger recovery pace in serving customers better through our multiple delivery channels. We look forward to working with our partners to continue expanding responsible financial services in Cambodia and play our part to build the communities we served.
6. Any message you would like to address?
As we celebrate our 30th anniversary in 2021, I would like to humbly thank everyone who has contributed to the success of Amret over the last 30 years; from current staff to the retired staff. I take this opportunity to extend my thanks to the Board and shareholders for their invaluable guidance and direction. My deepest appreciation for the contribution of our business partners, the government and all authorities, and all valued clients. We all are proud to contribute locally and support our communities to prosper.
Amret is a leading financial institution in Cambodia. A full subsidiary of the Advans Group, its reputable international shareholders include FMO Entrepreneurial Development Bank, La Fayette Participations and International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank.
As well as catering to the Kingdom's micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), Amret MFI also offers a wide range of financial products and services to Cambodia's unbanked and underbanked. A leading microfinance institution in Cambodia, Amret provides both lending and deposit products to more than 500,000 clients, who range from low-income farmers to MSMEs. With 158 branches nationwide, it employs more than 4,500 people. Amret has assets of more than $1 billion and deposits exceeding $500 million.