Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Choppies bosses now want to lend you money

The faces and powerful hand behind a new company in the micro lending space – TopLend has been unveiled. It belongs to none other than the founding director of Choppies Enterprise Ramachandran Ottapathu otherwise known as Ram in the money circles. Ram has partnered with yet another Choppies Enterprise big gun – Vidya Sanooj. Sanooj is the Choppies group interim Finance and Investor Relations Officer.

The two partners with equal stake of 50 percent each have taken over the ownership and directorship of a company previously known as Pengar Financing and Lending. The company has since rebranded to TopLend and offers hire purchase financing and purchase order financing to companies and organisations.

TopLend Head of Operations – Sharon Nlanda says the company also provides short term loans from one to 12 months depending on the relationship built with the client and the maximum amount to borrow is highly dependent on the individual’s salary.

While TopLend’s target market is currently mostly government and parastaral employees, there is work on the ground to also cultivate clients from the private sector companies with much target to Ram’s sister companies such as Choppies and Kamoso Group.

Although TopLend is not entirely new in the market, its new strategy as part of the rebranding from Pengar is to secure a market share of atleast 15 percent in the next 5 years.

The Money Business…

TopLend has become the latest addition to Ram’s business interest within the financial services sector. Recently, the Competition and Consumer Authority said it was considering a proposal by Choppies Distribution Centre (Pty) Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Choppies Enterprises, to wholly acquire Monyglob, previously known as Unimoni. Monyglob is a diversified global provider of financial solutions and services which facilitates the seamless movement of money across geographies, currencies and channels via multiple customer touchpoints including retail store, online and mobile solution, and self-service kiosks. It has operations in Gaborone, Francistown, Kasane, Kazungula, Maun and Palapye.

Still this year, in June, Choppies partnered with the state-owned Botswana Post to offer PosoMoney and payments of social grants and other postal services. The move into the lucrative financial services sector for Choppies is not surprising. The retailer last year raked in P29.5 million as commissions received on financial services, which include Orange Money and Mascom’s MyZaka.

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