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Quest holding vows to boost debt collection despite market jitters

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By Jeff Kizillah

The debt collection segment has been in the bad books in the past few months when it comes to debt collection in the country, with the latest blow coming thick and fast after President William Ruto announced that over 4 million Kenyans should be detached from the CRB list.

As a result most Kenyans were so impressed, but no one was thinking of the harm, it would cause the small lenders in the country and more so the effect it has on debt collectors.

However, that didn’t prevent debt collector to come up with a friendly and innovative technology ways to have Kenyans continue to borrow from the debtors.

QHL firm started in 2007, 9 years down the line, Mr. Erick Oluoch the CEO, Quest Holdings explains that a lot of people and businesses did not understand the concept of debt outsourcing, save for a few financial institutions like banks mostly. It took close to 2 years for most people to begin to understand the debt market and the line of business the firm was spearheading.

Mr. Erick Oluoch say, he understands this market so widely ,but as they say, more challenges brings more opportunities, currently they are working on a number of projects that benefits mostly the youths who are the main borrowers in this sector.

Set up in Nairobi, the firm has now spread its wings across the region to Uganda and Tanzania with plans to venture into Zambia in the course of time.

With a tagline of ‘Debt Management Simplified,’ QHL has undertaken major strategies to professionalize the industry and alter the bad undertone that debt collection has always been associated with. The lifeline of any business is cash. No business can survive without it and that basically means that anyone dealing with any form of credit needs our services points out Mr. Oluoch.

“When we were starting out, it was difficult for businesses to believe that one can recover huge debts for them,” adds the Executive.

Mr. Erick Oluoch invited us to his office, its main head office at International House, he told us, “We have unlimited opportunities in this sector and currently we are working with tech-savvy individuals to create platforms that will provide financial literacy in the sector not only opportunity but jobs for the young people with skills and enough knowledge to understand thast it’s not bad to borrow but it’s good to borrow and invest with the money,”

The debt holdings takes pride in its mastery of the debt market dynamics in East Africa and aims to be the debt management partner of choice for individuals and businesses.

“As a company we were able to employ almost 350 people during the Covid period while most companies where cutting of their employees, our role as debt collector is to collect past due debts from borrowers on behalf of credit lenders and earn a percentage of the debt collected.

Mr. Oluoch, who is also the chairman the Association of Debt Recovery Agents (ADRA), say they welcome all foreign investors to come and invest and compete in this large market because we understand that our entrepreneurs depend on these loans to do their daily business.

“What the government should do is to create an enabling business environment so that we can make impacts and opportunities for our innovative,” said Mr Oluoch.

Currently Kenya has over 30 debt collectors and this number has the potential of growing even more and creating more job opportunities. Mr.Oluoch, notes that, during Corona when most companies where cutting of their employees his company alone employed over 350 people.

“Removing people from CRB is good and bad, good because some people were listed because of very little amount that they were not even aware of, the bad side is it will encourage people who borrow without the intentions of paying which may end up punishing investors,” added Oluoch.

Mr .Oluoch blames the culture of borrowers in the country for the ongoing tussle; He noted that most borrowers in Kenya borrow to spend without a plan of how to pay back the money, which makes it very difficult when it’s time to pay. According to Mr. Oluoch you should never borrow to spend rather borrow to invest for your future, and he said his company is currently engaging in sensitization to ensure Kenyans have got an investment mindset when it comes to borrowing.

Through ADRA, the association has been trying to self regulate and create a professional look in an industry that has over the years been tainted by some rogue companies that threaten and shame borrowers.

“We are calling on the government to walk with us this journey, because we want to self regulate and create a professional industry where we can create more job opportunities,” he added.

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