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Kazakhstan's best bank for SMEs 2020: Alfa Bank

Alfa Bank

Andrey Timchenko, Alfa-Bank.jpg
Andrey Timchenko, Alfa-Bank

Under Damir Kakiev, managing director of small business, Alfa Bank has built its SME franchise rapidly. Its market share was roughly 7% in 2019, whereas four years ago it had almost no presence in that segment.

There are more than 1 million small businesses in the country, but no real official data on how many of those are still unbanked. Alfa Bank’s top officials say it attracts over 4,500 entrepreneurs every month, considerably more than its closest rival.

What makes Alfa Bank, part of Russia’s Alfa Banking Group, the firm of choice for Kazakhstan’s small and medium-sized enterprises, and entrepreneurs?

Andrey Timchenko, the firm’s chief executive, points to a clear focus on small businesses, which are viewed on a par with retail customers, rather than being placed with medium-sized enterprises in the typical – and rather broad – SME bracket. This helps the bank to focus on a captive audience of often unbanked potential clients.

Secondly,