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Celebrating 32 years of efficient service delivery

BY: Nana Yaw Barimah
Mr Stephen Boateng — CEO, Kessben Group of Companies
Mr Stephen Boateng — CEO, Kessben Group of Companies

The Kessben Group of Companies established in 1987 continues to make tremendous strides in its contributions to the country's economic development efforts.

The Kessben Group is made up of 12 companies, including the Multi Credit Savings and Loans Limited, Kessben Computer School, Kessben Travel and Tours, Joe Forex Bureau and Kessben Consult.

The rest are Kessben Driving School, Kessben Shipping, Forwarding and Trading Limited, Fosua Hotel, Kessben FM, Kessben TV, Aseda TV, Kessben University College and Multi Insurance.

The group currently employs more than 3,000 people.

Over the years, its contribution to the national economy through the provision of loans and credit to alleviate poverty and help improve the living standards of people in the country cannot be glossed over.

The group is solely owned by Mr Stephen Boateng, a.k.a. Kwabena Kesse (Kessben), who doubles as the Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Credentials

Kessben holds a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree (First Class Honours) in Economics and Law, a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in Finance, both from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), and a Bachelor of Law (LLB) degree with Second Class Upper from the same university.

He is currently pursuing a professional law course to join the respectable bar of legal practitioners.

Starting small

Kessben sought greener pastures abroad but returned home to do his own private business.

He began with the importation of used items, especially second-hand fridges, and at a point became the largest importer of the product.

Around the same time in the 1980s, he was also managing a chemical shop and a supermarket.

Mr Boateng then established the Garden City and Loans Limited, now Multi Credit Savings and Loans Limited, one of the first non-bank financial institutions in the Ashanti Region and the country at large, giving rise to the Kessben Group of Companies.

Multi Credit

The savings and loans outfit was licensed by the Bank of Ghana (BoG) in 1999 in conformity with the provision of financial institution law (PNDC Law 328) to mobilise deposits from the public, grant loans and other credit facilities.

 The operation of Multi Credit was popular with its daily deposit collection, known as 'Susu'.

It was one of the savings and loans companies that provided loans at minimal interest rates, motivating many small and medium-scale businesses to patronise its services.

The name Garden City and Loans Limited metamorphosed into Multi Credit in 2010 after 11 years of operation.

 The savings and loans company, as of 2016, had 67 branches throughout the country with 400,000 customers.

Multi Credit Savings and Loans Limited will be 20 years, which will be celebrated in a grand style.

The future of the company looks bright as it continues in its efforts to provide loans to small and medium enterprises and furthermore opens more branches in all the regions in the country.

‘Comm centres’

Between 1990 and 1992, the business of secretarial and communication services, known in the country at that time as "communication centres", become popular and Kessben did not miss the business opportunity there.

 He took advantage to open a number of them spread within the Kumasi metropolis.

When the issue of computing started in the country, Mr Boateng set up the 'Kessben Computer School' in 1993 to provide training to students and other workers who needed the skills.

 This company trained all manner of persons, including students, workers and people from all walks of life.

Kessben established Kessben Travel and Tours in 1995 when he foresaw that about 70 per cent of people who travelled outside the country came mostly from the Ashanti and the then Brong Ahafo Regions.

 He, therefore, sought audience from the various airlines to act as a ticketing agent.

Kessben Travel and Tours entered into a franchise agreement with Lufthansa Airlines and made it the first travel and tour partner in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa.

 With that agreement, Kessben Travel and Tours automatically became part of Lufthansa City Centre International Network.

That made Kessben take a lot of transit visas through Germany for most of the international traders in Kumasi and he was the brain behind successes chalked up by many business traders in Kumasi.

The management of the group, realising the foreign exchange concerns of the numerous international traders associated with the group, established Joe Forex bureau the same year to provide foreign exchange to travellers and persons who needed foreign cash to transact their businesses.

Graphic distributor

Currently, Kessben Group is the only agent responsible for the distribution of all Graphic Communications Group Limited products in the Ashanti and Bono East, Bono and Ahafo regions.

In fact, the group’s successes and achievements in the business world started on a humble note guided by the principles of hard work, honesty, dedication, perseverance, modesty, fear of God and selflessness.

Personal attributes


It was Kessben’s belief that such attributes were key if one wanted to make it as an entrepreneur.

These personal values have shaped him to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs and astute businessmen in the country.

He has over 29 years of managing complex business undertaking with about 17 companies under his portfolio.

To him, success in life is about knowing God and accepting Him as your personal saviour.

He also believes "that success is an unending process once you achieve the favour and grace from God in all your undertakings".