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Standard microfinance bank, Nigeria: developing underserved markets

Sandip Rakshit (School of Information Technology and Computing, American University of Nigeria, Yola, Nigeria)
Mokhalles Mohammad Mehdi (Department of Business Administration, Tezpur University, Tezpur, India)

Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies

ISSN: 2045-0621

Publication date: 16 August 2021


Learning outcomes

To understand the challenges of building a successful business in an emerging market like Yola, Nigeria. To understand the role of micro-finance banks in doing business in Yola, Nigeria. To comprehend strategies adopted in market segmentation and sales of products or services to the customer. To apprehend strategies adopted to sustain and compete in Nigeria – both rural and urban.

Case overview/synopsis

Standard Microfinance Bank Limited (SMFB) was a private micro-finance bank situated at Yola, Adamawa State of Nigeria. It initially started as a community bank in 1992 to provide loans to individuals and small business owners in Adamawa. It started with the services of payment service and savings account with a limited lending capacity. It had become a full-fledged retail bank and was grown to 13 branches across Nigeria. It planned for expansion such as market development, product development and diversification by the year 2020. It had a customer base of 60,000 till the end of December 2018. Vazheparambil Mani Francis was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the SMFB. The SMFB faced challenges such as operating the remote villages, lack of financial literacy among people, recovery of the loan amount, submission of false credentials and change of customer identity after loan by their customer. It was not going to be an easy task for him to operate the business of SMFB in Nigeria. However, in December 2018, Francis was facing a dilemma about the future success of SMFB business in Nigeria by looking into the challenges and complexities of business. Francis was determined to figure out the appropriate growth strategy for managing the challenges.

Complexity academic level

Undergraduate and graduate early-stage program.

Supplementary materials

Teaching notes are available for educators only.

Subject code

CSS 11: Strategy.



Authors would like to thank Mr. V.M. Francis, chief executive officer of Standard Microfinance bank, Yola, Nigeria for his unconditional support during the development of case study. We also thank him for sharing valuable information with us for developing this teaching case study.Disclaimer. This case is written solely for educational purposes and is not intended to represent successful or unsuccessful managerial decision-making. The authors may have disguised names; financial and other recognizable information to protect confidentiality.


Rakshit, S. and Mehdi, M.M. (2021), "Standard microfinance bank, Nigeria: developing underserved markets", Emerald Emerging Markets Case Studies, Vol. 11 No. 2.



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