As part of its 50th anniversary celebrations, NICO Group held golf tournaments in October and November 2021 in Blantyre and Lilongwe respectively where winners of were pledged to be flown to South Africa on an all-expenses-paid trip for a special tournament.
NICO Group has delivered its promise as the team led by NICO General Chief Executive Officer, Donbell Mandala, which emerged the overall winner of The ONE Executive Golf Challenge, were afforded a platform that enabled the the three executives to interact with various business officials outside the Group.
In his remarks, Mandala described the trip as an enjoyable experience for him and his two team members — Samson Mwale and Nestor Msowoya, saying the golf tournament at Sun City, the scenery and the game drive “were absolutely beautiful”.
He added that the trip was also a perfect opportunity to interact with executives from outside Malawi.
“Golf presents an opportunity for networking. We played with different people and have been able to form long lasting relationships that will benefit our businesses”, Mandala said.
Sam Mwale concurred with Mandala’s sentiments, saying NICO has set the tone for celebrations in Malawi.
“This was a wonderful experience. We enjoyed ourselves and the opportunity this presented for us to engage with other golfers in South Africa,” Mwale said.
The team played golf on the Rustenburg Golf Course on March 26 and on Gary Player Golf Course on March 27 followed by a game drive at Center Bay.
NICO Group has ran activities to commemorate its 50th anniversary since 2021 and has committed to continue being The ONE financial solutions provider that secures lifetime experiences.
This commitment was echoed during its grand 50th gala night in Blantyre on March 18, which was preceded a remarkable razzmatazz and dazzling style along the streets of Blantyre through a parade from Ginnery Corner — where one of NICO Group subsidiaries, NBS Bank is headquartered — via Masauko Chipembere Highway past its headquarters at the refurbished NICO House before reaching its climax at Sunbird Hotel for the red carpet gala for staff members, clients, shareholders and all other stakeholders.
Under the theme: ‘Stronger Together’, NICO Group Managing Director, Vizenge Kumwenda said the auspicious occasion was a milestone, adding that it was not a mean achievement in as far as the business environment is concerned in celebrating the 50-year journey, in which they have encountered some twist and turns but overall the company has successfully stamped its mark as the country’s leading financial service provider.
He acknowledged that it hasn’t been an easy journey to success taking cognizance of the competition on the market and many economic challenges the company and the country as a whole faced throughout the years.
“This anniversary means a lot to us because within these years we’ve seen companies being established but they never managed to stay for more than 5 years,” he had said.
“This is a sign that we are the biggest company on the land, offering reasonable services.”
Also present was former Cabinet Minister, Felix Mlusu, who also served at NICO Group for 41 years, who said he was very excited to see the company celebrating its Golden Jubilee.
Mlusu, who served at NICO as managing director and group chief executive officer from 1994 to December 31, 2016, said the company started its operations with small steps but through tenacity of its management and dedicated employees, NICO became a multi-national institution — the first company that took Malawi flag by investing in various African countries.
This, he said, shows that there is indeed a great growth achieved by the company which has greatly touched almost all the sectors of the Malawi economy.
The 50th anniversary celebration was officially launched in June with media visibility campaign as one of engaging with the public that it is geared to continue being the most diverse financial services firm in Malawi.
At the launch, GMD Kumwenda had said the CoVID-19 period since 2019 had been a challenging period for businesses the world over but as businesses, they were forced to be more creative in delivering their services.
He had said despite the new challenge, NICO Group has managed to continue to deliver superior financial products to customers and maintained its entire staff.
“This is no mean achievement in these trying times and is largely due to the strength and stability of the Group, which includes NBS Bank and Eris Properties,” he had said.
Kumwenda said NICO Group’s diversity is the source of their strength and competitive advantage that attract customers’ continued patronage in all their businesses that minimized the impact of the CoVID-19 pandemic on their businesses thus far.
He had said 2021 was a special year in the NICO journey, saying “this golden anniversary is a very important milestone” taking cognizance that “there are many stories of brands that were perceived to be strong when they started out, only to fail to withstand various pressures presented by the markets within which they were operating.
“It is, therefore, quite an achievement for NICO to still be standing strong, or perhaps even stronger, after 5 decades.”
NICO is the pioneer in financial services in many regards as it was the first company to list on the Malawi Stock Exchange in 1996 and is the first Malawian multinational when it established NICO Zambia in 1997.
It is also the first to build a multipurpose shopping centre, Chichiri Mall, in 2000 and the first to list its subsidiary company, ICON Properties, on the Malawi Stock Exchange, after a 10-year period of no new listings in 2019.
Kumwenda emphasises that this pioneering spirit has led the NICO brand to become a major contributor to national development in Malawi, with activities that include several watershed projects.
“One of the most recent of these is NBS Bank’s role as the financier of the new Interchange in Lilongwe. We are proud to be an integral part of Malawi’s story and as we celebrate our 50th anniversary, we are also looking ahead, with plans to grow our businesses as well as to charter into new territories.
“In this quest, the aim is to continue to provide relevant, affordable and innovative financial solutions to our customers – both at an individual, corporate and national level.”
In unveiling ‘The One’ media campaign, NICO Group’s Corporate Affairs Manager Mbumba Mlia-Ndasauka said the concept was to position NICO as “first choice in financial services as it portrays the brand’s strength and stability”.
The concept also portrays the diversity and relevance of the brand in terms of product provision at every stage of customers’ lives as NICO is ‘The One’ that has been helping people reach their dreams.
NICO is ‘The One’ that has been providing diverse financial solutions since 1971; NICO is ‘The One’ that secures lifetime experiences by providing relevant solutions at every stage of a person’s life.
NICO is ‘The One’ leading in the financial market — first on MSE listing, through NICO Holdings plc, NBS Bank Plc, Icon Properties; NICO is ‘The One’ that changed the shopping experience in Malawi through building the Chichiri Mall and NICO is ‘The One’ that stepped beyond borders as the first Malawian multinational company.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :