Grobank Stand 1

Grobank used Africa Agri Tech conference to assist in bringing new technologies and transformation to the fore

Grobank Stand 3
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Grobank may be seen as a relative newcomer to banking in South Africa, but it has a long and successful track record, going back to 1947, so we have a wealth of experience to back up our new foray into focussing on the agricultural and related business sectors,” commented Bennie van Rooy, the CEO of Grobank, speaking at the 2020 Africa Agri Tech Conference and Expo at the Sun Arena in Pretoria, where Grobank was a presenting sponsor. 

“Grobank was proud to partner with an event that effectively brought the growing impact of technology and digital transformation to the fore, while also offering solutions to small and subsistence farmers,” said Van Rooy, who took the helm at Grobank in July 2019 after a career where he has held senior positions at the Land Bank, JD Group and Absa Bank.

 “As agritech grows, it is vital that sector leaders have an alliance partner with the power to turn business potential into tangible possibilities. Grobank is that partner, ensuring its clients have the right opportunities offered by modern agritech. We want them to feel supported both financially and in the making of decisions that will grow this sector from 2020 into the future,” added Van Rooy.

Grobank foundations go back to the South African Bank of Athens, which was established in 1947 to cater for the post-war business banking needs of the local Greek community, building strong customer relationships on the journey.

Van Rooy said the philosophy of Grobank is to grow through partnerships. Here the company is off on the right foot with AFGRI, a leading agricultural services company with financial and retail arms, as a 35% shareholder.

“Our food and business offering, coupled with our continuous leadership in the alliance banking market, as well as our service-driven attitude to banking means that we are a bank that truly provides a special something that will change the lives of our customers and stakeholders going forward,” concluded the Grobank CEO.

In answer to a growing market gap in the agricultural sector Grobank's partnership with its shareholders, including the Afgri Group, has seen the bank evolve their offering by taking advantage of their shared knowledge of business banking and the food and agriculture industry to focus on the holistic food and agricultural value chain - from seed to service.

This partnership with industry leaders who have a deep understanding of the local food and agriculture landscape and who boast nearly 100 years of experience in every kind of agricultural service, means that Grobank can expand their offering across every sphere of the agricultural sector. By harnessing Grobank's specialities of strong customer relationships and an in-depth understanding of their market the bank is poised to garner new opportunities, grow with their clients, support food security, innovate new products and services and to advance their people, partners and the Continent.

As an Agri and Business Banking specialist Grobank understand that the rhythms of farming are different to those of other commercial sectors and have tailored their products and services to meet the needs of farmers and agribusinesses. Their dedication to serving diverse agribusiness needs has allowed them to formulate products and offerings that aim to strengthen every link the value chain. From the acceptance of deposits to cross-border financial settlements; alliance business and international banking; growing forex, commodity grade and finance activities today Grobank operates as a commercial specialist across every area of the food and agriculture value chain whilst offering an expanding range of capabilities and services to businesses outside the sector.

Their dedication to the progress and success of their agriculture clients saw them expand their offerings to serve a largely ignored category of underbanked, rural farmers, further strengthening the value chain whilst contributing exponentially to sustainable economic growth. This was demonstrated by the discussions held during the Afgri and Grobank supported Day 3 conference at Africa Agri Tech which focused on challenges faced by emerging and new farmers and sought to address how these can be mitigated to ensure sustainable growth within the sector.

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