The Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) Group Chief Executive Officer Gaffar Hassam says his main priority is to maintain and grow the group’s dominant market position by exceeding customer expectations and providing exceptional service.
Hassam says that there is need to ensure that customers needs remain the highest priority to the BIHL Group.
“We must anticipate their needs quickly, provide exceptional service and ensure our products add value to the customers,” he says. Hassam says his plans of bringing the organization in order to sustain BIHL’s contribution to the country’s development at the highest level includes the growth of the BIHL Group by bringing new opportunities and businesses to the BIHL stable.
“My job is to provide leadership to the BIHL Group to ensure shareholder growth in value in a responsible and sustainable manner and be the steward to the BIHL assets and interest,” he explains.
According to Hassam, there will obviously be pressure for anyone in the CEO’s role.
“I, however, am comfortable in handling the pressure; this is due to the highly experienced and competent team we have at BIHL; support we have from our valued customers, of which am thankful and as a result of the supportive stakeholders,” he states.
He is said to be someone with the complex financial and operations environment of the three subsidiaries, which are the Botswana Life Insurance Limited (BLIL), Botswana Insurance Fund Management, (Bifm) and Legal Guard.
BIHL CEO says their primary concern as the custodians of investments and wealth of large institutions, pension funds and personal investors amounting to 18.5 billion Pula. He says he believe that was identified the best candidate for the position and the board was satisfied that him is that candidate.
Hassam states that since he joined BIHL, he ensured that the Group’s competitive position is maintained and he has also spearheaded growth, with the BIHL team. “Unfortunately as we are in a trading closed period, I cannot share the financial results with you to prove this, but we shall be publishing the Group financial results in early March 2012,” he explains.
Hassam reveals that Sanlam is a key stakeholder in BIHL, adding that firstly by being a majority shareholder and secondly, Sanlam has been in existence for more than 90 years. “It is from their vast experience that we can draw many lessons from,” he says.
Meanwhile, the Chairperson of BIHL, Batsho Dambe-Groth together with the BIHL Board and management are this week expected to host the South African based business gurus, SANLAM Group CEO and Directors, Johan van Zyl and Patrice Motsepe in Gaborone.
Sanlam is a 53 percent shareholder in BIHL. Sanlam is also a business partner that provides technical expertise in key areas of the business to up skill local staff and to ensure efficiency and optimal growth for BIHL.
Hassam highlights that BIHL has been contributed to the diversification of the economy of Botswana through many initiatives. BIHL group companies, Botswana Life and Bifm are leading industry players, enhancing the financial services industry, in particular the insurance and asset management industries. The group provides employment to over 300 employees and over 600 individuals as direct insurance agents and brokers.
“Through Bifm’s we have diversified into the tourism sector by have a shareholding in KYS Investments Pty, a company that has shares in Gaborone Sun, also through Bifm we have gone into property development and management through Khumo Property Asset Management which manages Railpark Mall and the soon to be opened Airport Junction Mall,” says Hassam.