Wednesday, October 21, 2020

BIHL set to expand into SADC region

The Group Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) Catherine Lesetedi-Letegele says due to intensified domestic competition, the group is now looking to expand its business operations beyond borders into the regional SADC bloc. The Group’s CEO revealed that BIHL’s three year strategy came to an end December 2016 and that the thrust of the new company’s strategy 2017-21 is based on being a leading regional financial services provider through optimisation of the group’s collective strength.

In adopting the five year new business strategy, Lesetedi-Letegele  said they want to grow by delivering growth and strengthening their mature businesses.  She added that their main focus is client centricity and ease of access: segmentation, products and LifeRewards.

“We are targeting market segmentation, increasing penetration in existing segments or markets. Our new innovative and game changing products are to be launched,” she stated.

Lesetedi-Letegele spoke of the affluent division which was launched and operates from CBD, offering a distinct and differentiated service. She added that unbanked segment, continues to be their focus and they will find cost effective ways of serving this market, adding that collaborating to create a one stop shop is key.

BIHL Group CEO also spoke of the second pillar of the strategy saying they want to deepen existing partnerships by reviewing and strengthening their partnership model to provide improved access to products and services.

 “Our partnership model continues to deliver pleasing results and new products rolled out with our Standard Chartered Bank, BancABC ÔÇô Atlas Mara, Letshego and the newly signed FNBB new partnership,” she said.

BIHL CEO stated that 7 new products have been launched through the different channels in the second quarter adding that they continue to look for opportunities to grow and deepen their partnerships.

The third pillar of the group’s strategy is expansion into attractive SADC markets and also to explore in-country opportunities. According to Lesetedi-Letegele, Botswana remains a challenging environment as a result of low insurance penetration. She said this has necessitated the Group to consider expanding into the attractive SADC bloc and explore opportunities.

Lesetedi-Letegele noted that expansion into the attractive SADC bloc will be done through the group’s associates which are already present in five countries namely Tanzania, Mozambique, Uganda and four subsidiaries in Malawi and one in Zambia.

“FSG increased its stake to 35.6 percent, present in 3 countries, and have plans to expand to Zimbabwe in the near future. Our acquisition of a 50 percent indirect stake in BIC is to complete our insurance offering,” she stated.

The other pillar entails harnessing group synergies and driving operational efficiencies. She believes that investment in technology remains key to realising operational efficiencies and that a number of IT projects are ongoing.

Lesetedi-Letegele revealed that LifeRewards card continues to deliver, and through the card their payment turnaround time has substantially reduced having paid over P700million since the introduction of the card. She is of the view that the quality of business and efficiency of new business underwriting is crucial to their business.

She also stated that the group is increasing organisational capacity. She said 5 percent of the admin budget is targeted towards employee development in different areas of the business. 

“Development coach initiative was introduced to all employees to improve skills and competencies,” she stated.

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