Botswana Life Insurance Limited (BLIL) this week hosted a workshop for its Life Brokers whose aim was to share BLIL future outlook as well as to upgrade and share ideas on how to better the service in order to make the business grow.
The BLIL Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Regina Sikalese-Vaka, started by urging the brokers to discipline themselves saying this is the only thing that can take them to another level.
“We do need discipline in our businesses and have to continuously monitor it because without it, we won’t go anywhere,” she stated. She said it is also very important that the brokers put the clients first.
Sikalesele-Vaka also expressed gratitude to brokers for their 2007 positive contribution saying this really showed that the community and BLIL brokers are in partnership and not competing. “We need to help each other so as to improve the image of BLIL,” she added.
In his remarks, BLIL Forensic and Compliance Manager, Tefo Setlhare, who was one of the speakers, said businesses should be set on compliance. “This is one tool that will help us assure our stakeholders that we have it under control,” he stated.
Setlhare pointed out that businesses should make sure that they always protect their consumers by cleaning the market as well as maintaining confidence in that market, and also should have strong values and ethics. “We need to embrace the objectives of the regulator so as to protect our customers,” he said.
According to Setlhare, there are two important documents in the insurance businesses, which are the Procedure manual and the Compliance manual. He said most organizations do not have compliance manual.
“We should stop running our businesses according to practice and have to identify rules to govern us. When we comply, we avoid the costs of non-comply but enhance our firms’ ability to meet the needs of our clients,” he said.
He added that companies need intermediaries to help them comply, and also to help them facilitate the implementation and maintenance of the right culture. As brokers, he said they also need an ethical culture in which the values underpinning regulations have been specifically accommodated.
Addressing the BLIL brokers on how to manage their businesses, Lorato Mosetlhanyane, from BLIL, said what they have observed at BLIL is that usually small businesses survive for only 24 months due to lack of discipline and good management, hence end up being closed. “We should take care of our business when it is small so as it can take care of us when we are old,” she emphasized. She said people must learn to instill some form of discipline to themselves.
For a business to run smoothly, Mosetlhanyane said it has to have a clear direction and a vision that will see it beyond.
“Make sure you get a monthly salary and leave what the company made to the company. You have to also move away from the manual cheque books because we are operating in an Information Communication Technology (ICT) world now,” she stated. She appealed to brokers to bring in money into their business and to find someone who can manage that money so as to double it.
According to Mosetlhanyane, businesses should have proper policies and procedures and should be documented. As part of control, she said brokers must learn to segregate rules in their businesses. “We need to keep proper books of accounts. We should learn a lesson from what happened to Lobtrans, it can happen to anybody,” she said.
She appealed to brokers to build reserves for their businesses saying if not, the continuity and stability of their businesses would be considered shaky.