Saturday, January 22, 2022

How Catherine Lesetedi-Letegele turned around Botswana Life

Botswana Life Insurance Limited (BLIL) has attributed its achievements to simply a culmination of the collective efforts of the lead team, staff, business partners as well as the support of the BLIL board.

Currently, the company has achieved a number of significant milestones, some of which are quite outstanding for an insurance company. The company has delivered consistently on all key financial performance indicators.

BLIL Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Catherine Lesetedi-Letegele said that BLIL has attracted substantial premium income inflows from policyholders, growing policyholder assets by 89 percent from P3.5 billion (FY2010) to P6.8 billion in December 2013. She added that similarly, shareholder equity grew by 72 percent in the same period.

She pointed out that most importantly; Botswana Life continues to be the flagship company within the BIHL Group.

“Our vision is to be the global benchmark life insurance company and this we articulate through our Sekgantshwane 2014 strategy. This is extremely challenging but also very exciting for us as it keeps us engaged as we innovate and change the way we do things,” she said.

The BLIL CEO pointed out that the company has become more innovative. She said it is evidenced by the launch of new generation products, one of which is a life cover which does not require medical underwriting, a premier funeral cover with annuity or monthly income to the family of the deceased life assured.

“We are looking at extending our market penetration into new market segments in order to grow our business. We are focusing greatly on improving our service as a key differentiator. We are also looking to technology for business efficiency and service excellence,” said Lesetedi-Letegele.

She is of the view that success is not only about financial performance, adding that for them at Botswana Life, it is also about how they impact the communities that support the business and the general community at large.

She stated that in addition to the Corporate Social Investment that they contribute to through the BIHL Trust, the company has a wide range of activities that it does.

The CEO also highlighted that the introduction of the LifeRewards visa card has significantly reduced the claim turnaround time to less than three hours. She added that they are pleased with the take-up rate of the card.

“To date we have issued over 15,000 cards and paid over P70million.”

She spoke of the challenges that the company is facing which she said are similar to those faced by many businesses operating in the current economic conditions.

She listed them such as a small population that is growing slowly confines the size of the market adding that it is further exacerbated by growing unemployment.

She stated that household incomes continue to be under pressure as a result of a recovering economy and added that it impacts the ability of clients to maintain premium payments.

“Given our size, while we expect to grow, we refrain from using words like significant. Without giving too much away, through market research we have uncovered segments which are currently underserved as well as emerging needs that have to be met. We are working on strategies to tap into these segments and fulfill our client needs,” she said.

The BLIL CEO highlighted that the company total assets under management currently stand at P8.5 billion, a 21 percent growth from 2012, and policyholder assets stand at P6.8billion, growing by 22 percent from 2012. She said the shareholder equity stands at P1.4 billion, growing by 21 percent from 2012.

“The key to effectively managing the expectations of each of the stakeholders is firstly to understand what obligations we have to each stakeholder. Each stakeholder group has its own unique needs but all are equally important. Our approach to stakeholder management is to have open communication channels and to meet with stakeholders as regularly as possible,” said Lesetedi-Letegele.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper