CEO Today - Africa Awards 2023

26 | Nigeria where we all have a long history of having worked with or for one another at some point in our careers. What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced since taking up the role of CEO at Sanlam General Insurance Nigeria Limited, and how did you manage these challenges? The COVID-19 period was by all means very challenging. It required a lot of innovative and nimble management of staff as we all have to work remotely. However, as a strategic, adaptable and technologically driven organisation, we came out stronger and we were able to meet our targets and profitability for the period. What strategies have you implemented to ensure that Sanlam remains a key player in the Nigerian insurance industry? ‘Identify, employ and retain the best hands in the industry’ has been our top strategy from the outset. An organisation is only as good as the sum total of its staff. Without a strong professional staff, there is only so much a brand can achieve. At Sanlam, we seek the brightest minds to come join our workforce, and this has consistently made us stand out in everything we do. That is what has taken us to where we are today as a leading insurance company in Nigeria and the number one nonbanking financial institution in Africa. How do you manage the balance between achieving business objectives and ensuring that customers’ needs are met and their expectations exceeded? Really, there is a balance to maintain only when business objectives run at odds with customer needs. At Sanlam, our business objectives are firmly rooted in ensuring the best of our customers so there is a nexus and thus no balance is required. By simply meeting our corporate business objectives, we end up ensuring customer satisfaction because all we do as a business is geared towards ensuring our customers live with confidence. You recently stated how Sanlam has contributed to the stability and growth of the Nigerian economy by reducing financial uncertainty and promoting business development. How does Sanlam General plan to intensify these efforts? A major pain point for customers is access. When it comes to uptake of insurance, the industry has quite a number of agents combing the nooks and cranny of the country to get people to buy insurance. But when it comes to making claims, it is a different ball game. This is a major reason why we just launched our *1056# Code of Confidence, which allows for instant claims on third-party auto insurance. What this means is that when you’re involved in an accident, you simply dial *1056# from any MTN and Airtel line. Even if you don’t have one, borrow one from anyone near you and follow the voice prompts. As long as the claim is below a certain threshold, it will be settled on the spot. The same *1056# can be used by others who have other types of auto insurance plans with us, though it was primarily set up for the third-party owners. Insofar as the claims do not exceed a certain limit, we will pay. So that’s one major way we are intensifying efforts. Second, we are a communication-driven company. Our digital channels rank as one of the most active platforms in the industry. Thus, we have a lot of engagement with the market. We recently launched the digital campaign we call #ProudMoments with Sanlam, which you may have seen especially on digital platforms or heard on the radio. The campaign seeks to highlight the fact that, while we all seek greater achievements each

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