Fri, 31/03/2017 - 12:20
Current Issue 56
Hollard Insurance Zambia is aiming for the very top as it seeks to leverage its role as a leading value-driven business to become a key contributor to the country’s economic and social development
The Right Solution For You
Writer: Matthew Staff
Project Manager: Stuart Parker
Hollard Insurance’s rapid rise to prominence is now epitomised by its top five ranking in Zambia, as its ever-expanding service remit targets enrichment not just for its customers, but for the country as a whole.
Opening its doors in 2010 as a Greenfield project, it took just five years to achieve a gross annual premium income of more than K100 million thanks to its top and bottom line capabilities across its two offices in Lusaka and Kitwe. And now, with plans underway to expand its national footprint even further - and with strategic acquisitions such as the deal which saw Hollard Life added to the portfolio - the business anticipates an even more concerted influence in the future.
“In 2012, the Group invested in a life insurance company to form our sister Company, Hollard Life. As a General Insurer, we traditionally write all classes of non-life business with the exception of livestock and crops,” explains Hollard’s Managing Director, Paul Nkhoma. “Rather than focus on increasing our product offering we have opted to enhance and differentiate our offering to the market in order to meet client requirements.
“For instance, we provided the first debit order collection option in the market as well as offered the first pure monthly policy. This was in a bid to help manage the premium collection problem that the market is facing.”
Leveraging its industry expertise to monitor such industry needs and fluctuations, Hollard is also currently relooking at its commercial policy wording in order to make the wording simpler and more easily comprehensible to all clients.
“There are various other initiatives that we are working on this year and these are tailored for either easier access for our client base or a simplified service process, as - generally speaking - people think insurance is a complicated process.”
Better servicing clients
Being an option for all, and evolving as an accessible entity to this end over the past seven years, Hollard’s ability to provide the most comprehensive of insurance services in an understandable way for all levels of client has been a key differentiator; and is compounding this status at present via a product aimed at the SME segment.
“The SME segment is one of the fastest growing sectors with a big need for risk management,” Nkhoma affirms. “Like any insurance product though, you have to understand the number behind it so a lot of background work is done in terms of actuary support as well as in determining the relevance to market for any new product.”
The aforementioned risk management aspect is joined by business continuity demands as two key considerations driving Hollard Zambia’s product diversification of late; addressing the trends highlighted not just by its peripheral market peers, but also by distribution partners such as banks and mobile providers.
And facilitating each and every external unveiling is an equally pivotal behind the scenes improvement or investment ensuring that the Company is keeping its own systems ahead of the industry curve.
“We have invested a substantial amount of money in changing our core operating system to be able to better service our clients,” Nkhoma says. “This change started in late December, 2016 and we will have a fully-operational system by mid-2017.
“Meanwhile, our Lusaka office moved premises two years ago and our Kitwe office a year ago; both allowing for more space, better ease of access and an improved ambience and environment. We are also planning to open a new office in another province of Zambia later in the year.”
One of Zambia’s top insurance companies
Across all of Hollard’s presence points, the message is clear: to be as local and indigenously Zambian as possible. From an employment perspective, this revolves around a rigorous process to hire local personnel befitting of the Company culture, before training and enriching them for their own individual development as much as their professional development.
As such, the Company’s retention rate is among the highest in the industry, ensuring that Hollard Insurance Zambia remains a local team running a local business.
And the same ethos is applied to the Company’s business partnership and corporate social responsibility approaches too, as Nkhoma affirms: “By and large most of our service partners are local as we operate in a local environment and therefore need to have local partners to fully take advantage of the saying; “local is lekker”.
“Similarly, we believe that everyone should be involved in some form of social responsibility and, at Hollard, this forms a large part of our non-financial goals.”
Helping to tackle regional issues such as HIV and malaria alongside Munich Re and the Global Fund, Hollard Zambia also involves itself in initiatives such as ‘Movember’ to raise funds for cancer research, while also funding Zambian management programmes on a pro-bono basis.
The result once again is not just a reputable and respected Company making a difference in Zambia, but a more sustainable Zambia conducive to industry prominence long in to the future; something which Hollard very much plans to be a part of.
“We have a strong, well-capitalised brand, and our team is a local, highly-skilled and motivated team supported by an international team that has operated in one of the most penetrated and advanced insurance markets in the world,” Nkhoma concludes. “We have a new insurance system which is unmatched in our market and we have the support of great partnerships which allows us to have an extensive distribution network.
“Capitalising on all of this, we hope to be one of the top - if not the top - insurance companies in Zambia in the future. This is in respect of being top in income, shareholders value, employer status and as a contributor to the Zambian economic and social environment.”