Pairing Expertise with Innovation
Writer: Emily Jarvis
Project Manager: Callum Philp
Focusing on refining and enhancing the already vast experience levels of its staff to bolster a steady performance during the current economic slump, Mombasa-based Masumali Meghji Insurance Brokers Ltd has been able to strengthen and explore growth opportunities at a time when other industry players in East Africa are consolidating.
Taking into account the latest industry trends as part of a long-term growth plan, the 35-year-old broker is now keenly interested in spreading its wings and complementing the current head office with additional branches across the region to increase client reach; a feat only possible in-part due to the purchase of the state-of-the-art SofTrends Solutions’ IBMS software in recent years.
Masumali Meghji’s Chief Executive Officer, Hasnain Meghji recalls: “Purchasing IBMS has been a vital stepping-stone to growth as it has automated the majority of our work. Furthermore, the software has also integrated and re-engineered the Company’s operational processes. This has reduced costs, increased scale and transformed operational practices, putting us on the highway of growth.”
As one of the largest independent insurance brokers operating in the Coast Province of Kenya, Masumali has built a formidable reputation in the local area, known by a wide variety of clients – namely multinationals, corporates and individuals – for its competitive products and services; spanning private and commercial motor insurance, medical and pension schemes, employee benefits, marine cargo and hull insurance, travel and emergency, personal insurance, construction and engineering insurance, commercial and industrial insurance, political violence & terrorism, and risk management and analysis.
“Although our core business is in commercial and industrial covers, we also handle all aspects of personal insurance covers for all sectors and clientele,” Meghji adds.
East Africa as a whole is witnessing strong growth in the insurance market, with Kenya taking centre stage as the financial hub for regional activity and showcasing the latest industry innovations. Masumali has leveraged this wider trend to remain competitive in an increasingly saturated market under fire from economic unrest.
Meghji explains: “Most businesses these days are operating in survival mode. But take a look at the ones whose performance has been steady and locally-rooted in terms of staff and regular training programmes. This is what sets our Company apart from our competitors and is helping us to flourish in the current economic environment. By focusing on the continuous improvement of our vast experience and wide knowledge base, we are proud to have held steady for more than thirty years and counting.”
Moreover, being a proud member of the Global Broker Network (GBN) has helped Masumali distinguish itself as a professional brokerage institution and serves to reiterate to potential clients that they are in safe hands.
“GBN connects us to different regions and clients. To our clients, being associated and part of GBN will be a good confirmation to them that they are dealing with a reputable company that is globally known,” he summarised.
Innovation and education
In order to remain ahead of the industry curve, Masumali has been quick to call-upon technology to improve internal efficiencies and develop modern branding techniques.
Meghji highlights: “We have invested in a quality Company website that clearly outlines our products and services, as well as newsletters designed to educate our existing clients on what their policies entail so they know there are no hidden extras in our policies. Additionally, we now use social media platforms to further enhance interaction with both new and old clients.
“In terms of value-add, we have also come up with credit facilities and premium financing for our key clients. Before a client’s policy expires we send or even call to notify them that their policy is due for renewal; and if new policy terms have been introduced, we try and keep them on track and in-the-know.”
In support of this customer-centric approach, the Company has also been working closely with clients and community partners to encourage and strengthen community alliances. With plans to begin opening new branches in strategic locations across the East African region on the horizon, Masumali is hoping to extend this community reach wherever it operates in the future.
“While we plan to expand into other regions, our customer service levels will not differ. For any progress to be made, these new facilities must be equipped to a very high standard and utilise the IBMS software from the word-go,” he adds.
Increasing market share
Holding a strong belief that choosing the right technologies to support the business can potentially revolutionise Masumali’s operations, Meghji says that innovation is at the forefront of the Company’s continuous improvement strategy going forward; representing a vital pillar of its newfound East Africa-wide client push.
“IBMS is testament to this and marks just one key indicator where technology has helped us to grow our market share, financial figures and overall competitiveness. Provided we complement this with experienced brokers, then technology can be used as a tool to help solve not only complex client problems, but we can utilise it to plan the future scalability of our business,” he details.
Meghji concludes: “Speed and accuracy are at the heart of making right decisions for your business. Every successful organisation has to go through a comprehensive market research process which enables management to make the right decisions. This is something that can be quantified with the help of technology.
“It is with all these processes that we hope to realise excellence in the next three-five years. We hope to achieve total customer satisfaction, attractive rates and packages for our clients both new and old, timely and prompt delivery of policies and insurance, quick and perfect handling and finalising of claims without complications, and with full client satisfaction. Once all our targets have been reached, we have high expectations to ultimately scale-up from being an insurance broker, to an insurance company.”