Managing operations at Old Mutual Kenya
Monday, 20 August 2012 14:25
Fred Ndung’u paid a visit to Old Mutual Kenya (OMK) Group CEO Tavaziva Madzinga in order to gain an insight into the institute’s recent developments and find out his thoughts on the general state of Kenya's financial services sector
Managing operations in the financial services sector can be quite challenging; providers in the sector need to be innovative, ready to listen and able to respond to the ever-changing needs of clients.
In an earlier interview the youthful and determined Madzinga informed us that OMK was undergoing an integration process after realising that operations, in isolation, of its different stations worldwide had not been very beneficial.
“Cohesion is on-going and we have to travel a lot to pull things together,” the CEO concluded.
Today, the global group is continuing to introduce new innovative products. The most recent and interesting product is the Rafiki Halisi Range - a low-premium range of products targeted at the mass market. It includes straight, easy-to-sell life insurance, and investment and education plans that do not carry conditions such as prior medical testing and certification.
“The group has engaged in a brand campaign in the mass media (radio, TV and billboards) and through social media among others to increase its brand visibility and to increase awareness in all insurance products we deal in,” Madzinga explained.
The publicity initiatives have proven useful in reaching out to the Y (youthful) generation, who make up about 75 per cent of Kenya's population. This critical group must learn and appreciate the usefulness and relevance of the financial services sector. In recent months OMK’s brand visibility has increased and benefitted operations.
With regards to overcoming impediments to growth in the financial services sector, Madzinga said, “We invest a lot of money in our global operations and also in the country’s operations. [In Kenya] our investments are in the range of hundreds of billions of Kenyan shillings and when the economic climate lowers stocks at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), our assets tend to decline.
“We are unable to protect our stocks at the NSE due to these extraneous factors, so we advise our customers and clients to invest in long-term instruments, which can weather the storms when the market dips.
“It is our duty to educate customers on the best investment vehicles - especially when disposable incomes are daily affected by inflationary pressures among other factors,” Madzinga added.