Life in the Insurance fast lane
In his three years in the Botswana Insurance Company (BIC) hot seat, Newton Jazire has overseen significant growth.
Backed by two decades of experience, as he tells Voice Money’s KABELO ADAMSON in this installment of Meet the Boss, Jazire has taken BIC to new heights.
He points to international recognition and technological improvements introduced to improve customer experience as proof of the company’s continued success.
You were appointed BIC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) back in January 2018, kindly reflect on your journey so far?
It has been an exciting one.
I reflect on fond memories of empowering a young executive committee to drive the business.
It seemed controversial at the time but their intuition, passion, drive, and technical know-how of what we do as short-term insurers has landed us the Number One spot in the marketplace.
It has been an exhilarating challenge that was mostly full of life lessons in enhancing our value to the customer.
What major achievements can you point to during your time in charge?
Assembling a young vibrant team that challenged the insurance status quo by going against the mold of what is expected of insurance thus winning us two globally recognized awards – firstly, the Global Banking and Finance Best General Insurance Company in 2021 and secondly the Global Business Review Magazine Best General Insurance Company 2021 in the process.
The award is a testament to the contributions made by the BIC team’s hard work and brilliance.
We will continue to drive the agenda of making life better for Batswana.
We are delighted and thankful for the honor and recognition of the two institutions.
Global Banking and Finance and Global Business Review awards recognize and celebrate excellence, innovation, achievement, strategy, and inspirational changes taking place within the Global Financial community.
We retain global re-insurers of note with our AA- rating the best in the republic, a testament of our ability to pay claims and our balance sheet.
Talk us through your pre-BIC days.
Before working for Botswana Insurance Company, I worked as a Senior Executive Overlooking Risk Management for Zimnat Insurance Company in Zimbabwe.
I came to Botswana to work as a Claims Manager at BIC, back in 2004.
What would you describe as the highlight of your distinguished career?
Working with this team of young, strategic, and passionate team players has been one of the greatest highlights in my career.
They carry a team spirit that leads to winning and achieving every planned goal.
BIC is an industry leader because of the team that I am working with.
And the lowest moment?
The lowest point was last year when the Covid-19 pandemic hit us as a country.
It led to several businesses shutting down, people losing their jobs, some losing their lives.
The pandemic had a huge effect on Botswana’s economy which is not good for almost every business in the country.
The local insurance industry involves a variety of players, some big, some small. What would you say is BIC’s current market share?
We were the first short insurance company in the country.
Over the years we have provided the best services which has led to several entities and individuals finding the best insurer in the country.
This has led to us being one of the most dominant short-term insurance companies in Botswana.
And what steps is BIC taking to ensure it remains a dominant force?
We have a dynamic team in touch with global trends.
We closely followed the international insurance trends which have helped us to keep international standards that have set us apart from our local counterparts.
Remember BIC is AA-rated which means that it is internationally recognised and well-rated.
Introduction of a virtual office, customer portal, revamped websites indicate alternate routes to market.
In terms of your technological platforms, what more can clients expect going forward?
They should expect immediate feedback from us, improvements in our systems because Are Bue [BIC’s WhatsApp platform] ensures that we get feedback instantly.
We are working on introducing more solutions that will make life better for our clients.
Away from the office, how do while away time?
I’m an avid golfer and hunter.
I enjoy the bush and its rough terrains but embrace the vast green that defines the best golf courses in Botswana and the region.
I do enjoy quality time with my daughters, last-born son, and of course the love of my life.