New entrants in the local life insurance business, Bramer Life Insurance Company have said they are more than ready to face competition from other industry players, Bramer Life Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Regina Sikalesele-Vaka told Gazette Business in an interview last week. The company, which originates from Mauritius recently opened its first office at the Central Business District and was officially launched last Wednesday.
According to Sikalesele-Vaka, they are confident that they will cope with competition because they have a good backing from Mauritius and support as they are a subsidiary of the British American Investment company which has 45 years experience in the life insurance industry.
Sikalesele-Vaka said that the company invested in Botswana because they believe that there is one major life insurance company that is very dominant and their entrance into the market can make a difference. “They have been in the industry for a very long time, insurance is something that they know like the back their hands; they’ve got all the experience, the knowledge and the IT that is required to run a business, so they are bringing all of that as an advantage which they can enter into this market and make a difference,” said Sikalesele-Vaka.
She said the other for her confidence is that they have market intelligence and market experience as their management team has worked for the current market leader. “We know what the issues are in this market and we know how we can resolve those issues,” she said.
Sikalesele-Vaka added that their entry will be beneficial to consumers, “If you offer competitive products with good benefits and good service, you should be able to attract clients. We will work very hard to be competitive,” she said.
She said they want to give the public fair competition saying they will be responsive to client, “We are client focused, we are in a position to offer products that are customised,” Sikalesele-Vaka said.
In terms of market share, she was not in a position to reveal what their target is. She only said; “We aim to reach substantial market share within the next five years.”
The CEO, who has previously held the same position at Botswana Life Insurance, said the P40 million investment shows that the Mauritian investors have confidence in Botswana. She said they chose Botswana ahead of other countries because they feel the country is peaceful and they feel at home, hence they are planning to open their head offices here, “They are exploring business opportunities in Mozambique, Zambia and Ghana. They also have business in Malta, UK, Virginia Islands and Kenya,” she said.
Speaking at the launch of the company, Vice President Dr Ponatshego Kedikilwe said the investment is a significant turning point in the history of life insurance which will create much needed diversity in the industry. “What we need to remember is that, unlike other life insurance companies in this market, Bramer Life does not have an existing association with any commercial bank, so it will have to compete aggressively by offering competitive products to the public to penetrate the hitherto captive banking market,” he said.
“This investment will change the landscape of the financial services sector, stimulate the economy and contribute towards Botswana’s vision of prosperity for all as outlined in Vision 2016,” Kedikilwe said.