6 years ago

Western Cape Business 2017 edition

  • Text
  • Agriculture
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  • Cape
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  • Investment
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The 2017 edition of Western Cape Business is the 10th issue of this highly successful publication that, since its launch in 2005, has established itself as the premier business and investment guide to the Western Cape province. The Western Cape has numerous promising investment and business opportunities and this issue includes contributions from Alan Winde (Minister of Economic Opportunities for the Western Cape Government), interviews with Ryan Ravens (CEO of Accelerate Cape Town), Arifa Parkar (Western Cape Business Opportunities Forum CEO), Wesgro CEO Tim Harris and Lance Greyling (Invest Cape Town) as well as contributions from various business leaders. In addition, you will also find comprehensive features on all the key sectors in the Western Cape.

FOCUS A passion for

FOCUS A passion for people Old Mutual’s success as a trusted investment, savings, insurance and banking group since 1845 has been built on financial acumen and dedication. Another critical aspect of the Old Mutual business is the passion for the communities we serve, says Helene Africa, Provincial Manager at Old Mutual. How did the Mass Foundation Cluster come into being? Old Mutual is 170 years old but the Mass Foundation Cluster started 40 years ago, primarily because we identified a need in the middle-income market for our products. Employers also asked for something for their clients who were not in the high-income bracket, such as a simple funeral product or even a basic savings or retirement product. As our clients evolved and our initial client basket of two products became increasingly bigger until we had a whole basket of products, even down to education. We try to listen to our clients and help them to progress with their financial life as their needs change. Today the Cluster includes the short-term insurance product iWYZE through to financial support products such as loans, consolidation products and any financial need a client might have. In the past clients would have to go to a competitor for assistance with a loan and then other financial products as their needs changed, so we realised that we needed to look at a client’s financial needs from a wider perspective to be able to retain them as clients and also to accommodate their growing needs. We operate through four divisions: • Foundation Business Unit • Retail Mass Business Unit • Old Mutual Finance Business Unit • iWYZE However, our focus and vision continues to be centred around our clients as we aim to be their most trusted partner. As our customers are at the hub of our business we constantly look at ways of earning and building on their trust by delivering on time and delivering value-for-money prodicts. In what ways has your business adapted to suit your clients changing needs? We launched new technology aimed at improving service to our customers, as we moved from a manual environment to paperless and Helene Africa, Provincial Manager harnessing the power of technology. All our advisers are now equipped with laptops and they run everything through this, instead of paper. Information is now captured from point of sale in order to reduce errors and to prevent a paper application from being lost. It has been a big innovative move and shift for us but it was essential as young people in particular want to do things online without face-to-face interaction, so it’s important to satisfy that need. This came about because we always listen to what our clients want. We are also constantly researching the digital environment and what our future client is going to look like. What are some of the challenges you face in doing your business? Insurance is not a product that sells itself, and clients don’t come knocking on your door. You have to go out and create awareness about why these products are important for them to consider. The middle-income segment don’t necessarily have lots of disposable income to cover the costs related to death in a family or a serious WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017 54

FOCUS injury or illness, so the need to have insurance is definitely out there. However, there is a big educational need, which is why we went on a journey with our Financial Education which offers the public information on money management as well as financial workshops, and also employ facilitators to train communities, clients or stakeholders. Even if we don’t bring any business from these workshops and initiatives, they have a wider micro economic benefit, and this impacts on the macro economy, so we see it as an important project. However, once you start speaking to people it’s a whole new world and they suddenly realise they have been wasting money for a long time that could easily have been used to protect or build their financial life. It’s important to us to help people who aren’t earning much to realise their dreams and to reach their goals. What we aim to bring to the attention of our clients is the fact that, when it comes to your finances, if you make a mistake you won’t pay for it now – instead you really pay for it in 10 to 15 years time. Unfortunately a lot of people wake up too late and suffer financially. This is also why it’s critical to get out there to the young workforce in particular, because if we can help people to start out with the right decisions and products from the start of their career it will make a tremendous difference to their financial future. effort to work in and create opportunities to give back through staff volunteering. Staff who want to participate can choose if they want to give of their time, or they can give from their paycheck. To honour their contribution, Old Mutual then matches that amount at the end of the year and distributes it to the relevant communities. We also make funds available for our staff members who have been working on community projects. This is our Staff Volunteerism programme where Old Mutual will donate up to R20 000 to a project if our staff are supporting it with their time. This obviously gives back to the community, but it also allows Old Mutual to honour and support our staff who give of their time through a meaningful cash donation. What is different about how you do your business? With our Mass Business unit we pay our advisers salaries, not commission. We find that salaried staff are better able to offer the correct service to the public and that distinguishes them from commission earners who are, perhaps understandably, motivated by their commission. By paying them a salary we believe it allows them to really look after the client and to build trust as a financial adviser, not just a sales person. Our advisers are then better able to sell a client what they need and what they can afford, not what the salesperson wants in terms of their commission. Our aim is to provide that really good service because then we start to build a good relationship with the client and they will then hopefully want to seek our advice for their other future needs. We see it as really caring for their wellbeing and then going on a journey with the client, and by seeing them as a person. We’re also very passionate about our people - our clients and our staff – and if you walk into our business you will get the sense for how they care. That spirit has really helped to make us successful. How else does Old Mutual give back to the community? We are passionate about giving back to the communities in which we work, so we make an 55 WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2017

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