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Daily Nation : February 21st 2014
II | Advertising Feature RESILIENCE “I discussed with Hans Dahlberg an officer who later became the Managing Director of Folksam, a Swedish Co-operative Insurer about the possibility of starting a Co-operative Insurance Society in Kenya. “Little did I know the idea which I shared with Hans, a Swedish Colleague and friend would turn out to be such a noble and renowned co-operative organization in this country and indeed, the leading cooperative insurer on the continent.“ The then CIS had gross premium of Sh3 million in 1979 rose to Sh62.3m in 1987. However, by 1995 – nearly two decades since its establishment – CIC had gone through many challenges and was on the verge of collapsing. Former Prime Minister Hon. Raila Odinga, CIC Group Chairman Mr Japheth Magomere and Group CEO cut a cake in celebration of our 30 years of service. The Prime Minister also officially opened our Customer service center Exactly 45 years ago, a seed was planted in the minds of a group of visionary men from Kenya and Europe. They let it germinate and they felt it was time to let it grow. In their minds’ eyes, they envisioned a dynamic insurance firm serving the Kenyan nation. It was a noble dream that they pursued to fruition. But never in their wildest dreams could they have envisioned the giant institution that is today CIC Insurance Group, Africa’s biggest co-operative insurer. Even after CIS, the forerunner of today’s CIC was formed and fully entrenched, few of the founders would have given it a chance after its performance hit a trough in the mid-1990s. One of the people who have been watching CIC with a keen eye since its formations is Mr. Musundi. A longtime leader of Kenya’s co-operative movement and founder member of the insurance Group, even he will tell you that what CIC has become is a big miracle. CIC’s amazing resilience is the profound and moving story of what happens when the dreams of visionaries encounter murky of waters and others are called upon to resuscitate a dying organisation. Mr. Musundi, the then KNFC’s (now CAK) first secretary general, recalls that “in 1969 while attending a Co-operative Management Course at Reading University in Great Britain and during the visit to the Co-operative Insurance Society owned by the Co-operative Union of England at Manchester, I was excited with the development of the CIS and I felt that it was possible for us to establish a similar venture back at home in Kenya. The insurance firm founded by the Kenyan co-operative movement was dogged by a poor image, insolvency and the inability to raise capital that almost saw it almost denied renewal of its license by the end of 1995. By December of that year, when the international cooperative movement injected Sh.90m, the company was technically insolvent. The international co-operative movement under the aegis of the International Cooperative and Mutual Insurance Federation (ICMIF) also seconded two Canadian consultants to spearhead the organization’s turnaround assisted by the firm’s management. ICMIF helps in the establishment of mutual and co-operative institutions to meet the insurance needs of the people in the low income segment more effectively through enterprises they themselves own and control. It also arranges technical assistance and, where practical and possible, financial assistance from appropriate sources for member organizations in various stages of development. The ICMIF consultants stayed at CIC until the end of 1997 when they expressed their disenchantment with the progress they were making. The international consultants seconded to the organization then known as Co-operative Insurance Services (CIS) gave a report to the financiers that the insurer might not survive, and that international share-holders risked losing the money they had sunk in it. They advised the financiers who had seconded them to CIC to consider selling their stake to another organization. They washed their hands off the business, packed their bags and returned home. In a final shot aimed at saving the organization from collapsing, seasoned insurer and marketing expert Mr. Nelson Kuria was appointed Chief Manager – Strategy and Business Development in June 1998 as part of a succession rescue plan. He took over as Managing Director and CEO in 2001. He led a recovery plan which involved rebranding and re-launching the company; building its image; diversifying its customer base; developing strategic alliances with other co-operatives; and staff development. Mr. Kuria did a SWOT analysis of CIC upon taking office and DAILY NATION Friday February 21, 2014 presented a paper to the Board of Directors detailing the strategic direction towards which he would drive the organization for it to survive and prosper. “As, a start, I convinced the Board and management on the need to prepare a strategic plan and they bought the idea,” he remembers. CIC had hitherto operated without a strategic plan. In quoting the famous verse in the Bible; “Where there is no vision, the people perish”, Mr. Kuria opines that it was not surprising that CIC faced the prospect of collapsing. The strategic plan developed in January 1999 became the blueprint for the organization’s transformation. It defined CIC’s mission, vision, values, overarching objectives and strategic goals. These strategies worked wonderfully well within the framework of the firm’s new vision, mission and core values, powerfully captured in the slogan: “We Keep Our Word’’. The plan culminated in a rapid and progressive repositioning of the company. Today, CIC Insurance Group is a success story and a role model for the co-operative movement in Kenya in particular and Africa in general. The evolution and rise of a growing African financial giant is a clear testament to the power of human solidarity. It is a perfect tribute to the efforts of CIC’s founding fathers and the international co-operative movement which observed the co-operative principle of co-operation among co-operatives. CIC’s existence today is an affirmation of the role of ICMIF in assisting and promoting the development of co-operative and mutual insurers worldwide, especially in the third world. The Brand ‘We keep our word’. These are four simple words that describe a brand’s commitment to its publics: shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers, communities and government. As a corporate slogan, this promise by the CIC Insurance Group conveys a powerful message to all who deal with it. This is CIC Insurance Group’s way of relating, of making transactions and doing business – and it brooks no false promises. Given the number of diverse awards that the Group has been winning year in, year out, it is clear that its slogan has stood the test of time. CIC is known for its impeccable track record in claims settlement, integrity and ethical behaviour. For more than three decades, the CIC Insurance Group has dependably shouldered the risks of the Kenyan people through providing insurance services that help people plan for life stage needs, secure their future, protection them against rising health CONTINUED NEXT PAGE TEMBO SAVINGS & CREDIT CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY LTD 5th Queensway House, Floor, Kaunda Street, P.O.Box 22974-00400, Tom Mboya, Tel: 254 0722529863, 0733600022 Email: email@example.com Web: www.debonairtravel.com Tembo Sacco congratulates CIC Insurance Group on the official opening of CIC Plaza 11. It ‘s been years of consistentely keeping your word, and we are proud to be associated with you! Debonair Travel Ltd salutes CIC Insurance Group for officially moving into their new building HONGERA !!!! Tembo Sacco continues to offer Exemplary services to the staff of East African Breweries and it’s Associates. We are also pround to introduce our new investment arm ‘TEMBO VENTURES HOUSING CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY’ to meet the ever increasing demand for investments. Membership to TEMBO VENTURES HOUSING CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY is on going. Talk to us today for more details on: 020 – 2603334 or 0722992469. With you all the way...................milele.
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