For Online E-newspaper
Daily Nation : February 21st 2014
IV | Advertising Feature Former Minister for Co-operatives Hon. Njeru Ndwiga joins the CIC Group CEO during the ground breaking ceremony of CIC Plaza 1 FROM PREVIOUS PAGE In stepping up efforts to tap the opportunities that the co-operative has to offer, the Group plans to establish a firm to underwrite insurance for public transport co-operatives. The new firm will begin operations in the second half of this year according to Mr. Kuria. For a group that already runs three subsidiaries and an associate company in Takaful Insurance, CIC is set to become a bigger CIC PRODUCTS It is a common yet disturbing sight in many urban centres in Kenya. To many, it is a depressing yet unavoidable reality. Small groups of relatives, well-wishers and friends huddle together in evenings to raise funds for a worthy cause. Chances are that they are trying to get enough funds to transport the body of a deceased organization within the next few months. Investment in Takaful is expected to enable the company to reach the Muslim community and the general public with shariah compliant products which are currently not available in East and Central Africa region. In line with the international trend and change in regulation, the life and business lines of the Company were completely split and registered as separate companies. The Group demerged effective 1 January 2012. It now comprises three trading arms: CIC General Insurance Company Limited, CIC Life Assurance Company Limited and CIC Asset Management Limited. The three subsidiaries are expected to improve service delivery to the customers and in turn generate additional revenues to the Group. The principal activities of CIC Asset Management include selling of Unit Trusts, fund management and advisory services in respect of investment of the Group’s funds. Mr. Kuria reveals that the Group plans to revolve its real estate development services to the counties as a way of aligning its operations in line with the new political dispensation. Already, the Group has acquired 512 acres of land in Kajiado County on which it plans to develop residential houses by 2015. This is in addition to the 200 acre piece of on Kamiti Road, Kiambu County. Purchase of land in the two counties that border Nairobi County the first step towards entry into the very lucrative business of real estate development which is long-term and more rewarding in terms returns on investment. Mr. Kuria reveals that CIC is developing a real estate investment trust for a decent burial in another town most likely a rural home hundreds of kilometers away. The meeting could be taking anywhere in Kenya. It could be happening on an evening of any day of the week. But the reality is that, unexpected occurrences such as these force Kenyans to dig deep into their pockets to salvage a horrible situation. Others will contribute as generously as they can to another worthy cause: raising funds for a medical bill or even for university education abroad. Even worse still, some harambee fundraisers are meant to establish an education fund for children whose breadwinner was buried using cash collected in a similar manner. It is a tragedy that dogs Kenyans every day. However, CIC Insurance Group CEO Nelson Kuria points out that these scenarios are all manifestations of poverty and a failure to manage risk adequately. In particular, Mr. Kuria is determined to help bury the practice of raising funds – through the indomitable spirit of harambee - to send off the deceased. In Mr. Kuria’s view, poverty is a problem that can be solved using the co-operative model. Co-operatives are one of the most appropriate institutional mechanisms for poverty reduction. In Kenya, cooperatives have a long history of enabling their members, especially the poorest, to improve their living conditions. A strong advocate and proponent of the co-operative model, Mr. Kuria believes communities can come together in groups, pool resources and purchase microinsurance covers for education, medical care and funeral expenses. CIC Insurance is seeking to differentiate itself as the leading provider of micro-insurance through innovation in distribution DAILY NATION Friday February 21, 2014 (REIT) to enable more Kenyans invest in real estate. As part of its planned expansion programme, CIC is currently holding discussions with prospective partners both nationally and internationally. The insurance and allied financial services firm is currently working with 13 banks to take its services closer to more and more Kenyans through bancassurance. The partnership established between The Co-operative Bank and CIC is expected to create enormous business opportunities for the two institutions. Once operationalized, Bancassurance will enable the bank to distribute insurance products, through all its 89 branches country wide. CIC has equally applied for agency banking to facilitate faster transaction for our mutual customers. This is a real supermarket model way of doing business, affirms Mr. Kuria. The CIC Insurance Group continues to develop products and services that will meet the needs of Kenyans in the Diaspora. To this end, various meetings have been held between our team and the Diaspora leaders to determine their needs and consequently develop products that meet those needs. The Diaspora operations are wholly online on a web platform. According to Mr. Kuria, this is a vital service that will help the Diaspora invest back home. Many of them have been disappointed by relatives who have failed to invest on their behalf as instructed. “Many have been taken for a ride by relatives,” he notes, adding that CIC has a variety of other savings and insurance products for the Diaspora. mechanisms, premium remittance and pricing structures. CIC is a pioneer in micro–insurance both locally and internationally and its drive to increase insurance penetration has earned it international recognition. Insurance penetration in Kenya stands at three per cent with the majority of the uninsured being in the informal sector — artisans, small-scale farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises. CIC has achieved extraordinary profitability through a shrewd strategy of targeting the low-end market – where the masses, a neglected last consumer segment, are. The low-income communities of Africa represent a special opportunity for businesses, he says, maintaining that they also constitute a social obligation to organizations such CIC and others. Mr. Kuria affirms that the Group’s social mission is sacred and inviolate. It stems from co-operatives’ strong societal concept. “We have barely scratched the surface; we need to do a lot more,” he asserts. He emphasizes that co-operatives are instruments of poverty alleviation, employment generation and wealth creation. They are helping solve some of the country’s social and economic problems. But they can do much more as the potential to do so is immense. The CIC Group is committed to strengthening its focus on the deepening of micro-insurance “as the next frontier of insurance business,” in the words of Mr. Kuria. “This will be critical in increasing insurance penetration in the countries where we will have a presence. We look at this from a commercial point of view as a source of growth in future. But we also view it as a social responsibility of improving access to insurance to those in the bottom of the pyramid and empowering ordinary citizens with effective and relevant insurance solutions.” He insists that it is CIC’s responsibility to complement government efforts and other players in promoting poverty reduction and alleviation efforts – sustainably. “Micro-insurance is in CIC Insurance Group’s DNA and is part and parcel of our business model,” explained the firm’s GCEO, noting that co-operatives promote access, equity and empowerment through democratic means – irrespective of a member’s social or economic status. The company has a strong market share and is a leader in microinsurance. CIC products stand out in the market as they are tailored to fit customers needs, the product range is applicable to all classes of consumers from the high end to the low end. This wide range ensures the company continues to increase its customer base. The micro-product strategy has seen CIC penetrate the markets thought to be un-insurable, thereby empowering customers who remain loyal to the company. In addition, CIC has a broad range of co-operative based products aimed at providing for the unique needs of the co-operative based customer.
February 20th 2014
February 22nd 2014