- Market share grows from just below 69 to about 72%
- We sit with a business that we believe has potential to grow – BIHL
- BIHL believes it has “more working for us than against”
Botswana Life has increased its market share from just below 69 percent to about 72 percent, Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL), the long-term insurer’s mother company, has disclosed.
It is still an achievement, given the sheer size of Botswana Life, representative of the hunger and the desire to continue to do good, said BIHL’s CEO Catherine Lesetedi during a presentation recently.
“We really want to retain those market leading positions in order to continue to be this organisation,” Lesetedi pronounced. “When we look at our portfolio, we look at our subsidiaries and our associates. They are all leading businesses in their chosen markets.”
As the competitive landscape continues to evolve, Lesetedi said BIHL is watching this very closely. One of the competitors of Botswana Life, Bona Life, has emerged from statutory management with the backing of the Botswana Public Officers Pensions Fund (BPOPF) that recapitalised the company. Preferred Life, a startup, had initially pitched to acquire the distressed life insurance company in Botswana. Early in January last year, it wrote to relevant stakeholders and to the regulator that it would like to re-strategise and withdraw its bid for Bona Life.
Preferred Life is anticipated to enter the market this year. The founders of the company previously noted that the fact that only one life insurance company is playing in the asset intensive life insurance sector in Botswana shows that there is a business case for perhaps up to four other life insurance companies entering the same space. Currently there are eight life insurance companies in Botswana, according to NBFIRA.
Whilst it is important to note the competition and macro indicators and how everything is changing, Lesetedi said the group remained unfazed. “We sit with a business that we believe has potential to grow, that has a large client base to leverage off from,” she said. “We sit with a business a lot more diversified from product perspective, distribution channels and branch network.”
She is confident that the group still has the advantage to be able to grow positively, especially if it addressed issues of simplifying its customer journeys and emerges as a provider of choice for its distribution partners, overcomes issues of culture and enable employees.
BIHL believes it has “more working for us than against” even with the landscape changing. The Group CEO stressed that it is quite bullish about the prospects without undermining the competition. “We continue to focus on our business and wanting to do the right things for our stakeholders,” she said. “I think that is what is going to really continue to support our story in the life business.”