“Growth is the end goal of entrepreneurship and brand marketing is its driver.”
Peter Nduati’s long list of accolades in entrepreneurship, leadership and the insurance industry has granted him well deserving mentions as a pace setter in the Pan African insurance space. A pioneer in Resolution Insurance and East African Entrepreneur of the year in 2013 CNBC Africa All Africa Business Leaders Awards; are just but a few of his honorable references.
Peter is a charted insurer, with over 20 years’ experience in the Kenyan insurance Industry, South Africa, where he formerly worked as the CEO Metropolitan Health Group and Tanzania, where he worked as the Managing Director of AAR Health Services. Along his ground-breaking interventions in insurance, he owns numerous business entities such as: Pine Creek Records, Brown Oak Ltd, Tru Blaq Limited, Phoenix Aviation, Home Afrika and Consumer Benchmark Kenya.
He shares his wealth of experience with the Master of Business Administration – Healthcare Management students on Entrepreneurial Marketing. The MBA in Healthcare Management is designed to equip managers with relevant skills for leading and managing the various facets and challenges that confront professionals in healthcare provision.
The Insurance Industry
Cracking open the insurance industry for Peter, has been clearly illustrated by his mastery of the field; his professional education, networks and what he classifies as his cherry – his marketing strategies. “I cut my teeth into my career during my active years of managing Resolution Insurance Group. Although we had Managing Directors across all the East African countries we were operating on, most of the people associated me with the Group’s brand; which explains why I am still a big representative of the organisation.”
Building a successful household name in the insurance industry across East Africa, might have been quite a treasure to let go of. However, as any successful entrepreneurs would have it, a legacy can only be elongated by others.
“Resolution insurance has been a great part of my career development. It has been quite an interesting journey to see it grow and mature into what it currently is. I am glad that at the opportune time, I was able to diligently step away from the day to day running of the company and let another, take on the baton. I recently sold 69% of my stake in the organisation. My philosophy has always been to create profit with purpose and to transcend from success to significance.
However, making a break into the sector cannot be likened to shooting fish in a barrel. “Making a significant break into the industry meant that I had to grapple with numerous shortcomings such as; building the trust into the eco-system, financial management, managing stakeholder expectations, compliance with regulators and standards, capital adequacy, managing healthcare professionals, the balancing act of impact and profit and most crucial, the transformation from being the sole owner to regulated ownership – the business and its strategy, largely identified with the founder.”
Thinking East Africa
What enhanced Resolution Health Insurance Group’s success was its impact in the East African market. Whereas Kenya had already been cut out for the experienced and well – muscled insurance groups, Resolution, had to set out to new markets. “East Africa has a market share of 133 million people with a cumulative GDP of USD 7.5 bn. The East African market records high population and economic growth, home to Africa’s emerging economies. I believe in Regional Integration and the power of East Africa as a trading bloc. Currently, there are initiatives to harmonies tax regimes across East African countries. This will be favorable for businesses seeking to trade across the region. Cross border trade structures in these countries do exist,” he said.
The creation of a brand name
The significance of branding in establishing a business cannot be underestimated. It is important as the vision carrier to sell the vision to the rest of the team. “All your team members must know the vision to execute it effectively. I make it my task to ensure that everyone in the organization is a marketer. Not necessarily because they have sales targets to meet, but because they are a representation of the brand and hence they must know it. Inculcating a culture in an organisation is very tough, especially with the rapidly changing business dynamics.”
However, the challenges of doing business in East Africa are as great as its opportunities: corruption, red tape on leadership, cultural Challenges, skills shortage and access to credit, mistrust, respect of contracts, No harmony in regulations and customary business courtesy. Amidst these and many other, Peter Nduati shares on his approaches to marketing which have been essential in growing his various brands.
Click here to read about the Master in Business Administration – Healthcare Management