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Assupol Life is in far more than just the insurance organization. The way CEO Bridget Mokwena-Halala puts it, they’re in the business of “serving those who serve”.
“There are many people who are serving in different ways, whether you are a caregiver, a mother or a house executive looking after the family,” she tells The CEO Magazine. “Those are the people that we really take pride in serving. Because our brand stands for compassion.
“We consider ourselves to be ambassadors in terms of transformation, and we unlock opportunities for previously disadvantaged communities to access services, even beyond insurance, as part of our CSI responsibility.”
“It’s because of our client-centric culture that we have such a strong client base.”
Indeed, since its inception in 1913, the South African insurance company that focuses primarily on life and funeral insurance has proven that it is willing to go above and beyond for not only its customers, but the communities.
By putting people at the center of all that they do at Assupol Life, the organization has established itself as a company that treats its customers fairly and always has their best interests at the heart of decisions being made.
“It’s because of our client-centric culture that we have such a strong client base,” Mokwena-Halala says.
“We are very empathetic and caring. Operating in a space where you might be dealing with people who are suffering from loss or those who might have been disabled as a result of whatever may have happened means we really need to be passionate about what we are doing. We always go the extra mile to ensure that we honor our promise to the client.”
When it comes to working with suppliers, Assupol Life has ensured partnerships only exist with like-minded businesses that also always put the client first. And by forming long-term, stable connections, it’s managed to establish a trusted network of resources to depend on.
“We believe in focusing on our core, and we outsource certain functions to our partners who are market leaders in what they do,” Mokwena-Halala says. “For example, the company Q LINK is assisting us with processes and systems to collect our premiums. Our relationship dates back more than 20 years, and only continues to grow stronger. We couldn’t do what we do without them.”
In the same way, Mokwena-Halala enthuses that without happy, fulfilled employees, Assupol Life would be a fraction of the company it is today.
“If you have a happy workforce, then the rest will follow,” she says with a smile. “I need to make it a point to transform my colleagues by coaching and mentoring them to be smarter leaders than I am, and to afford them an opportunity to showcase their talent as well.”
However, Assupol Life’s reach doesn’t stop there, either – instead, the company continues to look outwards, to channel funds and support back into the communities that it services, with initiatives spanning childhood development, education, sanitation and female employment.
“More often than not, these are needy communities – you cannot close your eyes and pretend that you don’t see the hardship that is out there,” Mokwena-Halala says. “If you are able to address some of the community challenges, that, in my view, is actually success.
“So my success as an individual is to continue doing good, to change the lives of the people out there, to provide solutions that are relevant and affordable to the market, to ensure that I’ve got a happy workforce and that I have a good relationship with the regulators that will guide us from time to time.”
“If you are able to address some of the community challenges, that, in my view, is actually success.”
From here, Assupol Life is prioritizing innovation in order to evolve and attract new customers, while ultimately never losing sight of its impressive heritage.
“Assupol Life has a century of experience, so you can just imagine the wealth of experience that we have in servicing this market,” Mokwena-Halala says. “It’s second nature for us to come up with solutions that will address the specific needs of our clients.
“And while we are looking at the current market, it’s important for us to position ourselves to be in a position of servicing gen Z because they have a different mindset, they want to be serviced in a different way.
“We are currently transforming and digitalizing our operations to ensure that we are relevant to the new people who are joining the workforce.”