The President of the Nigerian Council of Registered Insurance Brokers, NCRIB, Mr. Shola Tinubu, in this interview speaks on how disruptors will shape the insurance business in the future. Excerpt
By Rosemary Onuoha
WHAT is the future of insurance?
We have massive disruptors now in the market place and it is not just about insurance. The disruptors are in every sector. You now have the largest taxi company that exist that does not own a single taxi which is Uber.
And you have the largest hoteling company, LB&B, that doesn’t own one single building. So you begin to realize that in insurance broking, the largest insurance broker could appear on the scene that is actually not an insurance broker and doesn’t own an insurance broking firm.
What did the disruptors do differently? They didn’t invent any new technology; all they did was use existing ne
w technologies that was invented by others and apply it to get the customers attention. They apply it in such a way to get the customers attention in one sector.
We plan to be the disruptor in our own business. We are planning on how to apply what may exist and what others may be inventing to this business in order to get the clients’ attention.
There is a lot of room for development in the retail space of the market. If you can provide the service and get the client attention in that field, then you will be able to make something in there. With retail what you are looking at is commodities. Things that you can design and people can pick up the shelf.
Things that people can quickly purchase to give them security, these are the areas that we will be looking at. But the angles and areas with which we can jump on that strategy is something that is still unfolding.
How has your company been able to distinguish itself in the last forty years?
The emphasis should not be how we can make money but how to instill values. In our first 15 years, the absolute focus was not about whether we made money or not, it was about just covering cost, making sure that we keep our head just above water. But ensure that we instill the value system that will drive the company far into the future.
So imagine doing that for nearly 20 years or over a period of time, then the other things will begin to come into the light. You are then known for professionalism, good work, clients know that the standard for which you operate is higher than others in the market and therefore, many of these things then begin to flow. What we celebrate in our forty years is integrity in our business because in most businesses the standard is ‘buyer beware’.
In insurance, it is utmost good faith which is a much higher standard. So in insurance, the issue of integrity should be far much important than any other field.
How has insurance brokers impacted the market positively?
Anytime we talk about the Nigeria police force, insurers and various things in Nigeria, you can’t talk about it in a vacuum.
Many things in Nigeria in terms of structure have definitely diminished. And therefore there is no way that the people that are sitting down within the country in the various sectors wouldn’t have diminished with it. The issue in whatever role we play is ‘how can we get up together to build a momentum, a critical mass in a positive direction’.
Once you get the positive direction rolling, the generation that come at that time, will wonder why are we all talking about life so difficult because things just become so easy. You can only make your impact in your area of influence.