The IIG International trips allow local industry professionals a chance to visit other countries overseas to learn, broaden our view(s) as well as network(s). We have witnessed some great partnerships having come out these trips, ultimately for the good of the industry.
The IIG website https://iig.co.za/iig-international/ provides an overview of what to expect and creates an interest for the reader on the sort of experience that one would expect. After our 2022 trip, I summarised some of my key learnings which I believe will help someone thinking about it to make an informed decision https://iig.co.za/iig-international-trip-2022/
From my experience, the culture of country/city influences approach to business and so these cultural visits add context to the trips that we do. Our walking tours of Madrid really brought to life the proliferation of electric cars, electric scooters etc. which then gave context to the research that was happening at CESVIMAP. The picture we are using for this article is of our very last taste of original amazing gelato that we had near the famous Duomo di Milano in the background, moments before we left for the airport to come back home.
One of the most fascinating things about our industry which we experience first-hand from these trips is that the fundamentals of what we do are the same, and our role is very important and regarded very highly wherever we go. Some businesses also brought clients for interactions and it was heart-warming to see the level of appreciation clients have for what our industry does for them in the moments that matter.
What else besides the education, work and networking schedule?
We have 2 days within the week when we are free to connect and experience the city for what it really is or relax at leisure, and some may use it for coffee catch-ups with contacts they would have made. There are of course always golf lovers who try and squeeze in 9 holes, get in touch with me for thatJ. We will also have the opportunity to visit the winelands in the countryside an experience that many who have enquired are looking forward to. Some adventurous friends are looking forward to the French version of the steak tartare. For sports lovers, the cost includes a ticket to the Rugby World Cup game between our very own Springboks Vs Ireland
For some varying perspectives, we asked some of the delegates from the 2022 trip to provide us feedback on their experience below:
Muzi Dladla – Executive Manager: Stakeholder Management
“My greatest benefit of the IIG international trip has been to benchmark against some of the best practices, ideas, techniques, and innovations that are not yet be prevalent in South Africa. Being able to witness firsthand how other companies operate and approach problem-solving to help generate new perspectives and ideas that I have managed to apply in the company I work for.
Most importantly, this experience has brought me an excellent opportunity to network with other professionals in extraordinary risk management, which has led to potential collaborations and partnerships in the future, particularly with CCS in Spain.
Lastly, on a personal note, I think such visits help the individuals foster a better understanding of cultural differences, allowing them to develop a more global perspective. This can be particularly important for businesses that are looking to expand internationally, as it can help them navigate the complexities of working in different countries and regions.”
Nazarien Khaki – Head: Tied Agency at Santam Insurance
“One of the key takeaways from the trip was the focus on ESG and the industry’s efforts towards ensuring sustainable and responsible business practices. It’s encouraging to see the insurance industry taking active steps in this regard. We also learned about the importance of innovation and meaningful contribution in the insurance industry. The organizations that are aligned with international trends are better positioned to thrive in this ever-changing industry. The focus on ‘Insurance good and proper’ was particularly commendable, highlighting the significance of ethical and responsible business practices.
Apart from the industry insights, the trip was thoughtfully planned to allow ample time to explore the beautiful cities of Madrid and Milan and connect with fellow travellers and industry acquaintances. Overall, the IIGI trip to Madrid and Milan was an enlightening experience, emphasizing the importance of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the insurance industry. I would like to extend our gratitude to IIGI for organising this wonderful opportunity and to Santam for making it possible.
We hope to see you soon on one of our trips!”
Precious Nduli – Head of Marketing and Technical Marketing at Discovery Insure
“The IIG International Trip 2022 to Madrid and Milan was my second IIG trip following the US in 2019 and I can confirm that the standard of these trips is exceptional. From the choice of companies that are visited, the calibre of presenters and the insights and learnings shared. There is also ample opportunity to network with industry peers through the planned fun activities. One also gets to network with insurance peers from around the world and I left with a renewed appreciation of the role and value of insurance globally. For this trip, we were exposed to insurance programmes for multinational companies and how complex and intricate this is. We also learned about innovative practices that go beyond insurance.
From a fun travelling experience perspective, the accommodation was wonderful, and the hotels centrally located in the cities. We got to experience the culture of both cities/countries through a Flamenco dance evening in Madrid and ample restaurant hopping in Milan. A key highlight was also getting to attend the champion league’s game between Inter-Milan and Barcelona at San Siro Stadium. I would encourage you to book this once in a lifetime experience if you can. Thank you to the IIG for an awesome experience”
Thabo Twalo – Head: Underwriting Governance & International
“I had travelled extensively for business prior to this trip, but nothing compares to the immersive experience of the IIG International. It is not just about the perspectives of locals but also the conversations with your fellow travellers who extract different lessons from the interactions. This really enriches the learning. It is like a 2 week insurance MBA.”
Lastly, one may ask the question, what does one get in person that we cannot get when interacting on an online platform? Honestly, you would have to experience it to see the difference. For me, when we speak about #Engage, #Connect and #Grow, technology helps no doubt, however doing things in person then cements and perfects it.
We have sold just below half of the available spaces for the 2023 trip. To book your ticket or for any queries, get in touch with the IIG office at email@example.com
Ça va être incroyable !!!
Article written by: Bhukhosi Khumalo