IIG News

Meet the IST Programme Groups

The IST programme has gone very well so far and inasmuch as we have had to adopt online learning in the past two sessions for safety reasons, it has not taken away from what we are looking to achieve. Below is what some of the delegates from the programme had to say about their experience so far as the group leaders for each of the splits they have been put into:


Irshaad Mcdonald, Business Analyst, Discovery

Group Leader – The Pioneers

The programme thus far has been phenomenal, I still can’t believe I have been given this opportunity. I am grateful and would like to take this opportunity to give thanks to the entire team involved in the programme. I have realised and identified key factors that I, as an individual and future leader has to consider and work on to become a successful corporate athlete:

  1. The environment is rapidly changing and we need to keep up with technology and trends
  2. Risk on the ground is volatile and ready to explode and therefore needs to be managed
  3. We need to change the thinking from just risk transfer but also into risk prevention
  4. The client is the key stakeholder
  5. As a corporate athlete, you need to put in the work but also find yourself and the balance within your life. You need to learn to switch off to recover and regroup. You are your best and worst enemy and it all starts in the mind


Million Maringa, Data Manager & Support at Infiniti Africa

Group Leader – The Adaptables

The programme has been what my career needed to bridge the gap between the challenges the short-term insurance industry faces and how technology can solve those challenges. It is taking me out of my comfort/technical zone by equipping me with the tools and knowledge of what I will need when I move to a more senior management or executive role.


I enjoyed the presentations from the industry expert sessions, particularly underwriting in short term insurance. It has enhanced my knowledge in understanding the purpose and importance of the data that IT systems collect. The benefits range from accurate and competitive pricing, identifying claims trends, and predicting future scenarios.


As a Data Manager at an insurance company, I often must map data that is collected from different brokers, the Industry Expert Session immediately improved my effectiveness and accuracy in mapping products, risk types and risk sections, etc. My ability to spot anomalies and/or errors in the data we collect has also improved as a result.


One of the areas that caught my attention is the challenge with claims leakages as emphasized during the Claims presentation from one of the experts. This was identified as one of the areas where the use of technology can improve companies’ profitability and customer satisfaction. System functionalities such as duplicate and fraudulent claims detection, reserve calculations and payment approval process are other areas that caught my attention.


The use of user-friendly self-service portals was identified as key to improving customer experience and improved claims processing during the sales session. Tools that can equip sales teams with information is one the simpler but effective ways that they use technology can have a positive impact.


Lord Mahlahle Kgasago, Field Service Engineer, Old Mutual Insure

Group Leader -The Champions

Thank you IIG, GIFS, SASRIA and the leaders who have given me this incredible opportunity to be part of this massive Programme. The Programme is eye-opening. It helps us in many aspects of our life’s and the respective business we are currently working for, Now I know I have to put myself first and never make decisions based on emotions. The Programme gives us an overview of the STI, how they operate and what’s needed going into the future to help short term insurance.


In the first sessions with the experts, there are many things that I didn’t know when coming to claims, sales, underwriting, risk and reinsurance. I have realized that Technology has a big role to play in short-term insurance, Our Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Internet of Things (IoT) can help the short-term insurance industry going into the future. The Corporate athlete’s session helps in terms of becoming a great leader. It channels us on how to focus on the need of eating healthy, the need to sleep and exercise, not to fear any failure as we learn as we grow, adapting to change as things are moving to digital. 


Israel Letshela Mphako, Get Smarter -UCT Partnership

Group Leader – Innervation

The programme has been very accommodating and has a reasonable pace that allows people who may not be in the industry to grasp the essential concepts. The experts introduced the fundamentals within the industry, in such a way that it was easy for us to ask any questions about the current pain points of the industry, especially with regards to technological adoption fast-tracked by the coronavirus pandemic. We were able to ask how has the pandemic hit their balance sheets and the business as a whole especially risk management and claims. The programme has thus far been full of insightful moments and I am glad I am part of it. 


The first session had experts from risk management, claims, underwriting, reinsurance, etc. This was a firsthand experience to get insights into what happens in the industry as a person from an IT technical background. I was introduced to things like claims leakage, a concept I had never heard before, It was a great tool to manage claims and the cost of meeting one to the insurance company.


The risk management expert really explained how the risk management process goes from identification, impact to mitigation, also insightful. This was linked with reinsurance (insurance for insurers), as a risk management tool to ensure insurers do not become insolvent due to high claims.


The corporate athlete’s session was really helpful, as I was able to see that to ensure better performance in a career, one has to manage their energy-recovery time. This is married to the person’s Why, which coincidentally, goes hand in hand with the book we are reading Simon Sinek, Start with why. I am looking forward to applying these concepts to the industry facets that I engage with. 


Thandeka Khoza, IT Helpdesk, Constantia Insurance Company Limited

Group Leader – Concept Squad

The programme is very interactive and relevant to my day to day practice and role in the company I work for. The South African ICT industry has long acknowledged a shortage of skills and the need for young emerging talent in the IT industry especially in the Insurance space, and this programme is definitely a great way to mitigate this and grow young people like me.


The sessions have been a true eye-opener, I realised there is so much I do not know in our industry. They have been very informative and our questions were weaved into the presentations nicely. I learned that technology will inevitably become a key enabler to the insurance industry just like it has been a game-changer in most industries. Insurance companies need to invest in the digitization of their businesses and better leverage technology.


When I heard there will be a Reinsurance expert in the session I was clueless I didn’t know anything about it, but Frank gave me so much insight that I started reading more about it. Finding the right people to sell as well as leveraging on data is still a challenge and it’s up to us to close this gap and give sales the right technology to be able to reach the right people at the right time.


Another session that gave so much insight was with the corporate athletes. Balancing work and life has been a challenge for me during the pandemic, finding how and when to switch off. During this session, we learnt about how it’s not even a balance but a blend. What I also found interesting is that to become a great leader you need to become a generalist,  inclusive of soft skills and understanding your people on top of the technical skills needed to perform the job.


The article was written by Bukhosi Khumalo

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