Rapid advances and adoption of technology in Kenya augurs well for foreign businesses investing in the country.
Oliver Baete, Board Chairman of Allianz SE, the largest general insurance company in the world, said this when he visited the firm’s Kenya offices last week.
“Kenya has an economy that is leapfrogging traditional economies in the use of mobile technology. This has created a lot of ingenuity and innovation. We hope that we can take this to mature markets,” said Baete.
Allianz is one of the leading insurance service provider in Africa for more than 100 years. The company has offices in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central Africa, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Africa, and Togo. In November 2016, the company completed an acquisition in Morocco.
He added that East Africa is on the rise, particularly Kenya, with the middle class growing fast which has served to attract Foreign Direct Investments.
“We are very optimistic about our prospects here in Kenya. The population is evolving very quickly because of positive steps made in education and the strong entrepreneurial spirit which is a prerequisite for a successful insurance industry,” said Baete explaining why Allianz Group set up an office in Kenya.
Allianz Group, founded 127 years ago, is a leading financial service provider and largest general insurer globally. In Kenya, they launched their motor and home insurance with an aim of leveraging on their global experience.
Baete said that Allianz is looking at partnering with local firms such as banks and distributors to enable it penetrate the local market.
“Kenya has a very different bi-segment. We want to make sure that we do not only serve the affluent but also the larger population. Kenya has one big advantage – its modern technology base. With the payment system such as M-Pesa and the huge leaps in technology, you get very efficient methods to create products and to service them unlike in other countries where they heavily rely on physical insurance structure,” he said.
He added that Allianz has a very strong digital agenda. “We want to develop products for the digital age. Since most of Kenyans have a phone and many are now acquiring smartphones, this provides an excellent infrastructure for services we would like to offer across the space. We want to grow with the economy and grow with the population as well.”