As companies struggle to recover from the Coronavirus, African companies are showing resilience and preparing for what promises to be a difficult recovery. No sector is immune to the trend, including the insurance industry. However, Nicolas Fakhry, founder of AssurLand Africa Ltd, intends to continue his expansion across the continent, beyond the WAEMU zone where it all began for him.
« Mali was the starting point of our growth strategy, » says Nicolas Fakhry, CEO of AssurLand Africa Ltd. This insurance company, created 14 years ago, is now present in several African countries because « Bamako is no longer the city in which the group records the largest turnover ». Nevertheless, the Malian capital still holds an important place for its founder. It must be said that the ambitions are legitimate because of the size of the market estimated at 1.6 billion dollars according to several specialists. This is how he bought the African subsidiaries of the French brokerage group April in Senegal and Ivory Coast. « We wanted to expand our presence in the sub-region with a digital component by capitalizing on the expertise of the subsidiaries we bought« , Nicolas Fakhry indicated. However, administrative difficulties related to the establishment of other subsidiaries are obstacles to the emancipation of companies, « Some rules do not play in favor of regional or continental integration and do not facilitate access of players from one market to another, » he said. The CEO of AssurLand hopes for an evolution of the regulatory frameworks favoring continental free trade for « better integration and more flexibility in entering new markets« .
Diversification: a question of survival
If this entrepreneur, who comes from a family of industrialists, maximizes his potential: it is because his commercial target requires it. « We work with SMEs, NGOs, institutions and key accounts« , says the company. And the key to success is simple: it lies in management. « We invest heavily in human capital through training and coaching sessions. We are very attached to promoting the best profiles and employees internally and to the local and cultural anchoring of our managers, all of whom come from the country where the subsidiary is based« , said Nicolas Fakhry.
After working as a general agent for an insurance company in Mali as a broker, he was lucky enough to have (mining) clients who gave him a sub-regional mandate to set up an international program. « The idea of my pan-African expansion started from this point » said this entrepreneur, who is working to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on his business. For the time being, his outlook remains unchanged. The strategy will focus largely on digital to impact the 2 billion people that will make up the continent by 2050.