Lulu on life & liberty

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 12:16   |   Written by Letty Masunga
Lulu on life & liberty

Her professional inspiration is derived from a desire to become a visionary and participatory leader; a leader with an attitude that says, ‘Let’s work together to solve this.’ Her cosy and bright office at Fairgrounds in Gaborone makes one instantly feel her homely nature, while her attire - bullion jacket and orange maxi dress - denote her confidence. Rasebotsa loves hosting family and having barbeques, so she was ready to share her time, when we asked.

“I am motivated by my love for life, I maintain that ‘life is not a dress rehearsal,’ with everything I do, I give it my best shot with the view that I may not get the chance to do it again,” she alluded confidently. Since 2011, when she was appointed Managing Director to a leading insurance service provider, Rasebotsa has demonstrated a sheer ability to provide liberation and independence to the people of Botswana through Liberty Life.Their business model is based on creating products that offer clients financial freedom and peace of mind during unforeseen circumstances as well as forming strong partnerships. Their experience ranges from creating solutions that work for and benefit existing partners. “We work together with them to understand their needs, and the needs of their customers to be able to design appropriate solutions.” For instance, she says they have managed to provide innovative products that are not only competitive but also functional.

Among others the Kent Graduate and self-starter has experience as both an underwriter and a Broker. She has much diversified experience in Pension Fund Administration, having headed fund administration services both in Botswana and South African markets.

At Liberty Life Botswana, she is fully aware that operating in a dynamic landscape requires one to continuously shift focus areas to deal with ‘the moment’ all the time by having her pulse on other areas all the time. “There is still a lot to be done in our industry as insurance penetration is very low. I think it is largely because people do not understand the technicalities of insurance overall. As a result, there is still a lot of insurance education that is required,” she posited in her outlook of local insurance industry.

The missing link she says is that customers do not fully appreciate the products and as a result there is a lot of mis-selling of products. “Typical example, if you are single, independent, no dependant, you should not take things like ‘life insurance’. Life insurance is for the benefit of the people you leave behind. Rather one should take out products that will meet their immediate needs, like insurance for risks and illness,” she advises. “It’s about understanding one’s risks and working at mitigating those risks,” she emphasises.

People need to understand, she says, that insurance is ‘not a one size fits all’. “We are all different and require very different things, same applies for insurance,” she highlights. “People need to appreciate the different products that different financial services offer with utmost reference to their individual need, and that is the only way that one gets to fully benefit from them.” With her experience of over 15 years in the financial services industry, her role includes managing staff, the budget, Liberty’s assets and at the same time increasing Liberty Life’s profitability.

Her focus areas are the Liberty team and creating necessary brand awareness. She admits being a late entrant into a market that has had its fair share of challenges, one of which is brand awareness. “We have Insurance Risk Road Show that we normally have on yearly basis to engage stakeholders, brokers and other intermediaries to try and educate them so they can better articulate these to clients.” Going, forward Rasebotsa shares that Liberty intends to have media workshops; “as key stakeholders it is imperative that we have them understanding and appreciating our services, because they are our voice to the people.”

To top it up, Lulu shares their strategic approach to reach people through aligning and creating strong partnerships with local brands that resonate with them. Strategic partners, she says, are key to forging good relationships with the communities in which they operate. Liberty Life is a key sponsor for the Gaborone-based professional soccer team, Township Rollers for the 2014/15 season. The partnership with Township Rollers, known affectionately as Popa, reinforces the association between the respective brands and businesses.

Liberty Life has also partnered with the Community Capacity Enhancement and Empowerment Society of 10 villages in Kgalagadi South, to empower communities with life skills, financial education and leadership qualities. They also support the Stanbic Bank Charity Ride; proceeds of which are donated to communities along the cycle route and are the main sponsors of the KTM Choir Annual Composers Concert; promoting youth, arts and culture in Botswana. “In that way, we have a much more holistic interaction with our customers through other brands as we leverage from them,” she shares and further explains that this forms another way of creating awareness of the brand.

“We at Liberty are trying to keep our product designs very simple and relevant,” she maintains. Presently on the Botswana market, the maximum a policyholder can get without underwriting is P500 000. Liberty Life Botswana is the first insurance company to offer a P1 million cover with no medical underwriting. “We don’t discriminate because of one’s medical condition. As our name suggests, our purpose is to make financial freedom possible through our innovative solutions for unexpected life changing events such as disability and death.” Rasebotsa says Liberty Life believes in developing insurance solutions for their markets and guiding their clients towards financial freedom. An emphasis on the fact that Liberty Life continues to look at the culture and innovation of the markets in which the insurance company operates and provides germane products for the people to understand and fully utilise.

Liberty Life Botswana, which has been operating since 2008, is a subsidiary of Liberty Holdings, which is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The insurance company is a specialist in providing group and individual risk insurance solutions for life changing events. It has an advantage over many life insurance companies in that it is an international corporation with offices in 17 nations and an extensive network of affiliates. As such, it becomes good insurance company to consider if you live or work abroad.