Bamburi Cement is set to offer more than 800 of its retailers a Sh150 million medical insurance scheme for inpatient and outpatient services.
The firm said it would use the scheme, known as Afya ya Nguvu, to reward resellers for loyalty, retention and growth of market share.
Sanlam General Insurance is the underwriter of the scheme to be administrated by Alexander Forbes, which will make available a 24-hour call centre and manage the day-to-day operations of the scheme.
Bamburi Managing Director Bruno Pescheux said the decision to introduce Afya ya Nguvu is informed by a market survey which showed that very few of the company’s retailers had medical insurance.
“We conducted a market survey and realized that only 36 per cent of our retailers had medical insurance. Afya ya Nguvu is a direct response to this need. This is a unique and innovative value proposition which is not being offered by any other cement manufacturer,” said Bruno Pescheux, the Managing Director of Bamburi Cement.
"Medical care in Kenya is expensive and in the event of chronic illness most people dip into their savings or resort to fund-raising to settle medical bills. Afya ya Nguvu provides retailers with peace of mind and reduces the anxiety in the event of illness," he said.
Mr Pescheux noted that while the company had made a substantial investment by establishing the scheme, it was ultimately self-sustaining.
“Afya ya Nguvu was born out of the realization that, as a cement manufacturer, we need to reward the loyalty of our retailers. We also need to provide additional incentives to sustain good performance and entrench a culture of continual improvement,” said Mr. Pescheux.
Executive Director for Alexander Forbes, James Olubayi, reiterated that companies must customize solutions that ease the burden of health costs to their employees. “When innovation in product design is applied then one can strike a balance between benefits and price,” he said.
Sanlam General Manager, Group Corporate Business, Mr. Evans Nyagah described Bamburi Cement’s commitment to the wellbeing of its stakeholders as trailblazing. The move to secure the general risk of Bamburi Cement’s retail force Nyagah noted, provides a good platform to speed up insurance penetration in Kenya.