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Business must dispense with taxman mentality

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Econet and FML have partnered to provide a hybrid life insurance cover to every one of Econet’s subscribers who so wishes.

Elsewhere, in this edition, we carry a story highlighting that the deal may bring down traditional funeral assurance givers because of its innovative nature and underlying friendly terms, so long as the two companies honour their pledge to pay the claims.

On Wednesday, we also ran another story in which the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) accused local companies of unscrupulously disregarding business ethics and good corporate governance in their pursuit of super profits the bulk of which ends up financing bosses’ extravagant lifestyles.

The message underlying the two stories is one:

Business should not behave like taxmen.

A taxman is free to adjust rates (or prices) up and down and ask people to pay, punishing those in default.

It is the same mentality that the life insurance industry and the rest of the business sector in Zimbabwe use to run their operations.

The country’s life and pension fund industry is just used to collecting money like a taxman under the moral guise of wanting to secure a better, hassle-free future for contributors.

But this is hardly the case and it’s sad.

Very few of them are making an effort to tailor smart solutions to insurance, yet this is where business, globally, is headed.

Smart solutions have come to be known as such because they bring convenience to service users and, on the one hand, by ameliorating the financial burden of accessing the service; and, on the other, reasonably reward the providers by building a large pool of loyal, happy and trusting customers.

At the end of the day, it’s a win-win deal because parties meet halfway.

This is the surest way businesses can secure their future. The taxman mentality that “blessed is hand that payeth” can take them some distance, but it has short legs!

If the truth be told, companies which don’t dispense with the “stone age” or mercantilist thinking that viability equals high mark-ups and super profits, today, will not live to see tomorrow.

Every operation worldwide is under test, a test of innovation and competitiveness through innovative product/service development, branding and packaging, for only these can guarantee a future for them in high competitive and open markets.

Through ICT developments and progressive regional integration programmes, the frontiers of global markets keep extending and in no time they will be right at Zimbabwe’s doorsteps.

Resistance or needless floundering and dithering can only delay the inevitable.

This is why companies that have ears to hear and minds to think smart should start crafting solutions that bring convenience to customers, and that way grow and secure market share.

That’s the new rule of the game: innovation.

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