GSB news

05 June 2006

INSETA grant boosts SA's burgeoning insurance sector

The UCT Graduate School of Business (GSB) has been awarded a R500 000 Institute of Sectoral or Occupational Excellence (ISOE) grant from the Insurance Sector Education and Training Authority (INSETA).

The grant will go a long way towards enhancing the development of management talent in the local insurance sector.

Mike Abel, chief executive officer of INSETA, said the decision to award the grant had been based on the GSB's successful insurance sector training after the inception of two tailor-made INSETA programmes three years ago.

The two programmes are the Executive Leadership Development Programme (ELDP) and Leadership Advancement Programme (LAP) - targeted at senior and emerging executives, and, middle and emerging management levels, respectively. The programmes are delivered on the NQF levels 5 and 7.

The programmes have delivered 126 graduates with a further 48 graduating on June 15.

Tom Ryan, director of the GSB's corporate learning department, which co-ordinates the programmes, said the grant would help the school deliver leading-edge management and leadership development to the insurance sector.

He said that the grant would play a role in ensuring that training supported these growth areas.

For more information on the programmes contact Ann Wium on (021) 406 1314.

Local firms can take lead in developing markets

Firms in developing countries are best placed to capitalise on the rapid development of 86% of the world population in countries with a per capita gross national product (GNP) of less than US$10 000, said Prof Vijay Mahajan, one of the world's leading marketing researchers and the former editor of the Journal of Marketing Research. He spoke at a GSB research seminar on May 17.

Mahajan cited the US$10-billion Indian market for fast-moving consumer goods, which is expected to double in the next decade, and retail sales in China, which have increased 15 % annually over the past twenty years, reaching $628-billion in 2004.

He said the next big opportunity is Africa, which has 900 million people. "Companies simply can't ignore the opportunities here. We are already seeing that companies want to get into Africa. One has to look only at the boom in the cellular industry on the continent. These are the so-called poor and destitute of the world, but we are seeing a massive growing consumer base for cellular technology."

He said that the complexity and distinctive characteristics of developing countries required different market strategies to realise the opportunities.

"You can't capture the opportunities in developing countries with the same strategies use in developed markets. Many developed country firms have had a difficult time - they have launched products and pulled back, changed their branding, or seen their products undermined by local rivals. Therefore, new solutions are needed to tap into these markets," said Mahajan.

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