Top 25 Most Customer-Obsessed Brands Impacting Lives in 2023

Prudential was established in 1848, with its headquarters in London, United Kingdom (UK).

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PRUDENTIAL

The word ‘Prudence’ means the quality of being careful, cautious, and wise in making decisions, especially those that involve potential risks or consequences.

The word ‘Prudence’ means the quality of being careful, cautious, and wise in making decisions, especially those that involve potential risks or consequences.

Prudence involves using good judgement, foresight, and common sense to evaluate a situation and make the best possible choice based on the information available. This is what inspired the globally renowned insurance firm’s name Prudential: a human brand that listens to and understands its customers’ hopes and dreams, and therefore readily evolves with them and their financial needs. 

Among the oldest, largest, and most formidable international insurance companies, Prudential was established in 1848, with its headquarters in London, United Kingdom (UK).  The company boasts over 170 years of helping people plan and protect their families’ futures. This year, Prudential celebrates its 175th anniversary.

Prudential was initially founded as a life insurer. It is known for having promptly and effortlessly settled thousands of claims to families during both World War I and II, after the infamous Titanic sinking, and during the Spanish Flu, 105 years ago. Today, the company serves nearly 20 million customers globally.

The first branch office in East Africa was established in Nairobi, Kenya in 1930, and the first African policy was written on the life of W.M.S Magambo in Uganda towards the end of 1932, through the agency of Folkes and Company. Magambo collected his maturity proceeds in 1962, and later joined the company as its first African agent in 1963. Its former headquarters, the Prudential Assurance Building constructed in 1959, is a prominent landmark that still stands on Wabera Street in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD).

In the 1960s, Prudential exited the continent due to political and regulatory change in the countries in which it had been operating. It later returned to Africa in 2014, and now has operations in eight African markets (Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire and Togo). The insurer serves more than 1.7 million customers in Africa through a distribution network of over 13,000 agents and 600 bank branches.

In October 2021, Prudential celebrated relocating its Africa Regional Headquarters from London to Nairobi, in a bid to provide its businesses across Africa with stronger support and increased stakeholder proximity; underscoring the firm’s entrenched commitment to Africa.

Africa has an insurance penetration rate of only 2.7 percent, yet the out-of-pocket spend for healthcare is almost double that of Asia, at USD 6 billion. Meanwhile, Africa’s population is estimated to double by 2050, hence the urgent need for insurers to enter more markets within the continent.

In 2014, Prudential acquired Shield Assurance, a Kenyan life insurer, to mark its re-entry into the country. Since reopening shop, the insurer’s main focus has been putting the customer at the core of everything the business undertakes. The team does not only aim to offer unmatched experience, but also aims to obsess about the customers’ dreams and needs. And that is why it is constantly innovating and working closely with its clients to provide them with solutions that match their needs in whatever life stage they are in.

Prudential’s offerings include long and short-term savings, pure risk and wealth protection, and retirement planning products. One of the most notable innovations is the first of its kind COVID-19 cover that Prudential launched in 2020, to provide a financial cushion to customers and partners from the effects of the pandemic. This product, beyond winning awards, demonstrated Prudential’s innovative approach to solving real life challenges.

Another impressive quality is that Prudential’s personal retirement product, PRUPension, has the highest three-year average return on investment (ROI).

Prudential is an unwaveringly responsible corporate citizen, with numerous projects that support both Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and Environment, Social and Governance (ESG). Through Prudence Foundation, the community investment arm of Prudential, the insurer strives to make an impact around key strategic areas of Education, Safety and Health through different programs.

One significant program is Cha-Ching, an award-winning financial literacy and responsibility program that instils money-smart skills in children aged 7 to 12. The program is implemented in schools through a partnership with Junior Achievement Kenya and has seen over 9,000 students going through the curriculum. Cha-Ching content also reaches over 6 million Kenyan children through the weekly television channel, Akili Kids TV.

To help save lives, Prudential in partnership with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Didier Drogba Foundation, and Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) have designed a multi-platform educational and awareness building program providing vital life saving tips on road safety. In partnership with Nation Media Group (NMG), the campaign reaches 1.8 million Kenyans every day, using the campaign ambassador, the legendary footballer, Didier Drogba.

Since its re-entry, Prudential has worked with Kenya Education Fund (KEF) to sponsor financially disadvantaged students through high school and higher learning institutions. So far, 185 students have benefited with full school scholarships to cater for their high school education, and an additional 5 students are currently pursuing their university education.

Prudential Actuarial Support Scheme is an initiative driven by Prudential and the University of Nairobi (UoN) to enhance Actuarial Science skills, as well as to provide mentorship to students in the field and to young actuaries. With the increasing demand for actuaries in the insurance industry, Prudential believes in growing talent and expertise in the sector.

Each graduating year, three top students from UoN undergo a thorough interview to secure a paid one-year internship with Prudential, with a possibility of getting a permanent job. In addition, each top student is awarded the KES equivalent of USD 800, serving as both motivation and starter financial support. The initiative was launched in 2015, with the first beneficiary securing a full-time job with Prudential in 2016.

Additionally, Prudential backs several community enterprises. In early 2023, the firm partnered with Cup Of Uji, a feeding initiative that supports thousands of school children in the country with a daily cup of porridge. The aim is to fight short-term hunger while driving the education of less privileged school children. Prudential donated KES 2.7 million towards the collaboration, which promises to feed 1,000 children for 2023.

Gwen Kinisu is the Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Prudential in Kenya. Guided by her exponential experience, she leads Prudential with humility, vision and most significantly, prudence. 

Focused on passion and innovation, Prudential has established itself as a truly customer-obsessed brand in the country. Its purpose is to help people get the most out of life, and its values continuously lead the insurer to deliver on this purpose to all its customers.

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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