Eunice Maina is the CEO and founder of Bismart, an online insurance marketplace where insurance firms list their products and customers are able to compare the policies.
She has been a winner of the Association of Kenya Insurers (AKI), life insurance agent’s award for four years in a row.
Under her leadership, the insurance firm has also won the Women in Tech innovative and business award by Standard chartered Bank.
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Here is Eunice’s story as told by WoK.
Eunice holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Mathematics from the University of Nairobi.
Following her graduation from UoN, she worked as an instructor at the Institute of Advanced Technology for five years.
She joined Britam Insurance in June 2009 and worked as a financial advisor, a year before she was promoted to a unit manager.
She served as a unit manager for four years, and she was in charge of recruitment, training and developing financial advisors.
In February 2015, she was appointed sales and relationship manager; a position that she held for two years and a month before quitting.
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Eunice established Bismart Insurance in May 2017.
In an interview with How We Made It In Africa, she disclosed that she established the company with her savings.
The company lists insurance firms and their products from where customers are able to compare the policies.
The insurance companies pays commission for every customer who buys insurance through the Bismart platform.
“Besides offering such services, we ensure that clients have all the information they need before they can commit themselves to a particular policy
“We believe that the claim process starts at the point of buying; the customer needs to understand in advance what they are getting into before they buy and we give them full disclosure on what is and what is not covered by a particular policy,” she said.
Bismart works with among top insurance companies Jubilee Insurance, APA Insurance, Britam, Sanlam, Allianz, Old Mutual, Madison Group and Fidelity Insurance.
Eunice pointed out regulation and reputational risk as some risks that her company has had to deal with.
“The insurance industry regulator doesn’t exactly know how to regulate the kind of business we are running
“We face the risk that one day the regulator might wake up and decide we need to do business in this way or that way,” she said.
On the reputational risk, she said; “We also face reputational risk. If an insurance company listed on our platform does something wrong to a customer, the customer might blame us, even though it is completely out of our hands.”
Eunice relied on Google advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) to popularize her business during the initial stages.
“With SEO you don’t really put in money as a startup you always look for ways to get the maximum outcome with minimal input. We also focus a lot on developing social media content that educates customers about insurance,” she said.
Her best moment in her entrepreneurial journey was when she was awarded the Standard Chartered Women in Tech award.
“We were hardly six months into the business and then we won the award. This was a validation that we were onto something,” Eunice said.
Eunice also discussed her fallout with her initial business partner, a move that she termed her biggest mistake.
“I started the business with a partner. However, down the line we realised our visions were not aligned. My partner didn’t take it lightly and blocked the entire platform
“I had to start everything from scratch. Bismart was not the original business name. I had to register a new company without the partner,” she added.
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