After the third task – to develop an innovative app able to predict strikes and riots – the Durban-based business development manager is one of six contestants left in the reality show-style competition produced by industry magazine FA News.
In the latest episode, Thokozile Mahlangu, Sasria executive manager: stakeholder management, joined judges Simon Colman, head of commercial liability at SHA, and Vuyo Lee, an independent insurance consultant.
Splitting the contestants into two teams, Colman said one of the messages The Insurance Apprentice wants to get across is the importance of accountability in any business – “when something goes wrong, someone has to take responsibility”.
Since Hollardite Keith Bester, head of the Construction & Engineering CoE in the Durban construction engineering division, had earlier put himself forward as CEO, he would be in charge of choosing his team for the latest task – but if they failed, he would be the one going home.
Bester selected Foster and fellow contestant Mutoda Muhamba for his Uhuru Cubed team. The remaining four contestants, coordinated by Kebelo Paile, dubbed their team Strike First Consultants.
The task had to be completed within four hours. Mahlangu said the judges would consider whether the app could be translated into a real application in the future, and it also had to show real benefits for customers and Sasria. Teams had to demonstrate their app’s potential business impact and benefits.
In their presentation, Strike First Consultants told the judges they had conducted in-depth research, coming up with a mobile and web-based app that was freely accessible and free to download.
Uhuru Cubed presented an app focusing not only on Sasria clients, but also opening the data by obtaining it from the general South African population to assist in obtaining real-time information. They proposed collaboration with media houses and existing app developers, among other aspects.
Foster said the team’s app would “transform every man on the street into informers”, providing information on events that could be occurring in geographical areas, while constantly running analytics.
Delivering judgement, Colman said he was “impressed” with both teams’ presentations, and Mahlangu added that the innovation was “great” on both teams.
With Strike First Consultants winning the challenge, Bester, as leader of Uhuru Cubed, unfortunately became the second contestant to be sent home. (Last week, Palesa Bolofo, an internal broker consultant in the Hollard Property and Energy CoE in Johannesburg, was the first to leave the show.)
Hollard (a Gold sponsor of the competition) was the only insurance company to start off with three contestants in the mix of eight finalists.
The overall winner – to be announced at the end of March or beginning of April – gets a bursary from Inseta and will be going to Lloyd’s of London in the UK for a week, to get the low-down on how it does business and on the company’s systems, and for some sightseeing.