There is a lot of buzz and excitement around AI and Data. It’s often difficult to tell how much is hype and what the real impacts will actually be. Simphiwe Phakathi Executive Head, Consumer Insights and Analytics for PBB Africa Regions, firmly believes the impact of AI for the banking industry will be profound and far reaching.
He believes that AI and Data have the power to change EVERYTHING. Customer needs and preferences are changing at a rate of knots, to remain relevant we need to leverage AI so that we can create exceptional customer moments and experiences that will make customers feel valued and connected to us. If we fail to leverage this opportunity, the reality is that someone else will, so effectively we have no choice.
Starting at Standard Bank 13 years ago as a Junior MIS (Management Information System) Analyst, Simphiwe seized opportunities working in Card Division, Fraud Risk Analytics largely focused on detecting and preventing card fraud in real-time. He also had experience with Inclusive Banking from a risk management perspective and heading up measurement for PBBSA, then moving on to data quality management and the giant undertaking by joining Africa regions which has largely been unchartered territory. Simphiwe has embraced the challenge and says it is a privilege of heading up Customer Insights and Analytics for PBB Africa Regions across 14 countries.
When asked what makes him so passionate about his job, he commented, “Data has the ability to help us create impactful moments for our clients. Being in the role I am in I have the opportunity to ensure this a reality not just in one country but across 14 countries. The far reaching scope of the position is what fuels my energy, helping me play a part in living up to our purpose of “Africa is our home, we drive her growth.”
Watch the IBM and Standard Bank two-day Global Elite Academy conference highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPcSXTv4XHc&t=9s
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Adam Gottlich has a passion for decision science and consumer behaviour. He is a natural leader and is always searching to expand his knowledge and understanding of the world we operate in researching a variety of topics including neuroscience, cognitive science, behavioural economics and evolutionary psychology. He finds inspiration and content from podcasts, books and white papers and keeps a keen eye on the latest research emanating from the world of Behavioural Science.
Adam graduated from University of Witwatersrand with an Honours Degree in Psychology and added a Master’s Degree in the Psychology of Economics from one of the oldest and most reputable universities in Netherlands, Leiden University.
In his role at Standard Bank he is mandated to influence staff and customer behaviour positively in order to help people make better decisions. Behavioural Science is all about understanding behaviour in a variety of contexts and his work is very scientific in the sense that it involves a lot of strict testing to assess how successful various nudges are as well as rapidly testing hypotheses in various areas. Some recent projects include personalisation tests on the Standard Bank website which have led to an increase in clicks and lead submissions.
Adam also launched South Africa’s first Behavioural Science Academy where is he teaching 35 people from across Standard Bank Group the fundamentals of Behavioural Science. The course is going to be scaled next year as Behavioural Science has been identified as a future skill that can be used across the Group.
Adam’s aim is to make Standard Bank the world leaders in Behavioural Science and believes that this is not only attainable, but it actually something we are making great progress towards.
Adam’s aim in his role is to drive towards truly understanding customer and staff behaviour and believes in elegant simplicity. Adam hopes to complete his MBA and PhD in the near future.
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Stanbic Bank Tanzania today reaffirmed its commitment to the development of Tanzania and announced that in 2019 it provided TZS 177 billion in funding to various infrastructure development projects in the country. Providing finance and financial expertise to the private and public sector in Tanzania is a key focus for the bank.
Stanbic Chief Executive Mr. Ken Cockerill said, “Stanbic Bank is well positioned to play an important role in supporting Tanzania’s second Five Year Development Plan, which seeks to encourage industrialization and promote economic growth and social development.”
Mr Cockerill also mentioned that, “Infrastructure development is the cornerstone for sustainable long-term economic growth and competitiveness. With that in mind we are proud to be at the forefront of bridging the infrastructure funding gap to accelerate socioeconomic transformation in Tanzania.”
Unlocking private sector funding will create solutions to bridge Tanzania’s and the continent's infrastructure deficit and challenging business environment by developing and financing infrastructure, natural resources and industrial assets with a view to enhancing productivity and generating economic growth across Africa.
The Government of Tanzania has in 2019 dedicated over TZS 12.2 trillion (USD 5.3 billion) towards key development projects that include Africa’s longest Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), the Uganda-Tanzania Crude Oil Pipeline and Julius Nyerere International Airport Terminal 3.
On his part, Stanbic’s Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, Mr. Manzi Rwegasira said, “Tanzania is well on its way to bridging the infrastructure gap which is critical to Tanzania becoming a middle-income country by 2025.”
Tanzania’s population is also growing at a rate of 1.6 million people per year and this is projected to reach 67 million people by 2025 and 77 million by 2030, hence the importance for modern infrastructure for an upcoming middle-income country.
Mr. Rwegasira added that, “It is through collaboration between the private and public sector, spearheaded by corporates such as Stanbic Bank Tanzania, that will drive inclusive development in our economy.”
Official data from the Bank of Tanzania shows that the country’s economy grew at an average GDP growth rate of 6.6% in 2018 with the infrastructure sector significantly contributing to this growth. This year, the economy is projected to grow by 7.1 % with infrastructure projects such as roads, ports and rail expected to drive Tanzania’s GDP growth.
Since, 2018 Stanbic has raised over TZS 300 billion in financing for Tanzanian companies and institutions across the agricultural, consumer, industrial, natural resources and government sectors.
The bank is committed to working with the government and key stakeholders to improve the investment and resource mobilization climate in order to ensure that Tanzania realizes its socio-economic aspirations by 2025.
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Josef Langerman’s unbreakable love affair with technology and computers started back when he was a lanky preteenager. When his father bought him a Commodore 64 computer and an IBM XT in the 80s, the first seeds for a long-lasting career in technology and innovation were planted. Josef went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree with majors in Computer Science and Informatics. Fast forward decades later and he is now the Head of Technology Strategy, Architecture and Transformation at Standard Bank Group.
With the mammoth task of building networks for the largest bank on the continent, Josef always strives to not only make Standard Bank Africa’s leading digital bank but also make a lasting impact on the continent’s IT landscape. He’s “responsible for the transformation of Standard Bank Group into a high-velocity customer-centric organisation. This entails changing the ways of working as well as establishing the culture and industry communities that will enable this large-scale transformation,” he shares. With such a transformational vision, it’s no wonder Josef is a sought-after speaker on organisational transformation in his native South Africa and abroad.
While Josef boasts a glowing career characterised by senior IT positions in some of South Africa’s big companies, you’d be mistaken to think he’s only about machines. As a leader, the 47-year-old computer whiz is invested in people. With 100 people currently reporting to his structure, he gets a deep sense of purpose from developing talent and seeing his mentees grow in their careers. Speaking passionately about investing in people, he says, “It’s the only thing that matters. You cannot do big organisational change if you don’t build relationships with people. And that’s very hard for technical people because we always think it is how clever we are, how well we work, our specialist knowledge.” He adds: “The team runs guilds and coaching circles to help with personal and business evolution. As the world changes, so does the dynamic of how we do our work. People find themselves working in diverse teams, with diverse skills, where they must take direction from a variety of stakeholders.
So, how does one stay relevant and effective as a leader? For Josef, it’s all about talking to people and not being obsessed with details. “Being very detail-oriented is incredibly important early in your career. Subject matter expertise is what gets you promoted, but later in your career, when you start to manage diverse teams, you can’t be the expert anymore. Many leaders fall into the trap of trying to be the SME on everything and they end up neglecting a really important part of their job, which is building relationships,” he explains.
One of the defining moments that helped shape Josef into a leader and executive he is today came in 2014 when he, along with other Standard Bank executives, took a leadership trip to Silicon Valley. While he learnt a lot from Google, Microsoft and McKinsey, his greatest enlightenment came from Facebook. His biggest take-home from the social giant was that culture matters. The company’s culture left him in so much awe that he aptly describes his experience there as “freedom.”
That one simple yet powerful word has come to describe more than his experience at Facebook, it now embodies his qualities and ways of working as a leader. Freedom to experiment and try out new things. Freedom for his mentees to grow and define their career paths.
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