The UNIBA Partners’ network is constantly evolving; new Partners join, IDMs and Senior Contacts change. Although we have the chance to see each other face-to-face, most of the time we are meeting behind our laptops. And in this online environment you might have missed a new Partner joining or a contact changing, right? Through this article-series we will make sure that that doesn’t happen anymore! In ‘Breaking the ice’ we will introduce new Partners, their specialisations, and, perhaps even more importantly, the people behind it; what makes them tick? why did they join? what do they like? Because what is UNIBA Partners if not a business network of friends?
In September’s edition we’re introducing another new African Partner, namely Shield Insurance Brokers and Risk Management (Ghana) and its representatives Gloria Ocran and Kwame Dwamena.
For those who didn’t have the chance to meet you just yet, can you please introduce yourself and your company?
Gloria: I’m Gloria Ocran, Executive Director for Finance and Admin for Shield Group; which Shield Insurance Brokers is the mother company. I’ve been a part of the company from its inception in 2009 and seen it grow. Since then, Shield has been executing its mandate through its well-built values of professionalism, innovation, integrity, and stewardship. This has led us to being among the top ten insurance brokers in Ghana, of which we are very proud.
On a personal note, I’m married for close to 25 years and have been blessed with three beautiful girls. I love reading for up-to date information around me, taking long early morning walks (up to two hours at a time) and listening to good gospel songs that are soul-lifting. As a Christian, I’m very much involved in church services and activities as well. I enjoy being in the kitchen and ensuring there is enough good food for everyone under my care. I cannot talk about myself without mentioning my love for academics. I am therefore mostly seen doing further studies in my areas of endeavor. Finally, I enjoy encouraging and motivating individuals especially the young adults to do same to improve their performance at work.
Kwame: I’m Kwame Dwamena, Managing Director at Shield. I’m a young family man, and I have been with Shield since 2010. This has been a remarkable journey. I’m an avid dog lover and recently got into horse riding, with the hopes of becoming a professional polo player. During the weekends I spend time with my family, go cycling with my friends all while stubbornly loving and supporting Manchester United.
Let’s dive back into the business side of things. Why is “international” important to your company?
Gloria: We believe it’s time to build a business model that is more resilient, a model that can sustain its value propositions. We are already doing international business, but it’s time to consolidate our presence on the international market and we hope to do so via our involvement with UNIBA Partners.
Kwame: The Ghanaian economy has been volatile the past years coupled with the aftermath of Covid-19. The local currency fell more than 100% last year. As a business it is important to take pragmatic measures in order for you to cope with such a volatile economy. Going international will help reduce the consequences associated with any form of domestic downturn. In addition, UNIBA Partners is an excellent opportunity to tap into an endless pool of experience and technical know-how.
Also, we get to learn new and robust systems and practices that will help us remain relevant in the world of business. Lastly, going international assures us market expansion and growth potentials.
And where do you see your company contributing most to the next year?
Gloria: We have been operating in Ghana for close to 15 years and have acquired quite some experience. Through our domestic know-how we will be in a position to pass on knowledge and contacts to Partners who might have business engagements in our region.
Kwame: In addition, we are ever ready to offer referrals to Partners. We have quite a number of clients who do business outside Ghana.
Let’s move back to the personal side of things again. Is there any book that inspired you, be it personal or professional?
Gloria: As a Christian woman I believe in the word of God. Of all my readings there’s nothing so motivating and life giving as the word of God. There are important values and principles of life in it, but also hidden values that can help build and grow your business.
On a final note, if you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be and why?
Gloria: Michelle Obama. Being an African woman and in recognition of where she has been able to get to, it would be a great privilege to have a dining session with her. I admire her empathy, compassion and her great sense of humor. Lastly, as someone who loves fashion, Michelle Obama has also been a fashion inspiration. It would therefore be a fantastic time together to discuss topics of common interests.
Kwame: I’ll go for Elon Musk. I’ve always been asking myself what motivates him to pursue those, seemingly, impossible business ideas.