Muhammed Doola is a relative newcomer to insurance, but it’s an industry in which he sees opportunities to make a positive difference in the world.
Muhammed, one of this year’s graduates of the Insurance Institute of Gauteng’s (IIG) Class of training, mentorship and networking programme, garnered the Fulcrum Future Leader Award for being the Class of 2017’s standout participant.
The Future Leader Award is awarded according to the following criteria:
- Showing leadership ability
- Being confident in one’s work, and in working with classmates
- Showing commitment to the Class of programme and its affiliated initiatives, such as the AMOR house-building challenge
- Showing a positive attitude
- Showing and using initiative
- Inspiring others
- Showing ambition and optimism
- Paying attention to detail
- Having an outgoing nature
“Muhammed was up against stiff competition in the very talented Class of 2017 for the Fulcrum Future Leader Award,” says Fulcrum’s head of Brand, Clodagh da Paixao.
“His willingness to lead from the front is what made him a worthy winner. Fulcrum congratulates him on his achievement!”
Like so many others, Muhammed entered the insurance industry “by mistake” just under three years ago, when he won a place on the Santam Graduate Programme – and eventually walked away with the award for best-performing graduate.
That experience, he says, “really opened my eyes to the potential of insurance to bring about good” – a matter about which he is passionate. He points out that up to 80% of South Africa is uninsured, and therefore exposed to risk – so “there’s a lot of work to be done”.
Muhammed was inspired to get into the Class of 2017 at last year’s IIG annual dinner, when he realised that he knew comparatively few people in the insurance industry, and that the Class of programme would offer him significant opportunities. Which it has.
“I got exposure to networks, and to grow my brand … I now know hundreds of people in my industry,” he says.
“I’ve realised it is important for me to align personal growth with career development. Hence, each year I’ve decided that over and above my working role I need to be involved in other activities, whether it means completing an academic course, participating in a leadership and development programme such as the IIG Class of, or even working closely with a non-profit organisation or social entrepreneurship initiative.
“Our minds should be continuously on a path of development and growth. My catchphrase has always been ‘pushment’, which is derived from ‘pushing your development’.”
He says that he and his Class of 2017 classmates – a diverse group of people – have grown close through the programme, and built enduring relationships with one another.
“We’ve sort of become like a family,” Muhammed says. “That experience, and that bonding, it was amazing.”
The highlight of the Class of 2017 for him, Muhammed continues, was the Amor house-building project. The Class of students are challenged to raise funding and build the homes themselves – this year they constructed two.
“When you’re doing something and it’s not for yourself, it’s very fulfilling,” says Muhammed, who intends staying involved in the Amor project in his personal capacity.
“It’s all about your purpose. You have to have a purpose in life.”