Strategies Adopted By APA Insurance in Kenya to Achieve Competitive Advantage
Whether an organization remains competitive or not, largely depends on the quality of decisions made by its executives (Myerson, 1991). This is partly because the present day competitive marketing patterns enable the competitors to come to reality with the fact that future marketing will be highly influenced by how an organization plays its cards. Generally, successful businesses rely on a strategy based aspect, which in turn may necessitate use of appropriate decision tools that enhance its competitive advantage. Competitive advantage in any organization is achieved when the competition cannot match the organization's ability to sustain its lead in the market, through its strategies. Insurance industry is equally competitive and APA Insurance as player has taken up several strategies that have had considerable effect on the company's efficiency, productivity change, market structure and performance in the insurance industry. The study set out to establish the strategies adopted by APA insurance to achieve competitive advantage. It adopted a methodology that embraced both primary and secondary data in order to achieve this objective. The secondary data was collected by use of desk search techniques from published companies' publications. Primary data, on the other hand, was collected using personal interviews with respondents at APA Insurance, with the of an interview guide. The research targeted ten respondents in senior and executive positions within APA insurance Kenya, as well as a few staff in lower management cadres at the company. From the ten interviews that were initially projected, six were successful; one (1) face-to-face interview and five (5) telephone interviews. On successful completion, the study identified these strategies as comprising Building a strong Insurance brand; Establishment of a wide branch Network; Effective cost Management; Competitive pricing of products; Broad product range; Market Segmentation; and Product differentiation. Of all these strategies, the study has found that Effective cost management, building a strong brand and Establishment of a wide branch network were found to be the three major strategies adopted by the company. The study recommends to policy makers in the insurance industry to make use of these findings in order to understand the driving force behind such aspect as a constant drive _by Insurance companies to open new branches in the wake of competition. Other insurance companies can also benefit from the lessons learnt from APA Insurance so as to tailor their products, focus on the right target market, among others, so as to better serve their intended clients.