TAKAFUL is a booming, growing industry that has charted phenomenal growth in the last 10 years, despite being relatively new in the market as compared to insurance.
And unlike widely held beliefs, a career as a takaful consultant does not mean that a person cannot find other jobs.
In fact, takaful consultancy is a viable career choice that involves being more than just a sales agent.
A consultant must be well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to provide financial planning advice to those who want to achieve a better future and financial freedom.
Such has been the aim for Zurich Takaful Malaysia Berhad (ZTMB) Chief Managing Consultant Mohd Fahmi Mohd Hatta, who was recently crowned Champion Chief Managing Consultant (CMC) under the Whole Group category and a top-record breaker.
Before joining Zurich Takaful, Fahmi was a state and national footballer. Due to an injury, he refocused his life and joined the insurance industry in 2004.
His first success came in 2006 when he became a Million Dollar Round Table (MDRT) qualifier at the age of 25. He was subsequently promoted to be an agency leader two years later at the age of 27 – the youngest CMC ever to be promoted then.
MDRT is an established global trade association that recognises top performing insurance agents and financial advisers and helps them develop best market practices to grow their business.
This year, Fahmi was also awarded the Chairman’s Gold Award for outstanding contribution to Zurich’s business growth.
Fahmi said he owed his achievements to Zurich, which has provided vital support and resources to help him succeed, as well as the invaluable teamwork and encouragement he has received from his agency – which he described as family-orientated and caring.
His Gemilang Empire (FGC) agency currently has 382 consultants and 15 managing consultants nationwide.
Fahmi’s motivation has always been his parents and family. He said although he joined the industry after his injury, he would eventually have made the change as he enjoys helping people, be they agents or customers.
Fahmi said being caring and concerned for the customers’ wellbeing is important for an up-and- coming consultant.
“I like seeing my agents succeed,” he quipped.
This seems to be the key for the successful takaful leaders as they all want their downliners to succeed.
“I have already produced agents who secured the MDRT ‘Court of the Table’ and ‘Top of the Table’ titles, as well as groomed three to become CMCs.”
These CMCs have in turn developed their agencies to become million-dollar agencies.
Fahmi said it is not easy for a group leader like himself to become a champion after he had groomed his agents as CMCs, as productions from the downliners stay with those newly appointed CMCs and not the group leader.
That he still emerged a champion to this day is testament to his abilities and desire to succeed.
Champion CMC under the Direct Group category is SRA Empire Group Shah Rizal Azmi, who started his career first in banking back in 1991.
He joined the insurance industry in 2006, but had to start all over again when he made the switch to takaful in 2010 with zero sales portfolio.
Within four years, he became a champion nationwide, with other rising successes along the way since.
In 2015, he was promoted to be a CMC and within 12 months, he was among the top eight performers.
In a little over a year after that, he emerged a champion for the Whole Group as a CMC.
Rizal is keen to set a benchmark for his agency as his legacy. His upcoming goal is to clinch the championship titles for both Whole Group and Direct Group within the same year.
Rizal advised those who wish to make a difference in the takaful industry to remain open to learning, be a team player, big-hearted and fully committed to what they do.
He added: “If you want short-term success, you focus on money. But if you want long-term success, learn to be a team player.”
Managing consultant Oh Siow Lee joined then MAA in 1998. When MAA was licensed by Bank Negara Malaysia to set up the takaful operations, Oh moved to MAA Takaful, which eventually became Zurich Takaful in 2016.
She shared that she initially became a consultant for financial stability.
Eventually, she realised the company provides good opportunities for growth and that encouraged her to assist her agency and consultants in achieving their goals.
And while Oh only works part-time, she managed to clinch the title of Champion Managing Consultant and a top-record breaker for her agency in Sungai Petani, Kedah.
Oh said: “I have to put in a lot of hard work over the years, but thanks to the support from the agency and CMCs, I have accumulated more experience and learnt what it takes to succeed in this industry.”
ZTMB recently honoured 461 of its top-performing takaful consultants for their 2017 sales performance during the company’s Nite of the Takaful Stars award ceremony in Genting Highlands.
Fahmi, Rizal and Oh were among three of the top takaful earners for that year.
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