Lift-off for the IST Graduate Programme 2021!

In an STI Universe where all things will soon be tech, it’s up to 25 Digital Superheroes to bring about change.  The IST Graduate Programme 2021 kicks off today, taking 25 intrepid tech experts on a journey where no-one else in Africa has gone before!

This first-of-its-kind programme, powered by GIFS, the IIG and SASRIA, is designed to speed up digitisation within the Short-Term Industry (STI) by exposing IST graduates to the inner workings of the STI space.

“We are in an era where we cannot continue to ignore the impact, but more significantly the benefits of technology in the insurance industry,” says Tshepiso Chocho, President of the Insurance Institute of Gauteng (IIG). “Developing of systems and software to aid the work we do is critical. This has been happening, but more can be done. A lot of efficiencies can be brought about if we harness the full potential of the IT space. This could also drive down certain costs, increase the ability to underwrite and ultimately lead to increased profitability if used correctly.”

Over the next six months, participants will be mentored by some of the most distinctive minds in the industry. “We are thrilled to have celebrated leaders of this calibre, men and women of extraordinary insights, talent and expertise, on board with the programme,” says Dr Kershen Pillay, CEO of the Graduate Institute of Financial Sciences (GIFS). “Opportunities to learn from and engage with leaders of this magnitude are rare, and participants should make the most of this invaluable experience.”

The Corporate Leaders who have selflessly committed to mentoring and sharing their key learning with participants during the programme are:

  • Christelle Colman, Managing Director, Elite Risk
  • Michelle Ashen, Brand and Marketing Manager, MUA Insurance
  • Micky Maharaj, Chief Operating Officer, Outsurance
  • Simon Colman, Business Head at SHA (a division of Santam Ltd)


Industry experts who will lead the programme’s skills transference and specialist insights segments include:

  • Christopher Appanah, Litigation and CVU Manager, Bryte Insurance Company
  • Frank Harpur, Managing Director: Firedart
  • Gerald Van Wyk, Executive Head Market Development, Santam
  • Jan Schubart, Director: The Institute of Loss Adjusters
  • Vidhu Maharaj, Divisional Manager: Business Architecture, Discovery Insure


Participants will be empowered with critical skills and competencies that include EQ skills development, self-mastery, emotional fitness and a winning mind-set, communications bootcamps, establishing a healthy work-life balance and stress-coping techniques.

You’ll find more on the IST Graduate Programme 2021 here.

We wish all 25 incredible men and women, who are about to make history, the very best for the programme.

A whole new world awaits!


28 May 2021