Insurans Islam TAIB Holding Sendirian Berhad (IITH) celebrated its 30th anniversary this year with significant milestones over the past three decades – from changing its name from Takaful TAIB Sdn Bhd, specialisation in General and Takaful businesses through its subsidiaries, adapting to technology, developing and enhancing Takaful products and services to staff expansion, amongst other achievements.
The company employs over 200 personnel, comprising highly committed senior and junior team members.
To commemorate IITH’s celebration, The Bruneian team spoke to three longest-serving employees, reminiscing their early times with the company.
Hajah Surayati Hj Awg Besar of Insurans Islam TAIB Family Takaful Sendirian Berhad (IITFT), a subsidiary of IITH, has been devoted to the company since day one, witnessing the company’s growth over the years.
It may have been 30 years ago for Hajah Surayati but she remembers her first day like it was yesterday. She is one of the longest-serving employees at IITH after joining the company back in 1993 as an Underwriter.
Hajah Surayati cannot help but smile when she thinks about how peculiar her first day in IITH was, armed with an analogue calculator, a pen, a Takaful product rating printout, calculating Takaful contributions and screening applicants based on a specific set of criteria.
“Alhamdulillah, since starting my job in 1993, there have been a lot of changes. I first started with a small team of 3 to 7 people in one office and now, the company has grown to almost 200 employees,” she said.
She witnessed waves of technological changes throughout the company’s three-decade journey – from issuing Takaful policies using mechanical typewriters, learning how to use the internet to streamline transactions, followed by automated underwriting via a core Takaful system and mobile apps in the present day.
In her early days, IITH was the first company in the sultanate to offer Takaful products in conformity with the Syariah principles.
“We started off with two products: Mortgage Takaful Plan and Motor Takaful Scheme. On my very first day, I was given training and had to learn each of the products from scratch and how to calculate them manually,” she shared.
Reflecting upon some of the significant milestones, Hajah Surayati said that she has witnessed IITH develop product ranges to meet the needs of its growing customers. “Now, after 30 years, IITH has more than 30 products,” she added.
Another long-time employee Muhd Mahlee Alwi Hj Matali remembers the changes he has seen throughout his 27 years of service with IITH, from dial-up access to the Internet to public anxiety over Y2K.
“Back when I first started working, everything had to be written down manually to record customers’ information. Our manual log book was so thick and big,” he explained.
He was an underwriter when he joined the company in June 1996.
“We also had one computer to access the system. So after 5pm, when we had to issue a cover note, all of us had to go to the main office at Jalan Cator, Bandar Seri Begawan and manually entered the data into the system. But now, with the new technology, everything is much easier,” he added.
Over the years, he has taken on many roles such as overseeing corporate events, managing branches, as well as supervising retail counters.
“In 1996, IITH opened new single manned counters at TAIB Beribi and TAIB Delima Filling Station. I was also in charge of the Delima counter”, he shared.
He has been with the company for almost three decades, currently serving as the Corporate Communication Officer for IITH.
Speaking about his achievements, he remembered being the first staff to achieve the highest contribution during a roadshow hosted by the company at The Mall, Gadong.
For him, building and maintaining a relationship with customers is important and it brings him joy to get to know customers one-on-one.
Recalling his time at IITH, he said his fondest memory was the strong sense of teamwork he felt and being part of a supportive community.
“In the early years, we had a small team of people and had put in extra hours but being tired never entered our minds”, said the Officer.
“Now, since working with IITH for almost 27 years, there have been many changes and now we work together like a family. Although each Division has its own role to play, teamwork is always there,” he shared.
Looking back, Muhd Mahlee said he is thankful for the opportunity of seeing and contributing to the growth of the company and achieving the milestones. When considering what’s on the horizon for the company, he is optimistic about the future.
“I hope the new generation can learn from the older generation and follow in their footsteps in learning about the previous working culture in terms of teamwork and assertiveness, and not to be afraid, and never stop learning,” he said.
Meanwhile, Siti Noorbayu Haji Mohammad Yahya joined IITH 25 years ago, as a frontliner on 2 March 1998.
“It was on a Monday. Introducing myself and mingling with other newly acquainted colleagues who also started their first day in IITH. We attended training upon reporting” she shared.
She also recalled that the total employment in IITH back in 1998 was just 17 people.
“I remember, there were five people including myself who were in the same batch, and the total number of employees including me when I started work was 17 employees,” she added.
After a few years, she then worked her way up from a frontliner to her current role as the Senior Executive Officer, Sales of Insurans Islam TAIB General Takaful (IITGT).
Reflecting upon the years of significant milestones and growth, Siti Noorbayu went on to share how IITH has exposed and taught her about the market beyond Brunei Darussalam and built good relationships with her counterparts and colleagues.
Looking forward to the future, Siti Noorbayu hopes for the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business. “So that everything will be online and just a tap away,” she added.
Established on 3 March 1993, IITH is a subsidiary company of Perbadanan Tabung Amanah Islam Brunei (TAIB).
In 2010, the company introduced two subsidiaries – Insurans Islam TAIB General Takaful Sdn Bhd (IITGT) and Insurans Islam TAIB Family Takaful Sdn Bhd (IITFT) in compliance with Takaful Order 2008.
IITH spearheaded by its Board of Directors, Syariah Advisory Comittee and Management Committee, holds true to its mission – shaping Takaful to be easy and friendly through technology, quality support and operational excellence.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN