ZB launches digital transformation innovation hub

ZB Financial Holdings (ZBFH) has  unveiled an innovation hub to drive the group’s digital transformation journey, which will be instrumental not only in exploring and providing solutions to customer pain points but also in engineering brands for strong performance.

The hub was officially launched by Professor Amon Murwira, the Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science, and Technology Development last Friday.

Professor Murwira said the state of any nation largely depended on the knowledge of its people and the skills they have.

“If a country has hunger, it means there is no skill to produce food or knowledge to produce the required amounts. Once you know that, you will know how to develop skills and knowledge to produce that food,” he said.

He noted that what ZB had done was revolutionary, as innovation played a key role in the production of goods and services.

“Let’s fight poverty by making education dominate the technology trajectory so that we can produce everything that we need,” said Professor Murwira.

Shepherd Fungura, the ZBFH, said the innovation hub is going to establish partnerships that will be useful for the future, as the hub also comes in a rapidly evolving world where change is the only constant.

“Strategically, innovation is necessary for development and cannot be overstated. This is in line with the government’s heritage-based education 5.0 towards problem-solving and the creation of value.

“Today we embrace the transformative power of innovation, which is about creating solutions through products and services that speak to our needs and solve our problems as a nation,” he said.

Dr Fungura added, “It is, therefore, something that we should embrace because it is relevant to our time and gives us a future.”

He said the hub is also the key to unlocking customer loyalty and staying relevant in a hyper-changing world.

“We, as a financial services institution, are architects of progress, and we want to make sure that, as a corporation, we continue to innovate as a pivotal role that we can take to shape industries and commerce in our beloved country. It is with no doubt that the innovation that we are talking about is a catalyst for solving pressing challenges that we face in our day-to-day lives nationally, continentally, and globally,” said Dr Fungura.

He said the innovation hub will explore, research, and test and sometimes fail, but will continue to look forward to solutions that can best deliver value to lives in a cost-effective manner that is affordable to many.

Mr Fungura said that in terms of the benefits of the hub for the education industry, it is to ensure ZBFH enhances education and skill development through collaboration with academia.

“Through this platform, we want ZBFH to formally sign this commitment through the memorandum of understandings that we have signed with tertiary institutions in advance of this cause because we do believe that this will in itself give us a future partnership that is going to provide value for our nation and its development,” he said.

In addition to that, Dr Fungura said the hub would cross-pollinate innovators, especially with institutions of higher learning and postgraduate level, to solve societal problems.

“The benefits will come in the form of accelerating research and development for our nation, especially by actuating Education 5.0. We also think that we are going to attract and retain talent within our country, and the youth will develop in collaboration with this innovation hub as they also work through the innovation hubs that have been established at different institutions of higher learning, such as the University of Zimbabwe, the National University of Science and Technology, Midland State University, and Chinhoyi State University,” he said.

He noted that ZBFH is working with all these universities, and the collaboration is going to give impetus to development, especially establishing the practical side of the theory that they learn and research at universities.

Dr Fungura said ZBFH had invested in business accelerator and incubation programmes with Emergination Africa, a local-based organisation that empowers learners and educators to turn their passion into entrepreneurship, which is valuable for business ventures. He said that to date, the group has established 18 business ventures that have been set up in Zimbabwe, and they have been grown by grassroots and even high school students.

ZBFH chief transformational officer Mr Kangai Maukazuva said through the hub, ZBFH would like to take part in the way ideas are created in the country, tapping into universities because the universities have the highest concentration of creativity and ideas in any world.

“This is where we want to tap into that so that we can move to different industries, starting, of course, with the banking sector, where we are. We are investing in creating a FinTech, a digital bank for the future, to offer new services in the future, and as a financial services group, we believe that this is the place for us to participate and cooperate with ministries, institutions, and public innovators so that we can take ideas to the next level,” he said.

He noted that the transformation process had seen ZBFH refreshing its brand and implementing a OneDigital ZB in the business of banking, insurance, and investments.

“We want to be a leading digital firm grounded in a performance-driven culture and sustainability. “Our primary focus is on customer centricity. Everything we do is for the benefit of the customer,” he said.


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