The award-winning Hull graduate bringing affordable healthcare to Ghana
In 2011, Hull graduate Percy Ansah set out with seed funding of USD 50,000 and a team of two staff. Seven years later, his company is the second biggest provider of health insurance in Ghana. Premier Health Insurance employs 53 people, turns over USD 10,000,000 and has brought affordable healthcare to approximately 47,000 Ghanaians. Percy, who graduated from the University’s MSc Business Management programme, recently received the Entrepreneur Award from the British Council in recognition of his achievements.
What initially attracted you to study at the University of Hull?
During my undergraduate study at the University of Cape Coast in Ghana, an alumni lecturer used to testify to the University of Hull’s academic atmosphere and the friendliness of the city to foreign students. The other attraction was the MSc Business Management course. Most of the business schools in Europe and beyond only offer MBA programmes; I was looking for a course that would give me an edge in the workplace.
How did the course influence your career choices?
The course was practical as well as academic, and that was very relevant to my line of duty. For instance, I routinely lead my team to negotiate premiums with corporate institutions. Negotiation was part of my studies at Hull. Other modules such as Accounting and Finance for Managers, Marketing, Strategic Management and Corporate Leadership have all played important roles in the decisions I make daily in my company.
Tell us about your company.
I started Premier Health Insurance in 2011 with seed funding of USD 50,000 and a team of two staff. In almost seven years of operation our membership has risen to about 47,000 lives and operates through a list of 641 accredited hospitals, clinics and opticians across Ghana. At present, we manage over 240 corporate policies for various companies across multiple industries in Ghana.
How did your experience at Hull lead to you become such a successful entrepreneur?
I must give sincere credit to the content of my course programme. Interestingly, I’m aware of three other University of Hull alumni who have also set up successful companies in Ghana, and who are employing hundreds of people here. This may be a pointer to the fact that the content of the courses at the University is rich and relevant to our society.
Have you had any involvement with the Alumni network since you graduated?
I am currently the Vice President of the Alumni Group in Ghana. I was part of the team which organised the Alumni AGM back in November 2013.
What are your fondest memories of your time as a student at Hull?
My fondest memory is the day of my graduation. There was snow the entire night before so we ended up with a white graduation day. My family members who visited for the graduation were extremely excited by the scene. We really enjoyed ourselves that day.
What do you hope to achieve in the future?
My reason for establishing my company is expressed in our mission statement: to make healthcare affordable and accessible, and to help people live longer, more joyful and healthier lives. I hope to grow the number of policyholders to over 300,000 within three years. I hope to introduce other innovative products to the Ghanaian market and expand my company to other parts of the world.