“You have true wealth when you’re content with what you have. Chasing money is a counterfeit route to success and will ultimately lead to unhappiness. I have a friend who retired at 35 to raise his children. There’s nothing he needs.” Discovery founder and CEO, Adrian Gore
Adrian Gore | 52 years of age| CEO of Discovery
An entrepreneurial lesson from Adrian Gore
In order to succeed as an entrepreneur, you’ve got to have something to offer society, says Gore. “I’m not convinced about doing something just to make money. That might work, but the best entrepreneurs I’ve seen are motivated to build something that improves society as a whole.”
“I started out with a vision for a business that I felt would benefit society, by enhancing and protecting the health of all South Africans, if we could get it right.”
Gore started Discovery when he was a young actuary at Liberty Health. At that time the country had medical aid schemes, but not health insurance at the scale he envisaged. “I was involved in product development, and we rolled out a product that did so remarkably well that it was clear there was a need for a proper, sustainable approach rather than outdated ‘sickness funds’. That was the embryo for my vision of building an actuarially-sound health insurance organisation,” he says.
At the time, 1990, Johannesburg General was one of the best hospitals in the world, because the bulk of the government’s money went to just four million people. But South Africa was in transition, and there were going to be massive shifts in how the government would spend on healthcare.
“Government funding would soon have to serve a much broader base, and the pressure on private healthcare financing was obvious to me,” says Gore. “I learned that RMB had a dormant life company and someone suggested I approach them. I did, and after much exciting discussion, that licence became the shell for Discovery.”
Gore’s Vitality model has been exported with great success, and today Discovery has grown into a global financial services group with markets in South Africa, the United Kingdom, United States, Asia, Europe and China, helping millions people live healthier lives.