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Generali Vietnam a pioneer in tech application

Released at: 12:44, 06/04/2019

Generali Vietnam a pioneer in tech application

Photo: Generali Vietnam

Ms. Tina Nguyen, CEO of Generali Vietnam, tells VET that technology will remain at the forefront of its strategic priorities.

by Ngoc Lan

As one of the leading companies in applying digital technology in the life insurance industry in Vietnam, can you tell us how technologies have impacted Generali Vietnam’s business in particular and the industry in general?

Technology is driving change in almost every major industry globally. In the insurance industry, InsurTech, big data, AI, digital technologies, and telematics are bringing rapid changes to the industry around the world. Vietnam is no exception.

Digital technologies are transforming Vietnam’s life insurance industry. Consumer demand nowadays for innovative, convenient, and personalized solutions are more and more pressing. Investments in digital technologies, particularly IoT, AI, and big data, will help insurers understand consumer needs and behaviors much better, therefore improving their chances of satisfying their demands.

Generali Vietnam has been a pioneer in using digital technologies to improve operational efficiencies, support agents and partners, and enhance the customer experience. We will also focus on distributing our products online, starting with our cancer care product Vita - Golden Shield. Leveraging advanced technologies to create a competitive advantage will always be one of Generali Vietnam’s strategic priorities.

With the rapid development of Vietnam’s digital economy, has Generali Vietnam faced any challenges and if so, how were they overcome?

Vietnamese consumers are very open-minded and quick in picking up new trends, including using technology in their everyday life. According to the “Vietnam Digital Landscape 2019” report from We Are Social, from January 2017 to January 2019 the number of internet users in Vietnam increased 22 per cent, from 64 million to 78 million, while the number of social network users on mobile devices increased 34 per cent, from 50 million to 67 million. This has brought about both challenges and opportunities to many businesses, including life insurers. Organizations that are late in applying technologies in their business operations will definitely lag behind or even go out of business. Conversely, those who know how to use technologies effectively may improve their chances of differentiating themselves from the competition and making breakthroughs.

At Generali Vietnam, digital transformation has always been one of our top strategic priorities. We seek to fully leverage our Group’s strengths and our local talent in this field to constantly improve our products and services and create superior customer experience. However, we are fully aware this is a long “game” and will require significant investment not just in terms of human and financial resources but also strong entrepreneurship and a lot of patience and perseverance.

A focus on technology seems to be a priority for most life insurers, not only Generali. What are Generali’s competitive advantages in this respect?

Generali Vietnam is a member of the Generali Group, the only insurer ranked in the top 50 smartest companies globally by MIT Technology Review. In Generali Group’s 2019-2021 strategic plan, innovation and digital transformation has been defined as one of the three strategic pillars. To this end, the Group has earmarked €1 billion ($1.1 billion) for investment in digital technologies across the Group. Generali Vietnam is keen on maximizing this support from the Group to accelerate our digital transformation in Vietnam.

In addition, one of the key success factors enabling our success in digital technologies so far is the F.B.I (Fast. Bold. Innovative.) spirit of our people. We are fortunate and proud to have a very experienced and talented IT and Digital team. But I would say it is this F.B.I culture that drives the entire organization to focus on creating innovative products and services. We are “fast, bold, innovative” but always committed to the highest quality.

Will the online channel be the major distribution channel of Generali Vietnam in the future? What is the role of the online channel compared with traditional distribution channels in Generali’s growth strategy?

Each distribution channel tends to serve a particular customer segment. Our Group and local strategy is to develop both traditional channels such as agency and bancassurance and the direct/online channel.

Given the rapid pace of change in consumer behavior, it is important that we invest in an online channel, including the entire support system for such a channel. Such a platform may allow consumers to buy certain products directly online or research products online then be consulted in person by an agent. After meeting with an agent, consumers can also go online for further research before making a decision. That’s why our aim is to build a strong digital platform and technologies for all distribution channels, to facilitate a seamless customer journey and experience, thereby improving sales conversion through all channels.

Could you tell us about Generali’s results in 2018?

We are happy to say that despite a number of changes and challenges in the life insurance market, Generali Vietnam continued to achieve strong revenue growth, of 20 per cent, in 2018. More importantly, we were successful in delivering many important projects and milestones related to products, services, technologies, and others. These achievements reinforced our business foundation and helped fulfill our promise of being “simpler, smarter, customer-centric” to both our policyholders and distributors.

On the product front, we successfully launched two new products, Vita - Song Tu Tin (Vita - Live Confidently) and Vita - La Chan Vang (Vita - Golden Shield). Most of our products share the common features of comprehensive benefits and competitive prices. Each will also boast certain unique features compared to similar products in the market. For Vita - Song Tu Tin, this unique feature is the extension of protection coverage for policyholders for 24 months after policy lapse. For Vita - La Chan Vang, besides very affordable premiums and a simple, quick purchase process, customers can get all their money back if there have been no cancer claims at maturity. Earlier this month, we launched Vita - Song Lac Quan (Vita - Live Optimistically), a comprehensive product that protects the entire family against 111 critical illnesses within one policy. Generali’s products are popular in the market thanks to these outstanding features.

With regard to technologies and services, 2018 was a very productive year with many successful key projects. The year started off well with the partnership with Payoo to leverage their expansive network of over 5,000 convenience stores and supermarkets etc. all over the country for making customers’ premium payments easier. This was followed by several “revolutionary” digital service apps such as GenClaims, which allows customers to submit a claim request within five minutes, GenPay, which offers a convenient, safe way to handle customers’ cash payments via agents, GenVita, a one-stop shop that allows customers to manage their policies and related transactions online, and Genova, a “3-in-1” app for the sales force that allows a “paperless” sales process all the way from prospecting/lead management and sales illustrations to e-submission and instant acceptance. All share the same purpose of providing convenience and safety to our customers and distributors.

What are some of the key highlights in Generali Vietnam’s 2019 strategy?

Generali Vietnam will continue to focus on growing our key distribution channels, continuously improving our products and services, and accelerating our digital transformation.

To further develop our distribution network nationwide, we will continue to expand our agency channel with the implementation of project ROAR (Recruitment, Onboarding, Activation, Retention). This is one of the largest strategic projects to date and aims to build strong agency forces in Generali’s Asia operations, including Vietnam. Besides agency, we also aim to expand our bancassurance business with existing bank partners and acquire new ones, including exclusive relationships.

With regard to products, we aim to have a comprehensive product portfolio with all major product categories, including traditional products, universal life, unit-linked, and other health and protection products in order to meet customers’ diverse demands. 2019 will be a very busy year for our product development team.

Digital transformation will always be a strategic priority for Generali Vietnam. We are preparing to distribute a number of products via our e-commerce partners and on GenVita, our own digital ecosystem. We plan to add a number of practical and exciting features on GenVita, especially those related to health and wellness. We are also developing GenLink, another digital ecosystem for agents and distribution partners. Though it will certainly be a very busy year with new projects to be delivered, we will not lose sight of a very important task, which is to promote the effective use of those systems and applications already launched recently. Only by doing that can we maximize our strength in technology in improving business operations and better serve our customers.

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