Aviva spells out clear plans for growth in Vietnam market

Friday, Jun 21, 2019 08:00

Paul George Nguyen, CEO of Aviva Vietnam.

Despite being a recent entrant in the Vietnamese life insurance market, Aviva’s origins can be traced back to over 320 years ago and it now operates in 14 markets with more than 33 million customers across the globe. Viet Nam News reporter Thu Ngan spoke to Paul George Nguyen, Aviva Vietnam’s CEO, to find out about the market outlook and the company’s plans for growth.

The General Statistics Department has reported double digit growth for the insurance industry in the first quarter of this year. How did your company fare?

The insurance market was positive in the first months of 2019. Revenues from premium in the first quarter of this year increased by 17 per cent compared to the same quarter last year, with life insurance premiums growing by 23 per cent, which are promising indicators of a good year ahead for the Vietnamese insurance market.

Contributing to the market’s expansionary trend, Aviva Vietnam recorded a growth rate of 56 per cent in 2018, making it one of the fastest growing life insurers. In 2019 the company has continued its dynamic performance, achieving remarkable growth in the first half.

What advantages does Aviva have over Vietnamese and other foreign insurance companies?

Despite being a latecomer, Aviva Vietnam has many advantages that differentiate it from other competitors. One of the key assets is our heritage of over 320 years of experience and status as one of the most developed financial institutions in the world. As for the growth potential, Southeast Asia is the sweet spot with a majority of young population, low insurance penetration and the increasing rise of the middle class. Aviva has always considered Viet Nam a strategic market and consistently invested here to grow the business and enhance the technological foundation.

Aviva Vietnam’s unique strength consists of a strong distribution network including the exclusive partnership with VietinBank through one of the biggest bancassurance tie-ups in the market, and the rapid expansion of its agency channel across the nation. Supporting the distribution channels is a large team of young, dedicated back-office staff with great enthusiasm and innovativeness. We believe that with deep “glocal” (global and local) know-how, strong financial standing, an efficient technological platform, and a talented team, we can deliver good products and service while acquiring the trust of Vietnamese customers.

With your long experience in insurance, where do you see the Vietnamese market headed?

Recent years have witnessed a steady growth of more than 30 per cent in Vietnamese life insurance market and in my perspective the growth prospects for this market are even better in the near future. Many factors can be counted as the basis for this potential, like the increase in Vietnam’s economic capability and therefore the emergence of a middle class.

Besides, Viet Nam is on the fast track to global integration in terms of technology and modern media advancement, which raise people’s awareness of insurance and financial products. Moreover, the insurance market nowadays provides a diverse and creative product portfolio to meet customers’ various needs and expectations. All of these paint a promising picture for the growth of life insurance in Viet Nam in the years to come.

What do you think about the M&A trends in the industry?

M&A in life insurance has exploded recently with some noticeable deals. However, considering the fact that almost all reputed local insurers have completed their search for suitable foreign partners, I don’t think M&A will continue to be a ubiquitous trend in the market.

Insurers in Viet Nam are focusing on technology to provide better services to customers. How does your company focus on technology?

One of our strategies is to go digital efficiently. We will apply this strategy to every critical function of the company, including distribution and customer care. We are going to continue to invest heavily in technology to handle many more sophisticated demands from customers in today’s digital era.

Aviva Vietnam is partnering with the Vietnam Red Cross in different CSR initiatives.

Our company aims to become one of the leading life insurers in Viet Nam by 2020 with a fully technology-integrated platform, offering premium customer service as well as delivering ultimate convenience and a seamless experience to our customers from end to end.

Data from the Viet Nam Insurance Association shows that less than 10 per cent of the population has life insurance. How does Aviva prepare to capitalise on this opportunity?

Besides its consistent investment in technology, the company will also focus on research to enhance solutions that help deliver more suitable products and services to Vietnamese families.

In order to achieve this goal, we are focused on growing our distribution channels with the aim of creating many more support and approachable touch points for our customers. With the bancassurance model with VietinBank, we are confident that Aviva’s products are distributed through the network of the leading financial institution in Viet Nam. Meanwhile, the company is also focusing on expanding the traditional agency channel by opening 12 sales offices around the country in 2019.

Product-wise, we have recently introduced to the market a brand-new whole life universal product called Aviva - Chon An Vui. This is an optimal insurance solution that combines long-term protection and savings, helping customers lead a happy life with a holistic financial protection plan against risks. We strongly believe this is one of the best whole life universal products available in the market at the moment.

What are your strategies to make Aviva one of the top life insurance companies in Vietnam?

We are proud to have a talented, professional and experienced workforce, which has the enthusiasm to build Aviva Vietnam into one of the leading insurance companies in terms of products and services, worthy of the trust that customers have placed in us.

In addition to the strategy of focusing on people, the strategy of investing in technology, expanding the distribution network and improving the quality of services and products are important steps for the company to continue growing strongly in future. — VNS

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