#16 | Vietnam and a strong transformation in the digital economy – Guest Dr. Chen, Vice President of Qualcomm
After two years of appointing Phuong Tien Minh as the first Vietnamese CEO, Prudential Vietnam set out to innovate through the complete digitization of the insurance industry’s internal operations and approach to external customers. At The Next Power Talk show, the CEO said that 80% of insurance claims were automatically handled by Prudential and suitable insurance solutions were designed based on user data analysis on the application of remote healthcare.
The episode 7 of the talk show “The Next Power” produced by S-World and VnExpress aired on June 23 is a conversation between the host “shark” Truong Ly Hoang Phi – IBP’s Chairwoman & CEO and Prudential Vietnam’s CEO – Phuong Tien Minh – The first Vietnamese CEO of the leading financial and insurance group with headquarters in the UK and has been present in Vietnam for nearly 30 years.
In 2020, when businesses and the society faced unprecedented difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report by the Insurance Supervision Administration (Ministry of Finance), insurance companies had paid Insurance benefits totaled VND 48,223 billion, an increase of 11.4 percent over the same period in 2019, and are regarded as a “safe financial shield against risks.”
On the other hand, insurance companies themselves invested VND 460,457 billion back into the economy in 2020, a 22 percent increase over the same period in 2019 and a 22.24 percent increase over the previous year.
“Despite the pandemic, the life insurance industry can still grow. The biggest challenge for us is to come up with a strategy that focuses on customers, not on distribution,” Mr. Minh shared at The Next Power. “The market share problem is not as important as the solution problem for the benefit of customers.”
The form of selling insurance products through the banking distribution channel (bancassurance) is not new in the world, but has only been present in Vietnam for the past 5-6 years and shown outstanding advantages.
A statistic from Yuanta on 17 listed banks showed that bancassurance accounted for an average of 37% of the total fee income of banks in 2021. Also during this period, Prudential obtained insurance distribution revenue through banking channels. ranked first in the market.
However, the situation in which the insurance consulting team at consulting banks did not meet the needs of customers persists, causing people to be troubled and frustrated. As a leader with 13 years of experience in the banking industry, Mr. Minh assessed that the form of distribution through banks is at a good time of development, but there will be stability in the coming time to ensure the customers’ demands are served better.
“When looking at the life insurance industry, people think that this is very old and outdated” said Mr. Minh. “When it is in such danger, I think it is necessary to turn to the most basic values of the life insurance industry, which is for people and all the focus is on people.”
The CEO said that compared to the banking industry, insurance products, although directly related to the needs of consumers, are still quite confusing. In other words, it is said to be difficult to remember and advise.
Vietnam has more than 98 million people, of which 65% are of working age, however, the Ministry of Finance said that only about 10% of people have life insurance.
“For me it is a pressure to help our people have more insurance products or have better protection solutions” the CEO shared.
Accordingly, simplifying products as well as minimizing the insurance purchase and payment process is considered one of the crucial tasks of Prudential as well as of many companies in the industry over the years.
More importantly, Mr. Minh said that changing the way to serve customers needs to come from changing employees. Starting from the ideological front, with the advantage of being the first Vietnamese CEO, Mr. Minh actively exchanged and shared so that employees and partners could understand and find a common voice.
Then, to motivate the Prudential team to change for new ideas, the company encourages people to do wrong, even to honor those who do it wrong every 3 months or 6 months.
“There is no greater happiness for employees than their changes have a positive impact on customers. It is a balance between two sides,” said Mr. Minh.
In Vietnam, Prudential established an “Innovative house” consisting of a group of 5-6 young people who are knowledgeable about customers, energetic and capable of implementing and verifying the effectiveness of new ideas sent from any department of the company.
Prudential Asia also established a “hothouse” for Prudential from all countries to meet monthly via Zoom to deploy new ideas across countries.
“The most distinctive feature of this house is that it is empowered to make decisions,” Mr. Minh shared at The Next Power. “There is a misconception that innovations lead to good results, but that is not true. My view is that a right is a wrong when we try our best.”
The insurance industry in general and Prudential in particular are making efforts in many different ways to help customers in “claiming easily”. This work requires companies to apply innovative methods related to digital, digital data to increase convenience for customers.
CEO Prudential Vietnam said the company uses artificial intelligence to ensure that 80% of the cases that customers contact to request insurance benefits are done online and automatically. In addition to a network of more than 350 transaction points, Prudential customers can also choose the PRUOnline customer portal or Prudential Vietnam website on Zalo application whenever and wherever for faster and easier procedures.
“I want Prudential to become a Google of the insurance industry, smooth and bring such good experiences, then we can develop the life insurance industry well,” Mr. Minh shared.
This smooth experience is placed by Prudential in a larger ecosystem with a “trial” of telehealth – Telemedicine through the Pulse by Prudential mobile app launched in Vietnam in 2020. The app helps users talk to their doctor, ask for advice on simple health issues, or join an organized exercise routine or check out their diet.
The solution helps customers become familiar with insurance applications, from which, insurance companies also have data to provide deeper insights into customers and provide more suitable products and services.
An internal system is also being changed, repaired, digitized, and automated under the Pulse platform. Each customer will be personalized instead of using one method for all customers.
Minh revealed at The Next Power that around the end of this year or early next year, all the behind-the-scenes innovation and digitization will begin to be widely deployed and proven effective.
CEO Phuong Tien Minh emphasized: “I do not focus on that innovation for advertising purposes. I don’t see it as a marketing strategy, I see it as a long-term strategy.”
To contribute to motivating businesses in this long-term transformation, The Next Power will continue to bring inspirational conversations with guests and two hosts Truong Ly Hoang Phi – former CEOof Vintech City ( Vingroup), Founder cum Chairwoman and CEO of IBP and Le Tri Thong – Vice Chairman and CEO of Phu Nhuan Jewelry Joint Stock Company (PNJ).
The experience and knowledge of leaders of the largest businesses and corporations such as Prudential, Vietravel, PNJ, Minh Long Porcelain, Truong Thanh Furniture, etc. has been accompanying generations of Vietnamese businesses to seek “new strength” through innovation, helping the economy overcome difficult times and be ready to compete in a volatile market in the new normal.