LIFE LINE

Colombia 2019 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

Insurance products are new to the Colombian marketplace, but BMI is steadily working to increase penetration for consumer indemnity services.

Carlos Sánchez
BIOGRAPHY
Carlos Sánchez has a specialization in business administration from Universidad del Rosario, is professional in marketing from Politecnico Grancolombiano, and has other studies from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Universidad de Burgos. His 18-year career has seen him work in multinationals leading firms in the sector such as Liberty, Generali, Willis Towers Watson, as well as serving as VP of Business development for Metlife Colombia.

Why do international giants like BMI choose Colombia as the next step in their expansion?
BMI chose Colombia because it was looking for a market that has opportunity to grow. The Colombian market has a lot of potential in life and health products where BMI is focused, so this is a major opportunity for us to develop. Individual penetration in Colombia is low; hence, we believe we have great opportunity to make an important impact.

What lead to the decision to start a new company instead of acquiring something existing?
The process of acquiring businesses in Colombia is difficult and competitive. We chose to start a new company because that way we will have control from the start. The company has made it clear that we also do not want to develop any other business lines; we want to keep our focus on life and health insurance.

What is BMI going to bring to this market?
We bring the experience of more than 45 years in the Latin American market. We are leaders in Ecuador and developing markets like Costa Rica and Guatemala. We have many opportunities and characteristics in those markets that we bring to Colombia. We can leverage the capacities that we have in other markets by bringing them here.

What is your strategy to capture a market share in the market segment that BMI is targeting?
We are working on three strategies in the short term. First, we have to do a lot to position the brand in the Colombian market as a personal insurance company. Second, we need to develop an independent sales force with specialized training and excellent incentives. We are working to develop the right tools based in technology to support their business. We believe agents are fundamental to BMI's strategy. Third, we need to design products that cater to the customer's needs. The base is going to be the segments. The concept of the family and life products must be maintained and updated to take them to mass market. We have to focus on that and on the marketing strategies for the company.

What are some of the specific needs in Colombia?
We have to analyze and adapt to the local market our main strategies but in general the structures are the same as we have been working in each local market as Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala, for example. We have developed efficient processes and have to bring the best practices there and apply to Colombia.

How does BMI plan to attract and develop the best human capital?
We need to work to attract and develop the best employees and best sales force. We are focused on developing the different skills of the people, as well as customer service and efficient processes as our promise of value. On the other hand, we have an independent sales force that works for multiple companies in the market. We have to develop those strategies and tools so that they choose our company over other companies. The training, incentives that we built for them dictate if they will choose you or not. But the main strategy is to focus on service. In order to be successful, a company has to develop the best service and processes as well as technology and incentives. At the same time, it is important to train salespeople regarding what differentiates BMI and our value proposition.

What can we expect from BMI Colombia in 2019 and beyond?
I have a clear objective, to get the company to be recognized in 2019 as the specialized company in personal insurance. Whenever there is a necessity to purchase a personal policy such as health and life, we hope BMI is the answer.