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 big opportunity for us to develop. The individual penetration in Colombia is low; hence, we believe we have great opportunity to make an important impact.
How does BMI see its role in the development of the market from a consumer perspective? How will it leverage its experience as an international market leader to develop the insurance market?
The company has been more than 45 years working and focus in individual products, protecting Life and Health of the people. We want to bring that experience to Colombia. We are specialized in these products and it is a major opportunity to develop this market in Colombia. Colombia needs more companies focused in Life Insurance to develop the personal market.
What lead to the decision to start a new company instead of acquiring something existing?
The process to acquire 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 a lot of 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 role do you hope Colombia will play in BMI's global portfolio?
Each market where BMI is, has good experiences for Colombia as Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Ecuador. The Ecuadorian market is a good example as a blueprint for our operations. We are going to take the experiences from there and grow in the Colombian market similar to how we are there, but we hope only faster. In five years, we would like to be in the same places as Ecuador, that is our goal to developed the personal market.
What other international markets is BMI looking to expand to in the near future?
For now, Mexico and El Salvador are the closest.
What do you consider to be the potential for new players entering the insurance market in Colombia vs. other markets BMI is looking to expand into?
For BMI, Colombia has one of the best markets in the region for developing insurance products. The low penetration, respect to the GDP, the positive perspectives in terms of economic and political stability make Colombia as a good market to developed and invest.
What is your strategy to capture a market share in the market segment that BMI is targeting?
We are working on three strategies in a short term. First, we have to do a lot to positioning the brand in the Colombian Market as a Personals Insurance Companies. Second, we need to develop the 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 in BMI's strategy. Third, we need to design products that cater to the customer's needs. The base are 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 of course in 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 like in Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. We have developed efficient processes and we 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 of course the best sales force. We are focus to develop the different skills of the people, focus in customer service and efficient processes as our promise of value. In 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, what is our promise of value.
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 like health and life, we hope BMI is the answer.