Can you elaborate on the company's evolution in the last 12 years and its milestones in Portugal?
This business started 12 years ago in Europe. MEDICARE saw the potential to launch a health service, and we offered a product based on the no-purchase commitment. Our customers tried our products, and if they liked it, they bought it. We catapulted the company to great success and will close 2018 with a billing of USD50 million. We have a commercial DNA; our focus is on selling, the quality of our service, and the loyalty of our customers. It is more expensive to sell products than to retain customers. We have a portfolio of 220,000 clients. We are consistent in the market. MEDICARE has many services: health for people, animals, health food products, and car insurance. We are a versatile company with different products that meet all the needs of people today.
MEDICARE recently launched insurance products for the automotive segment. What was behind this decision, and how have the results been so far?
MEDICARE did an 18-month study to identify a business area with strong growth possibilities and identified the automotive sector as poorly serviced and in need of a different product. We thus decided to launch an innovative product in Portugal. It is not an insurance service, but a discount product. MEDICARE does not cover the risks of insurance; however, we look for people who offer services like clinics and hospitals. MEDICARE has over 200,000 clients, and we offer them our clients in exchange for great discounts. We guide our clients to those services. We have agreements with the best providers of health or car services. The clients pay a monthly service fee, though we do not have any internal financial connection with the provider. We merely channel our clients to the best discounts.
The company started its internationalization process in 2014 with Spain, Angola, and Brazil. How is each market evolving?
Spain is a difficult market. We faced some initial setbacks because healthcare is excellent there. The fact that our company was Portuguese did not benefit our entry into the market, and the results were not the same as in Portugal. We had a smaller investment, though we sought to make sure we did not lose any opportunities to serve in Spain. In Portugal, there are more than 50 products like MEDICARE, although they are smaller, and there are also similar products in Spain. We want to consolidate our current businesses overseas. Our focus is on maintaining what we have already built. Spain and Portugal are extremely important for us, and Angola will also be important.
What is your strategy to attract and retain the best human talent?
MEDICARE is attentive to human talent and seeks to make everyone in the company feel that they are differentiating elements. I want them to feel satisfied with the firm. We typically work with human resources companies, and they bring us the employees. We have an inbound and outbound contact center. We have a great deal of internal work in these areas. If we have a specific career path, we contact the universities, and they send us students. We have many internship programs. We want employees to see the company as a place where their careers can grow; therefore, we have programs that allow interns to experience different departments, allowing them to understand the different areas, the synergies between departments, and their possible career paths. This is a strategy to retain our talent.
What are your goals for 2019?
We are focused on the final customer; we are on the internet and are on television daily selling our products. We are very close to our customers through our ambassadors and other forms of communication.