To what elements of the company do you attribute your high growth rate?
We have all lines here. We have the motor line, credit line, PNC, and life business. That is our biggest line followed closely by motor. Our portfolio is healthy because we have certified underwriters, and we do not have anybody who is lacking experience. For our claims, we have engineers. We need to make sure what we pay in claims is done correctly so we have engineers handle it in our motor area. We have more than $33 million in our motor portfolio. We have around seven or eight mechanical engineers in our claims department to make sure we are doing the process right. We have the support of the founder of this company, QIC, which has huge technical capabilities. This has helped the company to grow operationally.
Do you expect your balance of offerings to change?
It has already changed in the past two years. We have diversified and improved all of our lines. Some of the lines, like property and commercial, have increased 100%. Balancing the portfolios has been one of main objectives recently. By the end of this year, the ratios will have changed compared to last year.
How has online insurance developed for Beema?
We were the second insurance company in the market to offer online insurance options. We offer it in motor renewal, TPA, damage, travel insurance, and home insurance. We had sales of about $1.65 million last year just for online and in 1Q2015 our sales are already up around 37%. We are really encouraging this part of our business.
How competitive is the Islamic insurance market in Qatar?
We try to compete in sales, and sales are the benchmark of our strategy. We do not compete on rates but there are people who prefer to come to an Islamic institution. Our services are fast and easy to use, which is why our annual rotations is at 50% in retail and PNC, and in other lines is more than 95%. It is easy to compete in motor and retail especially and, even though a lot of people who buy cars insure them fully, the car will lose value and so insuring that part is much cheaper. Because of that, rotations are much lower, but if we look at a third party maybe we will find that it is more. There are a lot of players in the market. In QFC, there are more than 26 companies and so the only way to stand out is on the service level. Insurance is a service industry. We focus on that and make sure we deliver exactly what the customer wants.
Takaful products are an interesting part of the market. Can you comment on how well developed Qatar's takaful market is?
We have a sharia-compliance company that audits our products. It is hard to get its approval but we try to provide all the products that will help people living here in Qatar. The Islamic insurance market here is still growing and is not mature yet compared to Malaysia or Saudi Arabia. The awareness and need for sharia-compliant insurance is growing YoY. There was a recent report by KPMG that said that the takaful market is the future in the region.
Looking ahead, what are the major targets and expectations for the coming year?
We are hoping to exceed $82 million this year, and I expect that by the end of 2016 we can reach more than $100 million in contributions. There are many companies in the market and the only way to stand is out is by developing new products and ideas. One of these products we have already released this year and it has gotten a good response. And throughout the rest of the year we will introduce more products. Of course, our geography will expand within Qatar. Right now, we have three branches outside the country and we are planning to spread more throughout Qatar. We do not want to compete with the same products that other people have. We want to differentiate ourselves. If you have a product no one else has and you lead in that, you will eventually be followed and be successful.