SOCIAL SERVICES

Iran 2017 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Majid Safdari, CEO of MA Insurance Company, on its various activities, introducing innovation to the market, and its key differentiators.

Majid Safdari
BIOGRAPHY
Majid Safdari is the CEO of MA Insurance Company. Prior to joining MA Insurance, he held several senior management positions at Iran Moein, Iran Insurance Company, and Alborz Insurance Company. Safdari holds a master’s degree in business management and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He has experience teaching at the university level and is the author of five books on chemistry and one on liability insurance.

What was the motivation behind the establishment of MA Insurance in 2011?

MA Insurance was established with the purpose of creating trust, peace, and confidence for all parts of society and the economy. Cross selling and financial supermarkets are growing in industrial risk insurance (IRI). Value creation for customers has a special position in Iran's economic system. Iran pays special attention to the banking, insurance, bourse and exchange, leasing, and investment securities sectors. The purpose of its establishment was to create reliability for different sectors of the economy such as industry, agriculture, and service producers. MA Insurance has a market share of almost 1.5% with more than 700,000 insured. In life insurance, MA Insurance even has a market share of 9%. With the participation of Bank Mellat we give a range of different services to our customers such as mortgages, fire insurance, property coverage insurance, oil and gas insurance, and commercial insurance. Our company provides services to all types of businesses such as entities, agents and brokers, corporations, and individuals.

How do you bring innovation to the market?

One of our innovative services has been designing social liability insurance for the Iranian leopard. The Iranian Leopard Insurance covers liability insurance for farmers and villagers and also the leopard itself. Unfortunately, it is an endangered species whose ecosystem is being destroyed, so it wanders into villages to find food and villagers used to kill them to protect their land. To solve this problem, and to stop the falling numbers of leopards, we compensate villagers' damages caused by leopards so they will stop killing them. Another innovative plan that we have designed in cooperation with Mellat Bank is the Parnian Scheme, which provides life and health insurance for women who create an account in Mellat Bank with at least a USD3,000 deposit. In the MENA conference, which was held in the UAE, we managed to stand among the seven most innovative international companies in the insurance sector. We recently participated in the Iran-German Waste Management Initiative, where we presented new schemes to German experts and announced our willingness to give services to Iranian and German companies. MA Insurance was the only Iranian insurance company invited to the conference, based on recognition for its local and international potential and capabilities. We have also received several awards for our approach.

How do you secure market share and compete with the traditional names in insurance?

Our company has a good share of the market in life and investment insurance. The reason is that we offer different options that are in high demand and have a strong IT department. Our strategy is to further develop life insurance and expand our sales networks. We have great capacities in oil, gas, and the energy sector. We have qualified staff and experts who can provide good services and increase our activities in the reinsurance section. We are there to serve our customers, so customer relationship management is a key focus, both now and in the future. Also, we are interested to learn new marketing approaches. We are seeking new ways for branding and eventually will be on the frontiers in the near future.

What are your expectations for 2017?

We expect economic growth over the next year. Our president created a friendly atmosphere seeking interactions with almost the whole world. There is a good political situation with increased international trade relations so we are looking forward to a great future for Iran. We are going to see economic growth in the year ahead, and our business is developing. Oil sales have increased and Iran managed to increase its output in OPEC. The oil price and Iran's access to modern technologies provide a good basis for growth. This will positively affect the insurance sector as well because this industry is one of the rings of development. We predict a rise in the insurance companies' income and profitability aligned with economic growth.