THE HOLISTIC APPROACH

Kazakhstan 2017 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Amina Kassymova, CEO of Kazakhmys Insurance Company (KMIC), on growth amidst recession, expansion into new sectors, and finding quality in a country full of quantity.

Amina Kassymova
BIOGRAPHY
Amina Kassymova graduated from the Kazakh State Academy of Management with a degree in accounting and audit. After graduation, she worked in various positions in the banking sector through 2011. In 2016, she was awarded the medal EnbekDanky and “25 years of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan,” which was established by the decree of the head of state. She is currently the CEO of KMIC.

KMIC was able to almost double its income in 2015 compared to 2014 during the peak of the recession. What was the key to this success?

The principle of our company is to meet customers' needs, regardless of the internal and external market situations. That is why the world economic crisis was not the starting point in the search for reserves; it was the reason for developing a new strategy, which included creating new insurance products, optimizing the agent network, improving business processes within the company, and formulating a competent investment policy. An integrated approach to the problem allowed our company to not only remain stable in such an unstable economic situation, but also to move to an entirely new level of development.

What are your expansion plans in terms of including new sectors to the portfolio?

Currently, we have gone through the stage of expansive development and our priority is to improve the quality of provided services over the quantity. At the same time, we are not ready to stop there. Expanding the product line, reducing the time for application processes for corporate customers, and developing an attractive diversified portfolio for shareholders are the main directions in the development of the company that will be implemented. Today, we have representative offices in 22 locations in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The main objective of the company is to strengthen its position and become a reliable insurer.

How do you plan to move from quantity to quality?

In order to achieve this goal, we intend to improve insurance activity in several ways. Moreover, there are modern technologies and new developments in IT and customer service using modern techniques. Thus, our company excelled in the market and the proof of this is being ranked second in the general collection of insurance premiums in the market. We have developed a balanced reinsurance structure that allows our customers to be confident in their choices, because 90% of the portfolio is reinsured in the companies with a rating of A- or higher. Our partners include Lloyd, Hannover Re, Munich Re, Allianz Switzerland, ACE European Group Limited, AIG, and Swiss Re. At the moment, the company is a leader of insuring cargo, property, and air transport, and we intend not only to hold on to, but also to improve the trust of our clients and partners. Our portfolio includes a large number of enterprises that are the real engines of our economy, such as mining and processing industries, power-producing companies, financial institutions, oil sector companies, and international companies that represent their interests not only in our country but around the world. That is why our company will do its best to ensure every customer is satisfied with the quality of our service and the services we provide.

Why is it important to be insured in troubled times, and how do insurance companies raise awareness of the need to insure business in such times?

Insuring life and property of citizens has been a common practice in developed countries for a number of years. At present, this topic remains open in our country, because the share of insurance in GDP barely passes the 0.47% mark. Understanding the importance of the role of insurance companies in improving the culture of the Kazakhstani society, we regularly conduct campaigns aimed at explaining to potential clients the importance of insurance in the age of financial market instability. The main drive of the current market is compulsory insurance and property insurance. However, in the future our company predicts a transition to total coverage of all segments and trends of the market. In particular, the focus is on increasing the level of education of the insurance business community. The company is not one person; it is a whole society that the head of the company is responsible for. Insurance can protect a company from interruptions in production due to broken equipment, environmental risks, and more.