BUILDING A SECURE FUTURE

Qatar 2019 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

Beema is the leading takaful insurance company in Qatar and it continues to maintain that position by introducing new products, catering to SMES, and focusing on customer satisfaction.

Nasser Bin Rashid Al Misnad
BIOGRAPHY
Having graduated from the University of South Wales, UK with a degree in business management, Nasser Bin Rashid Al Misnad began his career with Qatar Insurance Company, where he assumed key positions over the span of 11 years within various departments including retail, property and risks, marine, and motor claims, eventually working his way up to being Deputy CEO to Damaan Islamic Insurance Company-Beema, in January 2013, one of Qatar’s fastest-growing, sharia-compliant insurance providers.

Qatar Insurance Company (QIC) is one of the founding members of Beema. What does it mean for your operations to have such a strong backup?

Beema was founded in 2009 as a fully sharia-compliant private closed Qatari shareholding insurance company. QIC is the only insurer among the stakeholders of Beema, and it assisted by transferring its key staff to help operate Beema. For example, our deputy CEO, COO, a few other key staff members, and I were transferred from QIC to Beema. We brought a wealth of experience that has helped Beema continue its operations professionally and seamlessly from day one. Beyond that, there is no assistance from QIC from a business point of view. The other founders of Beema include other Qatari flagship companies, including Qatar Islamic Bank, Masraf Al Rayan, Barwa Real Estate, and Q-Invest.

With such a competitive environment for insurance companies in Qatar, how do you work to stand out?

We have established our own priorities and have managed to become the leading takaful insurance company in Qatar in terms of policyholder's assets, at more than QAR660 million (USD181.255 million). We reached this position in 2013 and have remained on top since then. We have developed our own strategies and introduced new products to the market, which is part of our success. At present, Beema is well positioned to capitalize on the government's special attention to SMEs because it has been catering to this segment fairly intensively. We stand out among the rest of the competition. We focus constantly on improving the services to our client. In fact, a customer can buy insurance or lodge a claim over the phone without coming to our office and pay premiums using our payment link. We have also introduced retail-focused products such as individual life insurance or insurance for caravans, among others. The retail sector in the country is nowhere near fully tapped and still has scope for more innovative products, on which Beema is working.

How do you expect the sharia-compliant insurance market to evolve in Qatar in comparison to the non-sharia compliant market?

Sharia-compliant insurance companies have their own niche market share, and it is still evolving. Beema is the number-one takaful insurer in Qatar with gross written premiums (GWP) worth QAR324 million (USD88.98 million) in 2017, and we are likely fourth among all the insurers in Qatar. The advantage of being a takaful insurer is that you can approach both conventional and takaful clients, whereas conventional insurers cannot approach a client that requires takaful products.

What is Beema's outlook for the year ahead?

2019 looks positive. With the FIFA 2022 World Cup coming up, we expect many activities, mainly in the non-hydrocarbon sector, and it will reflect on our business for years to come. Having said that, we have to stay focused and approach 2019 strategically. Beema will move to a new location in Lusail at Energy City, a flourishing part of Doha that will draw a great deal of attention before, during, and after the World Cup. In addition, we will also continue to work to innovate in the local market and bring in new products that can cover new needs.