With a 43% share of its new life business and contributing to 18% of earnings, Asia is still a shining star for AXA globally, said Mr Jean-Louis Laurent Josi, Regional CEO of AXA Asia. In fact, Asia was one of the first regions visited by Mr Thomas Buberl, CEO of AXA Group who took over from Mr Henri de Castries who retired in September.
Upbeat on the serious business prospects in Asia and the head-office commitment to Asia even with the change in global leadership, Mr Laurent Josi, a member of the AXA Group Management Committee, said “Asia is a key focus for the group” and their target is to generate EUR900 million in profit by year 2020 from Asia ex-Japan. This is a massive jump of 60% over five years as profits from Asia amounted to EUR550 million for 2015. The aim is to outperform the market growth by 4 to 5% each year to reach a 10-12% CAGR over the next five years.
Reflecting on the distance covered by “Ambition AXA”, through its strategic plan of the past five years, he said: “We have built a leading, diversified and profitable platform in the region leveraging our unique advantage as an established composite insurer covering eight markets and 20 million customers.” The focus for the next five years is to transform the entire organisation as “the customer-centric insurer” which can “anticipate, prevent, protect and care for those we serve”. And it is part of that strategic plan to hit over 100 million customers by 2030, and by 2020, to have 35 million coming from the emerging middle class.
He is confident that they can outpace market growth through four key factors namely: leveraging on their unique partnership portfolio; reaching new customer segments; delivering more value to existing customer base and improving the business mix. Some of its key partners in the region include big names like ICBC and Tian Ping in China, Krungthai in Thailand and Bank Mandiri in Indonesia which together has a combined base of over 700 million customers in Asia. It will also partner telcos, payment banks and retailers in Indonesia, India, Thailand and the Philippines.
On the business mix, they will move towards less interest rate sensitive and more profitable products including Protection & Health, Unit Linked business in life and lifestyle products such as Home, Travel, Personal Accident and Liability on the general side, though motor is still its dominant business currently.
Education on safety and value of insurance
Part of its strategy includes taking care of customers in the real world as well educating people and society on the basic need for safety and on the value of insurance. In China, they launched a “No Belt, No Drive” road safety campaign in June 2015 across three major cities in China, namely Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, in collaboration with an NGO partner, the China Children and Teenager’s Foundation (CCTF) to educate both parents and children on the importance of wearing seat belts. Statistics then showed that 76% of cars were not equipped with car seats for children and 43% of parents held their children in their arms while travelling in cars. He said: “We continue this education in China with the AXA Drive app to bring awareness on safer driving behaviour.”
AXA Asia is a market leading insurance player offering a differentiated composite proposition in Life and General Insurance with operational presence in Hong Kong, Singapore, Indonesia, China, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.