Q: Could you describe Amana Takaful’s operations?
A: Amana Takaful has been in busi- ness for more than two decades and is generally regarded as a niche player in the insurance sector.
Our portfolio easily competes with any in the market; so we’re looking to extend our reach by raising awareness of the Amana Takaful brand.
Over the last year, we focussed on building the right platform for prof- itable growth. This placed the compa- ny on an innovative transformation journey with a versatile management team bringing in industry expertise while re-engineering processes with customers’ best interests at heart.
To this end, we recently introduced a new slogan – ‘To every Sri Lankan. As one.’ We consider this to be a pow- erful message that will resonate well with all Sri Lankans.
Q: What measures can business- es such as yours take to weather the COVID-19 crisis?
A: While the pandemic may have disrupted the sector, there were many opportunities to grow. Amana Takaful aims to weather this crisis by listening to customers. Insurance may not be high on their list of prior- ities but it is a necessary service so we must bridge that gap.
Similar to the overall economy, our general insurance busi- ness faced many restrictions. But COVID-19 also helped Sri Lankans realise the need to insure their belongings and businesses.
Life insurance was also affected as it’s viewed as a lifestyle service. The lockdowns significantly limited our agents’ ability to find new business. However, its importance also became more apparent, and people have been more interested in and inquisitive about life insurance solutions.
We focussed on building on these opportunities with a positive mindset rather than lingering on the general negativity that engulfed society dur- ing the pandemic. This attitude had a domino effect on our customers. We believe that as a player in the business of managing risk, this positive reas- surance should be an essential quality.
Q: What are the company’s medium-term priorities?
A: Our priorities include expanding sales and driving growth in the next few years. We’re also focussing on technological developments to improve our service delivery above market standards.
We took stock of the general insur- ance business following a difficult 2019. This involved reducing over- head costs and pursuing profitable business options. These strategic shifts over the last year paid divi- dends as our performance improved. Insurance is service oriented so we’ve looked at how we interact with customers and reevaluated key per- formance indicators – and we aim to become the quickest to settle claims.
The brand refresh indicates this focus on customer satisfaction.
As for life insurance, we’re focuss- ing on expanding our distribution capacity and improving productivity, through recruitment and upskilling. We aim to be dominant in this seg- ment before venturing into the open market. To this end, we upgraded our offering in line with the market.
Q: In your view, what would the market lack without Amana Takaful’s offering?
A: We aim to offer the best service for all customers, holding people friendly and ethical practices close to our hearts. And we strive for innova- tive excellence in developing novel solutions that cater to different seg- ments of Sri Lankan society.
All in all, Amana Takaful stands for protecting customers in an ethical and people friendly business model.