Hanwha Life Insurance is speeding up its overseas business based on thorough localization strategies.
For example, the insurer has recently landed in the Indonesian market for the first time as a Korean insurance company. It held an opening ceremony for PT. Hanwha Life Insurance Indonesia on October 24 to expand its business in the country.
Indonesia, the fourth most populated country in the world, has recorded an annual economic growth rate of as high as 6% during the past five years, despite the global financial recession, capitalizing on its large domestic market and abundant natural resources. The insurance market of the Southwestern Asian country is expected to post 6.3% growth this year, too. At present, 47 insurers are doing business there, and foreign insurers’ market share almost amounts to 50%.
Hanwha Life Insurance’s main target customers there are middle-income earners between 30 and 50 years of age, and its product lineup includes not just variable insurance but also education and group health insurance products. The idea is to better penetrate the market of the country characterized by high educational zeal and high interest in employee welfare. In short, Hanwha’s top priority in overseas business is complete localization.
It is using the same strategy as during the course of opening up the Chinese and Vietnamese insurance markets. Its joint venture in China was established as a fully localized firm, and has worked on participating and investment-type products suiting the needs of the people. Likewise, its overseas corporation in Vietnam is staffed with almost 150 locals, including the chief commercial officer, financial managers, senior chartered accountants and the like. Only three Koreans are working there. They are well versed in the insurance and financial market environments of Vietnam and can easily communicate and bond with the life planners, contributing greatly to the organizational competitiveness of the company.
“Our penetration of the Indonesian market has further shored up Hanwha’s business network in Asia,” said managing director Hyeon Jeong-seop, head of the Indonesian corporation. He added, “We will contribute to the development of the Indonesian insurance industry by means of tailored products and marketing strategies while striving to attain our goal of joining the top 15 within 10 years.”
Hanwha Life Insurance has already opened its branches in Jakarta, Surabaya, and Medan. It is planning to set up five more branches before the end of next year, and then expand its network to other adjacent cities and nationwide. “More than 1,000 life planners will be working with us in 2014 and later, and, once the personal insurance business takes root, we will diversify our products to cover bancassurance, TM, etc.,” director Hyeon explained.