No one knows what the future holds, all one can do is put plans in place to get the most from life. But no matter how well we plan, life does not always go the way we want. So, it is important to have the right protection in place. The right insurance policies can help protect the assets and save money for a better future.
AXA Insurance Indonesia, a part of the AXA Group as one of the largest insurance and asset management companies in the world, is committed to serve people at every stage of life. AXA operates with a focus on Life, Health, General Insurance, and asset management through various distribution channels to protect people and their assets.
Today, with the support of AXA’s global expertise, AXA Insurance continues to be in the forefront, innovating the extension of Health and General insurance products and services for its customers in Indonesia. Through 10 marketing offices in 8 major cities, also workshop partners in 72 cities, AXA Insurance always strives to provide the highest quality of service to its customers.
The CEO Views team interacted with Laurent Bourson, CEO of AXA Insurance Indonesia to gain a detailed insight into the company.
CEO Views: Can you take us through the journey of AXA Insurance Indonesia right from its beginning to the point where it unwaveringly stands today? What milestones have you achieved along the journey?
Laurent Bourson: Without going back too far in time, AXA Group was established, as it is today, with few major successive mergers and acquisitions of some reputable insurance companies in France, in Europe, in the US, as well as in Asia–Pacific. This was the first history of AXA existence in Asia in the mid–90s.
In Indonesia, AXA and Bank Mandiri, following their successful first joint-venture in Life insurance, decided to reiterate with the acquisition of one local General Insurance company named PT Asuransi Dharma Bangsa in 2011. On one side, PT Bank Mandiri (Persero) Tbk was the largest state-owned bank in Indonesia, and AXA was one of the largest insurance companies in the world. With two strong brands as one, the new company, named PT Mandiri AXA General Insurance, was initially focused on bancassurance channel.
In 2019, the company had the opportunity to expand its distribution model to other partners by the acquisition and merger with another AXA company called PT Asuransi AXA Indonesia. And not so long ago, in July 2023, we rebranded ourselves into PT AXA Insurance Indonesia, or AXA Insurance, to reflect well our current business model.
CEO Views: So now the rebranding has been done, what do you have in plan?
Laurent Bourson: I strongly believe that insurance in Indonesia has got so much potential. Even more, and despite the weakened global economy, Indonesia macro–economic indicators show strong fundamentals with a GDP continuously growing, +5.1% YoY in 2023, and inflation contained below 3%. With 270 million population, of which c.50% are below 35 years–old, and an insurance penetration rate below 2%, I see a great opportunity to accelerate our penetration on retail and SME businesses, by providing improved insurance protection to Indonesian people, aligned with our ambition to ‘make life safer, fairer, and more inclusive‘.
In this context, earlier this year, AXA Insurance introduced our promise called ‘AXA Mudah‘ (‘easy‘ in Bahasa) as we want insurance to be easy for our customers and business partners. We also unveiled our new innovative product range ‘Smart Series, which will be launched progressively among our distribution channels.
CEO Views: Can you please shed some light on to the range of products and solutions that the company offers?
Laurent Bourson: Over the past years, AXA Insurance has been building a well–balanced portfolio of products (P&C retail, P&C commercial and Health) leveraging its multi–channel distribution model, including banks and multi–finance partners, agencies, brokers as well as B2B2C and B2C digital solutions.
AXA Insurance provides comprehensive insurance protection for our individual and business customers, in particular: Mobility (cars, motorcycles, travel, personal accident) and Lifestyle (home, gadget protection, pet), for individuals, Property, Marine Cargo, Construction, Business Interruption for SME and corporate businesses. Health protection (inpatient and outpatient) is also a significant line of business with domestic and international coverage.
In the digital era, AXA Insurance has been also introducing a wide range of digital services, giving easy access to insurance protection. As such, Mobility and Lifestyle products and services can be obtained through our e-commerce platform, namely ‘AXA myPage’ (mypage.axa.co.id), while claims can be submitted and tracked easily and conveniently in ‘Emma’, virtual assistant available 24×7 at www.axa.co.id.
CEO Views: Currently, innovation has become more of a need. How does your company drive innovation?
Laurent Bourson: Successful innovation depends upon a good understanding of customer needs and extensive communication with all our partners. In AXA Insurance, we want to build Care and Trust with our partners and customers. As a result, we have been delivering innovations continuously as we are committed to serve a benchmark for our end–to–end customer and distributor journeys.
Starting with a product range recently revamped for individuals, micro–SME and SMEs, and completed by new digital solutions such as our e–commerce platform ‘AXA myPage‘ and our virtual assistant ‘Emma‘ for claim service handling.
Few weeks ago, we also unveiled, supported be our partner AXA Climate, a new parametric insurance solution for farmers, protecting them against unfavourable weather conditions.
And you will see in the coming months, AXA Insurance will continue to unveil new insurance protection and technical solutions for the benefits of our customers and partners: ‘Future shouldn’t be a risk‘ for anybody anymore!
From a personal view, being successful often means learning from those who have already achieved their goals.
CEO Views: What are the biggest technological impacts that are significant in your sector? How does your company make use of these technological trends to deliver the best outcome?
Laurent Bourson: New technologies have already impacted our business and will continue to do so, even further, in the coming years.
As we are committed to put our customer experience as our top priority, we have digitalised our flagship products. Sales through new technology started to make a significant contribution to the company’s revenue. It is progressing well. Until mid–2023, we recorded double–digit growth for digital insurance purchases compared to the previous year.
On the other hand, we built a digital-based claim service to allow faster and easier claim submission by our customers. In addition, we introduced a breakthrough for digital car claims surveys using video calls, so customers can stay safe and comfortable at home.
Indeed, going forward, we will continue to improve our customer journey through our accelerated digital transformation. As such, our teams are working hard on cloud computing, advanced data analytics, the adoption of Al in our core business activities, new products for new customer needs such as EV and Cyber data protection.
CEO Views: What are the pain points in the industry? How is your team specially equipped to solve those problems?
As per the other players in the industry, COVID–19 pandemic crisis has brought new challenges, and at the same time, new opportunities to better serve our customers. Throughout the pandemic, AXA Insurance has introduced a significant number of digital services, both in insurance purchase and claim experience. Electronic insurance policies and digital claim service have been very instrumental in keeping the customers engaged. Video survey for car insurance, which we launched in 2021, has been proven effective in supporting our clients without face–to–face interaction. At the same time, we took the chance to automate our internal processes as well.
CEO Views: How would you characterize the working culture at your firm? What does it take to build a great team?
Laurent Bourson: Customer First, Integrity, Courage and One AXA, are the corporate values, being upheld strongly by all employees in the organization.
In AXA Insurance, we empower every employee to take the decision at their respective levels in the spirit to bring about the best customer and distributor experience. We are also strongly engaged on supporting and developing Indonesian people, businesses and society through our ESG policies.
CEO Views: What type of plans do you have for expanding your firm’s growth more efficiently? What type of future vision do you have for your firm?
Laurent Bourson: I would like AXA Insurance to become the preferred insurance partner for creating customer engagement, continuing to focus achieving profitable and sustainable growth.
For this purpose, we recently launched a series of new products and services, particularly through digital operations to make life safer, fairer, and more inclusive, namely ‘Smart Series‘ (SmartTravel, SmartDrive, SmartBusiness, Smart Home and soon SmartHealth) towards individual and SMEs.
We will continue to innovate from a product and service perspective, through digital transformation, as we want to be ‘AXA Mudah”easy to do business with, continue to protect our customers to face new emerging risks and be exemplary from a social and environment sustainability point of view.
CEO Views: What are your thoughts and advice for budding entrepreneurs and emerging business leaders?
Laurent Bourson: From a personal view, being successful often means learning from those who have already achieved their goals. Having a mentor is an amazing blessing. People who enjoy taking on new challenges and acquiring new skills can lead a venture from the start-up stage to market dominance. We have a responsibility to ourselves and to the people who depend on them to understand what fulfils and frustrates ourselves personally. So, challenge yourself, believe, and keep learning that the tips for being a great leader.