Why strong human assets drive new opportunities?
Henry Ford, the legendary American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company, once said: “You can do anything if you have enthusiasm. It is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars.” This quote resonates strongly with Rassem Ktata, General Manager, Nextcare Tunisia, who strongly believes that adopting a positive mindset is a necessary and highly effective tool for success. Current global challenges require strong human capital as a prerequisite in the commitment to challenge – and overcome – major obstacles. Within Nextcare, this is exemplified by positioning human resources as a primary asset through which to pilot the company towards achieving the best results, as well as accelerating expansion into new African markets attracting the attention of insurance makers.
Conferences and meetings are back to normal, after that Covid-19 pandemic canceled most of them. What is your comment?
We lived and continued to do business through an extremely challenging, and unprecedented, period, but this is now behind us and we are getting back to ‘business as usual’ starting with Rendez-vous de Carthage. This took place in various locations: Tunisia, Sharm el Sheikh, Casablanca and the Aqaba conference, which set the tone for the GAIF 33rd conference. Events such as these are prime opportunities to renew face-to-face connections and support an industry-wide return to healthy operational levels.
The topic of GAIF 33rd conference is rolling around “The new situation and its impact on the insurance industry” … In your point of view, what are the challenges and opportunities for the Arab insurance market?
We need to examine not only the Arab insurance market but also consider the wider Middle East insurance market. The Middle East insurance market is currently valued at around US$50 million, concentrated in three main markets: United Emirates, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and are key markets that hold significant business potential.
Covid-19 provided an opportunity to accelerate the growth of the insurance market and was the catalyst for digital transformation across the sector, and across the Middle East. At Nextcare, we are continually working to maintain a comparable pace of change, embracing the latest digital technologies in order to serve our clients in the best way possible.
With the era of digitalization comes a greater degree of cyber risk. This is undoubtedly a challenge that cannot be ignored, but which can be controlled with the right systems, solutions and processes in place. In tandem, another significant challenge for the insurance market is the development of human resources, in particular existing employee training and the hiring of new talent. Nextcare is committed to human resources asset investment on a global scale. In ensuring that we hire the very best, qualified and experienced talent, we can collectively face all types of risk, whether they are cyber, or other 21st century challenges.
In this context, I am immensely proud to be part of the Nextcare family, and Allianz, which have proved that the insurance sector in our countries can not only be successful but also expand into exciting new markets. For example, we only have to look at Nextcare, which grew from its roots in Lebanon to Middle East-wide coverage, and now global insurance company status.
Has the COVID-19 pandemic changed the future parameters of the insurance sector, especially as it coincided with regional and global economic and political changes?
The pandemic taught us many lessons, and allowed us to garner invaluable knowledge and experiences. The new world in which we operate has shown us that constant improvement in all fields, at all levels, is critical.
Furthermore, I believe that new opportunities will continue to present themselves, as the ‘jobs of the future’ will be a reinvention and reimagining of what we have known to date. To be ready to thrive and grow our business even further, it is imperative that we have strong assets and a solid human capital base. We must keep one eye constantly on developing our human resources, and using digitalization to break through existing borders and establish a credible footprint in other countries.
The insurance sector in the African continent is witnessing recently positive movements and the Arab insurance sector is experiencing it through its expansion and investment in a number of African countries. What is your comment?
Africa’s youth-driven demographic, with its potential workforce productivity benefits, make it a primary market for growth opportunity; and we see a distinctive shift both in our industry and other sectors towards continent-wide opportunity.
The fact that Africa is also a fast-growing market is also attracting insurance makers’ attention; and future global economic security is contingent upon economic security for the African continent. Cognisant of this, Allianz is already ploughing significant investment into Africa and has signed a joint venture agreement with Sanlam to push forward with expansion across Africa. Nextcare’s North Africa presence is a solid platform on which to forge ahead with ongoing regional expansion plans, adding to its Middle Eastern network presence, as well as exploring other untapped opportunities in other markets.
What are the motives that encouraged you to participate in the 33rd conference of the General Arab Insurance Federation?
The GAIF 33rd conference will be held in Oran, Algeria, and represents an exciting opportunity to participate at an event that links the Arab and African markets; providing a unique opportunity for emergent companies to share their insurance products with the international insurance sector.