Euroins Romania will aim to further grow and reposition on the local market through diversification of products and digital transformation, its chief executive officer Tanja Blatnik said.
"I get motivated by the complexity of a project, by passionate people from whom I keep learning every time I get the chance. I am even more determined when I hear “no, it can’t be done”, because I believe that things can be done, provided you have the right people around you, and you are driven by patience and openness," Blatnik told SeeNews in an interview for the SEE TOP 100 annual ranking.
Following is the full text of the interview:
What challenges does an expat face as CEO of a Romanian insurance company?
Romania is now part of my professional and personal path and every day I go to work, in my Bucharest office, I feel grateful for the opportunity and for this great experience. Of course, there are challenges, especially for foreigners building their businesses here and sometimes you encounter them at every step, yet I see Romania as beautiful and surprising as it can get.
From my first day as CEO of Euroins Romania, my focus was on deeply and thoroughly understanding the company, the people I work with and the local business environment. Coming from a foreign country makes little difference to me as performing at my best, together with my team of Romanian and Bulgarian colleagues, is my goal and my top priority.
Romania is a country where predictability is not a real asset, but I feel that this is a challenge worth taking up. I am passionate about the insurance industry. I have been in it for over twenty years now. I believe that insurance was invented as social help, and we, the insurance companies, are just a wheel in this machinery. I resonate with this philosophy and I am driven by the idea to help build a more secure and sustainable Romanian society, better prepared for the everyday challenges and unpredictability.
I get motivated by the complexity of a project, by passionate people from whom I keep learning every time I get the chance. I am even more determined when I hear “no, it can’t be done”, because I believe that things can be done, provided you have the right people around you, and you are driven by patience and openness.
I have learnt that facing challenges and solving the most difficult problems will also set you on the path to finding the best solutions, achieving progress and being successful.
Euroins Romania is a very important player on the Romanian insurance market, and that is why my goal here is to help further grow the company and reposition it on the local market through diversification of products and digital transformation.
What does Euroins Romania look like a year after the company’s entire management board was replaced?
In less than a year, the company has seen massive improvements from digitalisation of processes to diversification of insurance products, as well as a major decrease in complaints and faster payments combined with an important increase in the non-MTPL segment.
Other important achievements of our team are of course the new branding, the focus on improving the customer experience and the change in the company culture.
The positive results of our efforts can already be seen in the financial figures: Euroins Romania ranked first among insurance companies by gross written premiums for general insurance in the first quarter of 2022, with a market share of 23.2%.
As many as 1.2 million policies of all insurance products were sold in the first quarter, compared to 0.9 million last year, meaning the number of customers trusting Euroins increased by 36% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the first quarter of 2021.
Our optional car insurance product CASCO has the biggest sales increase in the review period, by more than 800% year-on-year. Travel, health and property insurance are also increasing more than three times.
We are moving faster than a year ago. In claims processing, the period from the submission of an applicant’s request to the date of payment was reduced by 86%. Now, the average payment on all claims is just five days, compared with 35 days in the first quarter of 2021.
This is how Euroins has changed in just one year, clearly showing the great potential of our company and our team since the journey of changes is far from over.
What were the biggest challenges for the company over the past year?
Euroins has been undergoing a very demanding recovery plan over the last year, so delivering the change, we were faced with many challenges internally. I am thankful and proud of the strong and passionate team that is daily overcoming demanding challenges.
After the bankruptcy of one of the insurance companies in Romania, our main competitor on MTPL market, many expected that an explosion of MTPL sales would massively increase the MTPL market share and thus financially weaken Euroins and destabilise the insurance market. But we sticked to our strategy, we put a strong emphasis on non-MTPL insurance in order to have a balanced portfolio and a better positioning of the company, and by doing so we contributed to a reconfiguration of the market.
In the first quarter of 2022, the market share of Euroins in MTPL was 36%, increasing at a much slower rate than our competitors after a 45% market share distribution of the bankrupt insurance company’s clients. Current developments shows that by the end of the year Euroins will reach a market share below 30% for MTPL. This is a sign that the insurance market is stabilising with a more balanced distribution of MTPL where Euroins holds a solid position. So, we succeeded in overcoming that challenge and it made us stronger.
Meanwhile, the shareholders carried out successive capital increases to better position the company in the market. In addition, the involvement of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the shareholding of the parent company confirms that Euroins is on the path to become a landmark on the Romanian insurance market. It also sent out a message of confidence and unprecedented opportunity for the development of the local insurance industry.
What are the company’s goals for next year?
We will, of course, stay on this positive path, sticking to the strategic commitments we have made. We will follow our vision of a sustainable and strong business, diversified with new insurance products that we hope will bring insurance closer to Romanians’ hearts.
Despite the challenges that the Romanian insurance market is throwing at us every day, we will continue to work on a very demanding recovery plan that we have committed to, under the strict supervision of the authorities.
Euroins has been a pillar of the Romanian insurance industry for 28 years. The company has put its vast experience and expertise at the service for more than 4 million customers over the years. We see our future job as continuing to uphold the big responsibility and duty of providing Romanian people with the best services and we will do our best to contribute to a safer and less worrying future for them.