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Guaranteed growth

Interview - February 16, 2012
Garantia Seguros has become a competitive force in Angolan insurance since 2009 by offering its clients the widest range of insurance services – from car and buildings cover, to work and travel indemnity

Angola’s insurance sector is increasingly active, tapping into a largely unexploited market. Rulings such as obligatory automobile liability insurance have recently been instated, bolstered by instructive campaigns aimed at briefing the Angolan population on the legal necessity and benefits of these new requirements.

Globus Vision talks to Garantia Seguros’ João Raimundo Belchior, who believes the Angolan insurance business has played a valuable role in the country’s social and economic development. 

We'd like to hear your view on near future developments in the insurance sector, considering this business has huge room to grow in Angola.

Insurance is indeed a new industry in Angola. What happened is that after the independence the market became controlled by ENSA – Empresa Nacional de Seguros de Angola which inherited all insurance activity from the Portuguese regime, so it monopolized the entire insurance market. However, since 2002 there has been an opening for this business. Today, we believe that the future of this industry will depend on people´s education regarding the benefits and value of insurance.

Our people are not yet sufficiently educated on the benefits of insurance; for this reason we have been working on educational advertising campaigns in order to influence them.
This is a very promising business because this is a huge country in rapid development. It is certain that 10 insurance companies won’t be enough. Once people start making use of this activity on a larger scale, that number of companies won’t be sufficient to meet demand.

However I believe that with political stability things will get better, and as a result important countries like France, Germany and the United States will come and help leverage the country.

So one of the problems of this industry in Angola is the people´s lack of knowledge regarding the benefits of insurance. What are you doing in order to strengthen this knowledge and inform Angolan society of its benefits?

We came into this business in 2009, but have not yet launched our advertising campaign due to the fact that we do not yet have the technical and administrative workforce trained and capable to respond to the subsequent demand. We think as from January 2012 we will be better organized to more seriously embark on advertising campaigns.

What are Garantia Seguros main offers?

We have car insurance, construction insurance and insurance against accidents at work. We are working on travel insurance, death insurance, and we are striving over the next year to get into the healthcare segment. Other products will emerge over time as we don’t want to get involved with too many activities at once.

What would you say is the company´s competitive advantage relative to other insurance companies?

Currently we're not much focused on the competition factor; we entered the market to complement that which was in short supply.
However, we will compete in the health insurance as well as insurance liability and we expect it will be a healthy competition ruled by the legislation established for the sector.
We are not yet exploring the pension fund segment as we still lack specialized people to work with us, as mentioned. On the other hand, we are looking for a technical partner that will bring us both larger financial power and know-how.

What message would you send to our German community regarding Garantia Seguros?

I think the challenge has just begun, and you are very much in mind as part of our company’s exposure campaign.

How do you believe Germany can contribute for the enhancement of Garantia Seguros?

Germany has a mature and experienced financial and insurance system that works – it would be great to see them established in Angola. Garantia Seguros is open to ideas about going into partnership with German companies in this sector.

The focus of our campaign is to consolidate the Angola brand. What do you reckon to be the main concepts to be associated with the Angola brand?
The Angola brand has been advertised to the world in the political, social, financial and other realms, and I think Angola is on track. Next year as the democratic process will take its normal course through the elections, world-leading countries like Germany should feel more comfortable to invest in Angola. Economic and social progress is noticeable all over the country already.

How and where would like to see Garantia Seguros in the next 10 years?

I'd like to see it settled and present in all provinces of Angola, and also internationalized if possible, because my dream is to see the company present somewhere else in the world. I believe that good communication campaigns can be the key factor to get to that, and that no development can be achieved without it.

How else can Angola benefit from increased relations with Germany?

I am an agronomist, and I know that in terms of agriculture Germany is very strong; their presence here would be beneficial to the whole country. I believe our faith in Germany will be repaid, not only because of Germany’s economic strength, but also because of the know-how that Angola can benefit from.