Thai Life Insurance pursues digital mindset to transform its culture

Sustainable business means adapting to multi-channel, digital-enabled customer expectations, says Chai Chaiyawan

December 5, 2018

Chai Chaiyawan, President of Thai Life Insurance, has embedded humanism at the core of Thai Life’s brand values. With this belief set comes a focus on building customer trust, and sustainable growth. And that means meeting new customer expectations and challenges head on. Customers have less patience today, he says, and demand better products and services. He explains how Thai Life is transforming its culture to meet these demands, and how the company’s CSR activities are helping it contribute to the UN’s sustainable development goals.

World Finance: Why is sustainability so important for Thai Life?

Chai Chaiyawan: Well, in Thailand at the moment, there’s a business environment change. Customers now have less patience, and also they demand better products and services.

Apart from that, there’s a demographic change; Thailand now is a rich, ageing society.

Also, multi-channel distribution disrupts the business. Technology changes the behaviour of the customer. Now the customer can learn everything by themselves through the internet, make any decisions through the internet; also even pay their premium through the internet.

So the company has to transform the competitive competency; that means we need to transform our people’s attitudes, because now they have to understand about digital technologies. So we have to transform them, to have a digital mindset.

World Finance: How have you embedded sustainability in your long term strategy?

Chai Chaiyawan: First of all we have to run the business, secondly we have to transform the business, and third we have to build the business.

Run the business – this means that the business must be lean, and then optimise profit and optimise sales volume. And the business must have the financial staying power and sustainability.

Transform – this means that we have to transform our corporate culture, to make our people have a new attitude and new mindset. Make them result-oriented, and understand about agility.

On building the business – we have to build business innovation. Be customer-centric. And understand customer insights. We have to create dynamic pricing products, that if the policy holder has good health, then we reduce their premium.

World Finance: You also see your customer relationships and responsibilities as a key part of your sustainability?

Chai Chaiyawan: Mmhmm. We offer products that improve quality of life for our customers, such as dynamic pricing products that I just mentioned, and also offer products that make people live longer, healthier, and better lives.

Also we invented policies for the military, and then invented policies for disabled persons.

World Finance: And how are you expanding your CSR activities?

Chai Chaiyawan: We have a masterplan, and this has three strategies: giving strategy, caring strategy, and fulfilling strategy.

On the giving strategy, we do things such as blood and stem cell donation, occupational training for disabled persons, for single mums, for underprivileged women in rural areas.

On the caring strategy, we do environmental conservation such as the mangrove forest conservation.

And then on the fulfilling strategy, we improve and enhance quality of life of ageing persons and underprivileged people in the rural area.

World Finance: Now overall you hope that your work will contribute to the UN’s sustainable development goals?

Chai Chaiyawan: So we set up a new masterplan on the SDG. First is a promise strategy, secondly is protect, and the third one is a prosperous strategy.

The promise strategy concerns human capital development, workforce wellbeing, and also anti-corruption. And also corporate governance.

On the protect strategy, we have a policy that incentivises responsible behaviour. For example a product for wellness persons or impaired persons. And then also we invent digital technology for the policyholder to give a better product and better services.

On the prosperous strategy, we manage the financial risks, insurance risks, technology risks – to prevent any risks that will happen to the business. And apart from that we also do the corporate citizenship and philanthropy, and accessibility and insurance education.

World Finance: Chai Chaiyawan, thank you very much.

Chai Chaiyawan: Thank you very much.