The Financial Express

Insurers benefiting from reforms, Sena Kalyan Insurance CEO tell FE

| Updated: October 14, 2021 10:06:22

Sena Kalyan Insurance Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brig Gen (Retd) Shafique Shamim Sena Kalyan Insurance Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brig Gen (Retd) Shafique Shamim

The country's insurance sector had gone through intensive reforms during the last half a decade and the efforts paid off remarkably, said Sena Kalyan Insurance Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brig Gen (Retd) Shafique Shamim.

The trust deficit and malpractices in the sector had largely been addressed under the guidance of the Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA), he added.

The joint efforts of the sector's three stakeholders -- the IDRA, the owners' association and the insurers -- turned out to be very important in this regard as they all came to participate in the reform process, he said in an interview with The Financial Express (FE).

As a result of the collective efforts, the sector's growth over the past few years had been remarkable, Shafique said.

The present as well as immediate-past IDRA leadership played an important role in bringing about reforms in the sector and the companies started receiving benefits of the reforms, Shafique said.

The common people had an extremely negative view about the sector, but it started changing, of late, he said.

"If insurers go by the book, the image will brighten and business will be profitable too," said Mr. Shafique who has been with Sena Kalyan Insurance since its inception in 2013.

Timely and proper settlement of claims and compliance with the rules and regulations remained the key to success in insurance business, he observed.

"Another key component of the insurance is diversity of the products." The Sena Kalyan Insurance Company Limited (SKICL) would diversify its products with the addition of technologies.

SKICL was the insurer of US-Bangla Airlines and settled the claims following a plane of the airlines crashed in Nepal in 2018.

Many feared that SKICL might not be able to continue its operation after the claim settlement, but the company was doing even better after the incident.

Mr. Shafique, also SKICL managing director, said the total insurance money worth around Tk 1.26 billion was paid to the claimants US-Bangla insurance.

The fourth generation insurance company recently made its initial public offering (IPO) aiming to raise Tk 160 million (16 crore) from the capital market.

The IPO subscription of the general insurer continued until October 7.

Talking about the performance, he said the company only incurred losses in the first year of its operation in 2015.

Thereafter, it succeeded to make a profit every year and the profitability also improved each year, he disclosed.

In 2019, SKICL's earning per share was Tk 4.23 while it was Tk 3.97 even in 2020, when the impact of the coronavirus outbreak was significant on the overall business.

He said the IPO move was taken to comply with the instruction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Sena Kalyan Insurance was the first among 27 insurance companies to comply with the PM's instruction, he pointed out.

Shafique said that it was very easy for the entity to comply with the specific rules and regulations since it was owned by a well-disciplined institution, Bangladesh Army.

Explaining the reasons behind SKICL's success, he said discipline and willingness to comply with state and sectoral act and laws were the key reasons.

He said SKICL was planning to introduce cattle insurance and travel insurance and launch an app soon besides its traditional areas of business -- motor insurance.

With the new products and app, SKICL's onward march would gain momentum, he added.

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