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Dhofar Insurance’s CEO on Putting Customer Centricity at the Core of Development

Dhofar Insurance’s CEO on Putting Customer Centricity at the Core of Development

Dhofar Insurance was registered as an Omani Public Joint Stock Company incorporated in the Sultanate of Oman on the 5th of September, 1989. The company’s principal activity comprises the writing of all classes of insurance. Since its establishment 25 years ago, the successes of Dhofar Insurance have continued to this day. It is now recognised as one of the largest insurance companies in Oman in terms of premiums and capital, and was announced the winner of Best General Insurance Company – Oman at the 2024 Global Banking & Finance Awards. Wanda Rich, editor of Global Banking & Finance Review, spoke with the Chief Executive Officer of Dhofar Insurance, Sunil Kohli, to gain some insight into the strategic decisions that have been pivotal to its success.

“Dhofar Insurance embarked on a transformational plan three years ago, focusing on customer centricity and various actionables with milestones,” he said. “The focus was on digital transformation, distribution channel management, customer service delivery mechanisms and product innovation.”

Every industry is undergoing transformation thanks to advances in technology, and the insurance sector is no exception. For Dhofar Insurance, it is important to balance technological innovation with traditional customer service according to the wants and needs of customers, and it takes an ears-to-the-ground approach to remain abreast of current demand. “We do customer surveys on a periodic basis to gather feedback on their preferences,” Sunil revealed. “We balance digital versus traditional customer service accordingly. From their feedback, we have observed that as of today, a large percentage of customers prefer traditional customer service while the preference for digital services is increasing. We are flexible on this and provide both options to our customers, since they want to experience both solutions on a product-to-product basis.”

He went on to name some more of the key measures the company has taken to utilise this data to ensure customers are receiving the best customer experience possible. “We have taken feedback on various aspects to understand customer needs and preferences,” he explained. “We have focused on developing new products to fulfil customer needs, optimising various processes to make the customer journey easy, digitalising many processes for better customer experience, governance, control and delivery, and developing the skills of our employees via training, mentoring, and educational certifications for better understanding of the subject matter.”

This customer-centric approach lends itself well to all areas of the business, including product and service development. As customer needs evolve as rapidly as the market itself does, Dhofar Insurance is tackling the challenge of staying ahead by developing solutions that meet these changing demands. “The answer is listening to the customers on a regular basis,” he said. “By being in touch with the customers, taking their feedback and being open to ideas, we keep ourselves aware of their requirements and develop products according to that. We also have strong, long-term relationships with leading reinsurers of the world. We engage with these reinsurers, as well as various experts, to keep ourselves aware of new trends, products and developments in other parts of the world. We study those and the suitable ones are brought to our market.”

One dominant trend shaping the insurance industry in Oman, as well as globally, is the climate crisis. Wanda asked Sunil how Dhofar Insurance is positioned to adapt to this challenge. “The world is facing many challenges due to the enhanced frequency of environmental disasters brought about by cyclones, typhoons and heavy rains as a result of climate change. The insurance industry, being part of the risk management mechanism, is getting affected by the same,” Sunil said. “We are working with global insurance and reinsurance players to develop solutions that will mitigate risks associated with natural catastrophes. The effect of pandemics and other health-related events on the medical insurance and life insurance business is also shaping the market, globally as well as locally.”

Finally, while the strategy for the year ahead for Dhofar Insurance includes maintaining a balanced portfolio and working on new products, Sunil pointed out an additional area of focus that represents a key component of its business model: the socio-economic development of Oman.

“Corporate social responsibility is a very important part of the existence of any organisation, and more so an insurance organisation,” he affirmed. “Our basic purpose is to support society in times of distress, accidents or similar events. Dhofar Insurance has always been front and centre for fulfilling its duty to society. During cyclones and heavy rain events in the past, Dhofar Insurance team volunteers went to affected locations, helped people to come out of damaged areas, helped clean flooded houses and provided food and clean water. We also support many charities, hospitals and sporting activities as part of our CSR initiatives.”

Global Banking & Finance Review


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