Every so often, a reformative leader takes measures and changes the course of business conduct for good. Such reformative leaders, with their extensive experience and expertise, surmount the challenges of perpetuating a venture. In an industry as impactful as InsurTech, it becomes even more crucial that new reformation keeps coming in as this industry reflects the changing intricacies of life.
Exhibiting the sheer traits of an exemplary leader of the InsurTech niche, Dr. Mohammad Hamad Al Suliman excels in the niche by comprehending the veracity that what the InsurTech industry needs is a constant supply of reformations not only with respect to new policies but also technology.
Al Suliman, CEO of Najm Company for Insurance Services, has endowed a steady graph of progression to Najm since he was appointed as the CEO of the company in 2019. He reorganized Najm’s traditional revenue and pricing model to be sales-driven and tied to the financial strength of the industry, making its services entirely automated and 95% online in order to ensure consistency with the goals of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
He specializes in transformation and change management for businesses that are updating their company plans and strategies. Al-Suliman is also a certified expert in mergers and acquisitions as well as international project management. He has held executive positions in several industries, including banking, communications, and investment management. His former experience included serving as vice president of the operations and support services division, among other executive and leadership roles.
In an interview with CIOLook, Dr. Mohammad shared valuable facts that highlight his professional tenure so far in the niche and the immersive strategies that helped him to reach the top.
Below are the excerpts from the interview:
Brief our audience about your journey as a business leader until your current position at Najm Company. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?
The quest for breakthrough ideas has always enticed me. As a strategic management and information technology graduate, I was passionate about delving into how technology can be a niche that generates an autonomous business process. Holding several leadership positions in various sectors was a prerogative that supported me in blending diverse IT backgrounds, which indeed helped me to build a perspective from multiple vantage points. Ever since my appointment as Najm CEO in 2019, I attempted to drive digital transformation aspiring to achieve a leap of innovation that would eventually empower the whole insurance sector.
Amid the great technological revolutions, playing the ‘chief business builder’ role offered me a multitude of opportunities to navigate difficult decisions and address emerging challenges. This, of course, was paramount to creating an overarching future-proof strategy that would champion the Saudi insurance sector in line with Saudi Vision 2030’s goals that aspire to transfer the Kingdom into an innovation superpower.
Brief our readers about Najm, highlighting its mission and vision in the insurance industry.
In 2007, the strategic cooperation between the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), the General Department of Traffic, and the insurance sector brought into light Najm for Insurance Services. Today, I am proud to say that our company has extended its power to serve both the public and 24 insurance companies in 40 cities, through a fleet of 550 vehicles.
Being the epicenter for digital insurance services in Saudi Arabia, we were keen on creating a pro-insurance culture and engineering an outstanding business model of integrated B2B and B2C solutions and services. Responding to changes and evolving to meet customers’ needs, we adopted end-to-end automation and offered 95% e-services and advanced cloud infrastructure to achieve a frictionless experience.
Inspired by the ambitions of Saudi Vision 2030, Najm looked across all levels and addressed the pain points by combining industry-leading technology, planning, and workforce insights to support the development of the national economy, aspiring to increase insurance penetration and raise the share of GWP to 4.3% of non- oil GDP by 2030 while transforming Najm’s business model into a customer-centric digital ecosystem.
Enlighten us on how you have impacted the InsurTech industry through your expertise in the market.
There are vital long-term strategies that determine the organizational design that best lays the foundation of a resilient business. To reinvigorate the growth of the InsurTech industry, it is inevitable to center your products around the interests of all stakeholders, including customers, service providers, and communities.
Under our strategy BASE, we have embedded a sturdy foundation in the resilient Saudi insurance industry. By pulling off a full-scale operational digital transformation, we strengthened and integrated internal capabilities to excel in performance and created a performance-based culture. Looking at the big picture, we have envisioned an ethical and sustainable insurance sector.
Our social, environmental, and economic initiatives delivered outstanding outcomes re-tuning the customer-centric approach to better serve road users while utilizing innovative and environmentally friendly technology. Launching awareness campaigns to enhance traffic safety, Najm introduced the Red Box initiative in collaboration with all stakeholders. In parallel, we have unveiled the body cam initiative to support Liability Determination specialists and accelerate the achievement of our anti-fraud objectives. Najm was able to save SAR 115 million for insurance companies through the detection of 11k fraud cases.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives Najm Company.
Najm focuses on empowering its employees with unflagging enthusiasm. Making our staff a number one priority, we invest in our workforce, providing them with a supportive work environment.
Keeping pace with emerging technologies, we have upgraded the Najm Academy platform to up-skill our employees in line with Najm’s organizational development approach. Adopting a set of intensive training courses and programs, we were capable of delivering about 1900 courses to over 2000 employees. Our employees were equipped with the technologies needed to refine the customer experience.
Backing up our commitment to action, we’ve also adopted OSH policies and optimized workplace efficiency. Najm was awarded the ‘Best places to work’ award, in addition to ISO Certifications for Managing Customer Complaints and Increasing Customer Satisfaction and Quality Management.
This resonates with our strategy and the transformational journey we’ve taken to enhance the work environment in line with best international practices, which have resulted in customer satisfaction rates reaching up to 82% during the first half of 2022. We also engage our employees in a social responsibility program through which they have the opportunity to volunteer and make a positive impact on the community.
Undeniably, technology is playing a significant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make your solutions resourceful?
With Industry 4.0 technologies driving all sectors, Najm marked its strategic differentiation by launching a compelling suite of 20 AI-based solutions and services via the Najm App. Our fully integrated, hassle-free digital insurance platform offers innovative insurance products, including accident reporting, claims requests, complaints, claims inquiries, insurance records, liability determination, evaluation, and damage assessment. Reshaping CX, our personalized insurance engine provided high-quality, uninterrupted, 24-hour on- demand features with 400,000+ recorded cases via digital channels.
Beyond that, Najm App established end-to-end communication channels between companies and their clients by instantly providing customers with access to their insurance policy details. Our personalized platform enhanced transparency and facilitated access to a portfolio of motor insurance services that includes electronic minor accident damage assessment services for vehicles involved in minor accidents. Seeking to improve the quality of life, we have avidly sought to create a traffic safety culture through driver behavior monitoring technologies, Telematics, and other e-services.
What change would you like to bring to the InsurTech industry if given a chance?
Investing in adaptability begins when you recognize the significance of preparing for a fast-paced future. Insurers need to be more dynamic in utilizing analytics and AI and responding to new trends. When you have a deep knowledge of both the customer and industry-leading trends, you can provide hyper-relevant products and services at the right time and via the right channel.
What, according to you, could be the next significant change in the InsurTech industry? How is Najm Company preparing to be a part of that change?
AI and Machine Learning technologies have the biggest influence in shaping the future of the industry. Touchless claims and innovative payment mechanisms will continue to enhance seamless insurance experiences, while the ever-evolving technologies will pave the way for hyper-personalization.
With unmanned vehicles and breakthroughs in mobility, mapping out a strategic path to ensure a solid outlook for the insurance sector is a must. Acting proactively, Najm’s AI-based solutions and its fully automated system have carved the way for a frictionless, transparent, and relevant CX experience.
We also invested in a T3 Data Center to future-proof our business.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run, and what are your future goals for Najm Company?
Inspired by a genuine commitment to sustainable development, I look ahead to cementing the position of Najm as a leading digital insurance services provider across KSA and the MENA region. It’s the cross-functional goals of delivering long-term value, both to stakeholders and the wider society on one side and infusing innovation and differentiation on the other.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the InsurTech industry?
I believe that resilient and sustainable growth is a core element for success. You need to be agile and understand the market to be able to transform the business environments while taking into consideration the importance of business continuity
“Inspired by the ambitions of Saudi Vision 2030, Najm looked across all levels and addressed the pain points by combining industry-leading technology, planning, and workforce insights to support the development of the national economy.”