How do you feel about your re-election to the post you hold within the ENSA Group, as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and what assessment do you make?
More than a post, it's a dual responsibility, that of steering the paths of the companies within Grupo ENSA ? Investimentos e participações, EP, the holding that is intended to control the thirteen subsidiary and affiliated companies within the ENSA universe, and ENSA Seguros de Angola, SA. We have gained space in the market, intervening in several sectors, including banking finance in an institution with the major share of 40% and we continue to lead the insurance sector with a 36% share of a market shared between 19 players. We remain worthy of great credibility and recognition, which means that, in more difficult moments, such as now, we remain motivated to diversify our investments and protect the risks of companies operating in the country and of people, irrespective of their segmentation. A new, younger, dynamic and specialised Board of Directors is an important guarantee for facing future challenges with confidence.
What is the secret to successfully fronting a company?
Motivation is essential, primarily when you are aware that there is still a great deal of suffering in our society to overcome, and that employment is one of the pillars supporting the social building under construction; you need strategic vision that allows you to understand and intervene in the complexity of economic phenomena and of the microsociology of organisations; commitment has to be unwavering and nothing is done without a great deal of efficient work, in a harmonised team spirit that cannot be broken.
The insurance sector has evolved and contributed to the growth of the nation's economy. What is behind the success and growth of ENSA Seguros? Is a good Chairman of the Board of Directors behind this path or is there much more to it than that?
The national insurance industry still has major growth opportunities to put it in line with other countries with identical maturity, including those that are close geographically. The increase in financial literacy and the creation and effective monitoring of more compulsory insurances are factors critical to success. ENSA is unique in what it deems its most valuable asset: its people. The Chairman of the Board of Directors is just the leader of the team, and without the team there is no leader. «If you want to go quicker, go on your own; if you want to go further, go with others», goes an old African saying. A team that is totally as one, when it comes to strategic goals, is the key to success.
ENSA Seguros still leads the insurance sector. What strategies are used to remain strong in the Angolan market?
We have consolidated a business culture that favours the quality work for the benefit of customers, which presupposes the implementation of technologies, processes, distribution channels and the development of people with KSA (Knowledge, Skills and Attitude) to ensure a close relationship and the ability to meet customer needs.
How do you see Angola in 2016? What is ENSA Group's main focus for this year? What path do you plan to take?
This is going to be a very difficult year, judging by the course taken in 2015 and the continuing presence, if not deterioration, of the constraining external and internal variables of the main macroeconomic performance indicators of the national economy. The country needs to strengthen the emphasis on resilience and on increasing the sense of urgency, to resist systematic shocks and increase its ability to adapt to change. At ENSA we have to be better than the others, continuing to improve our efficiency to increase sales, and reduce and control operational costs.
Are Angolans still investing in the insurance sector, even given the current economic situation of the country, with the lack of foreign exchange and the exit of companies from the Angolan market?
National and foreign investors are still interested in investing in the insurance sector which shows that they believe in its potential. We view the situation without any fatalism. We have to face up to the harshness of the figures and proceed on the basis that we should be the actors of change. We have resisted and faced our own difficulties of critical situations that affect billing processes, and the foreign currency liquidity so necessary to meet the needs of risk cover with regard to reinsurance, health or technology. Angolan operators have to stoically resist, creating a new culture that allows us to adapt to the new times. Businesspeople and citizens, Angolans and residents of Angola, know, more and more, that in a crisis situation you should protect your personal property and assets, and that taking out insurance, for that purpose, is still the best way to achieve this.