Building healthier, longer, better lives – The AIA Vietnam story

February 25, 2022 | 17:52
AIA continues to strengthen its 22-year foothold in the country. Wayne Besant, CEO of AIA Vietnam, opened up about what the leading insurer has achieved in 2021, as well as the One Billion Initiative that strives towards sustainable development for Vietnamese people.
Building healthier, longer, better lives – The AIA Vietnam story
Building healthier, longer, better lives – The AIA Vietnam story

2021 has been a difficult year for all of us. Can you share some of your observations on the long-term impact of last year?

In 2021, millions of Vietnamese people sadly lost their jobs and many others saw their income reduced. Medical costs have caused strain on family budgets. Life insurance is a powerful solution to this problem.

Throughout last year, AIA Vietnam has been an active participant in Vietnam’s fight against COVID-19, showcasing our unwavering commitment to our communities here.

We continue to financially support frontline doctors and nurses. In 2021, AIA Vietnam donated $87,600 to the national vaccine fund and the same sum to purchase safety equipment for key workers. We also provided laptops, meals, and study kits to assist young students.

In the summer of 2021, we provided financial support for customers, agents, and partners who tested positive for COVID-19. Following this, we ran another scheme for Vietnamese adults, helping them with hospitalisation costs if they caught the disease.

Building healthier, longer, better lives – The AIA Vietnam story
What’s good for Vietnam is also good for AIA - that’s always been our motto

How has 2021 changed the way AIA does business in Vietnam?

2021 helped us realise that companies need to continuously adapt to weather the storms and be stronger. Our strategy was to transform our digital and online capability and continue to connect with and be relevant to our customers.

Last year, AIA Vietnam launched an award-winning process for remote work, which ensured smooth operations during lockdowns. Our team was able to communicate effectively with each other via our tech platforms, and our agents continued to give the best support to clients virtually. We reduced the time for our customers to make an insurance claim online.

This innovative ecosystem also helped our life advisors assist customers anywhere and anytime. Our efforts were recognised by the Asian Technology Excellence Awards 2021, collecting two prestigious awards.

In 2021, we signed a 10-year partnership with Tiki, a major e-commerce player here in Vietnam. E-commerce is booming, and it is exciting to be leadership partnering in the digital revolution of personal finance and insurance.

Following these significant milestones, we’re planning to launch more online programmes in 2022, starting with the Stronger Vietnam virtual brand day in February. It’s also part of our 22nd-anniversary celebrations in Vietnam and the upcoming One Billion initiative.

AIA has been in Vietnam for 22 years. How do you feel about this milestone, and what makes AIA Vietnam different from others?

It’s been an incredible journey for AIA Vietnam, and we’re proud to have made great contributions to the insurance sector, as well as the well-being of Vietnamese people in general.

Building healthier, longer, better lives – The AIA Vietnam story
At AIA, we always focus on what is good for Vietnam

In Vietnam, we were the first life insurer to introduce the healthy living concept to customers, and our annual AIA Healthy Living Index has highlighted significant trends in healthcare and lifestyles.

For example, in 2016, more than 75 per cent of Vietnamese respondents told us that their health was worsening compared to five years beforehand, and their time for exercising has halved. That said, 90 per cent of them believed that their health could improve. All of these findings were crucial for us to adjust our services and focus to promote a healthier way to live.

Since 2019, AIA has been committed to helping Vietnamese people build healthier, longer, better lives. That’s our brand promise, which reflects our shift from an insurer to a lifetime partner for customers. By championing this modern concept, we hope to make an even more positive mark here.

Can you share more details about the AIA One Billion Initiative?

Our One Billion Initiative was launched in February across Asia-Pacific.

Building healthier, longer, better lives – The AIA Vietnam story

Through this initiative, we hope to engage one billion people to live healthier, longer, better lives by 2030. Our ultimate goal is to drive broad and lasting behavioural change for a healthier Asia, reaching beyond our existing customer base.

AIA will organise a variety of events, community programmes and campaigns, together with key partnerships, in order to educate, inspire, and support our communities. We hope to improve people’s physical, mental, and environmental wellness – all while promoting financial inclusion.

Not stopping there, we also aim to be a global leader in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles. We’ll track, measure, and report on our progress as part of our ESG reporting – the first milestone will be shared in our ESG annual report in March.

What prompted AIA to launch the One Billion Initiative

It comes from our research and desire to make a difference with purpose. In recent years, while Asia has become richer, lifestyle-related diseases have also increased, accounting for more than 70 per cent of all deaths.

Our research shows that modifiable factors such as physical inactivity, poor nutrition, smoking, and excessive drinking have fuelled the rise of non-communicable diseases in Asia, such as cancer, diabetes, respiratory and heart disease, as well as mental disorders.

At the same time, the environment is increasingly identified as a significant cause of disease. The World Health Organization has specifically warned that climate change will increase morbidity and mortality in Asia.

By taking action today across Asia – including Vietnam – we aspire to do our part in helping people embrace healthier lifestyles, and secure a healthier planet for us all.

By Mai Dang

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