Emmanuel DJENGUE, Global head of "The Young Global Insurance Network Project"

14 January 2021 — Mihaela CIRCU
Emmanuel DJENGUE, Global head of
XPRIMM: What is the role and the scope of The Young Global Insurance Network project?

Emmanuel DJENGUE: We are creating a global network of Young Insurance professionals that encourage them to connect and share their experiences in working in Insurance. Through the network we want to create this diversity of knowledge and making sure that people will be able to connect.

Our mission is to support the young generation in their journey to build their professional career from the very beginning. Across industries and roles, from entrepreneurs to CEOs, there are thousands of communities to network. Not so much in the insurance industry.

XPRIMM: How is the concrete mechanism in which this network will work? It will be a platform like LinkedIn, or do you have to register in some way?

E.D.: First, on the network, it is true that we call it Young Global Network Insurance nevertheless, a sixty years old professional is welcomed to be part of it. We care about the spirit and the willingness to support young generation rather than the checking the year of born. 

Joining the network is free for everyone and registration is through our website.

Regarding, how exactly the mechanism will work, it is simple: our goal is to have in each country of the world one person who will be the representative of the network. Therefore, we are actively searching for new joiners.

XPRIMM: In these days is quite different to attract the young people to work in the insurance industry as it is not considered attractive enough for the younger generations. How do you think that we can contribute and make insurance attractive for young people?

E.D.: We already count young people in insurance. The job to be done is to take care of them, making sure that they can carry on their career with us, be proud of products and activities developed by the industry.

We must generate an emotional connection between young talent and their workplace. Doing this successfully will make the current workforce promotors. 

Let's imagine the power of having young people working in insurance being able to convince few of their friends to work in insurance too.

XPRIMM: In CEE and other markets that you have mentioned there is problem of low penetration on insurance and a huge protection gap related to insurance. In other words, this network also will have a role of financial education as somehow the main goal is to explain the insurance concept to the general public.

E.D.: The protection gap is a major issue for the industry but also an opportunity to improve our value proposition and be more creative. Having said that, as of today the network doesn't aim to tackle this kind of wicked problem. We will really focus on connecting people in the industry first. It will not be realistic to pretend that we are prepared to close the insurance gap from one day to the other. It will take time to build strong foundations that will allow us to attack other challenges such as the protection gap.

We are born to generate trust, encourage leadership, and support Diversity & Inclusion in this industry. 

XPRIMM: Because this pandemic somehow accelerated the digitalization in the insurance market and this is one of your main topics: the digitalization, how do you think that insurance world of tomorrow will look and if the artificial intelligence will somehow substitute the insurance jobs?

E.D.: AI is powerful and especially for Insurance. It will allow us to better protect customers as it is helpful to improve processes, reduce fraud, and prevent risks. Technology, in general, could in some cases "substitute jobs" while most of the time it creates new ones as well. Look at the number of data scientists and technology profiles now working in Insurance.  

Those are crucial topics although the association is about leadership, career planning, development, knowledge, and learning.

XPRIMM: What do you think that insurance industry can deliver in terms of leadership during these difficult times?

E.D.: First, we have seen a lot of initiatives from insurance companies, being able to fundraise and bring new activities in the market and being able as well to support. For example, Spanish Insurers have created a policy to protect the medical staff. In our case, one thing that we have done is that we knew how difficult it was for a lot of NGOs and during the pandemic, so we raised funds to support them.

Being aware of what society needs and act as much as we can is how insurance could show its leadership. 

XPRIMM: One of the topics related to people during these difficult times was related to the well being of the people, especially to their mental wellbeing as they were forced to work from home and change a lot of things in their lives. Is this network/ organization going to provide support in this matter?

E.D.: That would be fantastic. It is true that for the moment our key element is to make sure we are building a strong network having broadness everywhere than we will go into details and see what can we do for the well-being of people and the best way we can do this is by organizing webinars for well-being or be happy at work. So far, we haven't designed a strong strategy for well-being. It is something that will come, we need to be patient, work step by step and not thinking that we can solve everything as this would be a mistake.

XPRIMM: As the memory is very selective and probably next year if we will manage to surprise this pandemic, we will forget some of the things that we had to pass during this year. What do you think that will be most important lesson to past o the young people regarding what happened in 2020?

E.D.: My key learning from the pandemic is our need to be able to support and connect to others even more. On the business side, I am impressed by our ability to adapt to new situations such as not travelling, not having face-to-face meetings, not attending conferences to meet clients etc. and still performing well.

Young professionals much remember that against any tough situation, we will always find a way to acclimate ourselves. We should not be anxious about what is coming next instead be excited to see how we will face it.