KUALA LUMPUR: With the aim of changing public perception of takaful, FWD Takaful Bhd has launched a new brand, which will leverage its strength and expertise in the insurance and protection business.
“We want to change the way people feel about takaful. We believe that takaful should instil optimism and confidence, not fear and worry. That’s because we think that takaful should be helping people to live their lives without hesitation.
“At FWD Takaful, we will always embrace our brand promise to 'celebrate living'. This is embedded in our purpose, strategy, customer experience and internal culture,” said FWD Takaful Bhd CEO Salim Majid Zain at the launch of its brand yesterday.
The brand is meant to cement its position locally as a family takaful operator that offers innovative and easy-to-understand products alongside a clear approach to claims, in order to achieve its objective of ranking among the top five players in the local market.
Of the 12 family takaful operators here, FWD Takaful is currently placed at No. 11 with approximately a 2% market share.
Within the next five years, or shorter, it is looking into capturing at least 15% to secure the fifth spot, according to Salim.
The takaful provider currently has some 120 agents, with a further 250 to be registered. By year-end, it wants to bring the number to 600.
During the launch, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng lauded the Takaful operator’s digital strategy adoption in distribution channels and product offerings as a positive step for customer convenience and seamless operations. These efforts will add to a collective effort to help the economy’s digital transformation.
Lim said FWD Takaful's entry into the Malaysian market bodes well for the local insurance and takaful industry, as it will provide Malaysians with more competitive choices of takaful plans for themselves and their families and reflects the growth potential of Malaysia’s takaful history.
Aside from building a strong relationship with its customers, FWD Takaful wants to work together with other industry providers to create a more robust Takaful market to strengthen the country’s position as a global hub for Islamic finance, as well as offer a wider range of solutions to serve Malaysian needs.
Malaysia is the group’s ninth market in five years.
“We pride ourselves on having a customer-led approach and aim to provide easy access to innovative family takaful products to all Malaysians. We want to defy the industry norms and create fresh customer experiences, supported by digital technology,” Salim explained.
As evidence of its commitment, the takaful provider spends 60% of its budget on digital and will be launching its digital channels for customers preferring hassle-free and convenient transactions on online platforms.
Moreover, he cited the country’s "strong and comprehensive" Islamic financial system, a solid regulatory regime and legal framework as a foundation that will ensure its success in tapping into the growth potential of the local market.
FWD Takaful has committed an investment totalling RM1.06bil over the next five years, earmarked for allied activities such as establishing digital services and data centre FWD Kuala Lumpur Data Centre and a Takaful and Innovation Hub, as well as developing specialised takaful products focused on those among the lower-income B40 and disabled categories.
Also present at the launch were Pacific Century Group founder, chairman and chief executive Richard Li – the younger son of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing – director Peter Allen, FWD Group chief distribution officer and emerging markets managing director Binayak Dutta, South-East Asia chairman and new markets and corporate governance executive vice-president Arthur Lee.
FWD Takaful is 49% owned by Pacific Century Group, with the remaining 31% and 20% owned by Robert Kuok's Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd subsidiary JAB Capital Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund, respectively.