Zoran Blagojević, Chairman of the Executive Board of Wiener Städtische Insurance

Innovative and Adaptive

Wiener Städtische Insurance is part of Vienna Insurance Group (VIG), an Austrian conglomerate that operates on 30 European markets through 50 companies and holds a leading position in Central and Eastern Europe

Through constant improvement and innovation, as well as dedicated work, particularly during the most challenging times, our interviewee’s company has reached the third spot on the market. One of its strategic goals is to transform its business model towards digital technologies and introduce new products tailored to clients.

Are you satisfied with your company’s current insurance market position, which is experiencing constant growth?

— We have been present on the Serbian insurance market for more than 21 years. While that is a long period, it has passed quickly. I am extremely proud that we have a consistent team. Apart from the members of the Executive Board, 20-30% of employees have been with the company for more than ten years. We have grown together, supported each other, learned from each other, and lifted each other up when necessary.

Wiener Städtische Insurance has demonstrated an admirable level of resilience and stability, recording positive growth rates and profitable operations during years characterised by unusual crises. With the outbreak of the pandemic, we quickly changed our business model and, despite the lockdown, continued working without interruption. After that, despite global crises, we continued with the trend of insurance premium growth, which has been continuously positive since the company was founded.

Through constant improvement and innovation, as well as dedicated work, especially during the most challenging times, we have reached third place on the market

We achieved gross premiums of RSD 17.477 billion in 2023, which represents growth of 11.4%. The highest growth was recorded in voluntary types of insurance (voluntary health insurance 35.4%, auto casco 19.2%, property insurance 15.3%), which certainly testifies to our focus on clients.

Which types of insurance are the most popular in Serbia?

— Increased interest in voluntary health insurance has been noticeable in the post-pandemic period, but there has also been growth in other types of insurance: travel insurance, property insurance, and insurance against various types of liabilities. We are striving to overcome the slowed growth of life insurance with an innovative approach, which is why we are recognised as pioneers in selling unit-linked life insurance products.

You often point out that our market has great potential that we have not yet fully realised. Is it time to transform the business model?

— The Serbian market is one of the focus markets of the VIG conglomerate precisely because of its potential, but also because of the faith in our company’s team. We are achieving excellent results, with the constant and stable growth of premiums. We could have done more, which is why we are dedicated to making additional strides in the coming period, because I believe in the market and in our collaborators. One of our strategic goals is to transform the business model towards digital technologies wherever this is recognised as a benefit by our clients. Changing and adapting are no longer advantages, but rather conditions for survival. We have managed to create a high level of awareness within our team and now we no longer face questions over whether we want to make changes, but rather how we can create them in a shorter period.

In the coming period, we plan to pay special attention to communicating and collaborating with the youngest generation — Gen Z, who have grown up in the digital age, with technology and the internet having been available for most of their lives. We believe that this will be an effective way to bring insurance closer to citizens.

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