Adopting new technologies and their associated cultures has been key to transforming Ping An Insurance (Group) Company of China, Ltd. (hereafter “Ping An” or the “Group”, HKEx:2318; SSE:601318), said Jessica Tan, Ping An Co-CEO, speaking to Swiss business school video magazine I by IMD.
In the interview with IMD (International Institute for Management Development) Business School President Jean-François Manzoni, Ms. Tan said Ping An has become Asia’s largest insurance company, with more than 223 million customers and 657 million internet users of its lifestyle services. The 34-year-old company sold US$110 billion of insurance premiums last year and has about 300,000 employees and half a million sales agents. Its market capitalization grew fivefold between 2007 and 2019, and currently hovers around US$120 billion to US$130 billion.
Headquartered in Shenzhen, China’s leading technology hub, Ping An has also established itself as one of the country’s leading digital innovators, especially in the areas of fintech, artificial intelligence and digital healthcare.
Ms. Tan said: “We aim to deliver what we call lifestyle and financial services to all our customers. The way that we think about this is financial services is not a product on its own. Financial services seek to serve a lifestyle need. We believe that financial services and lifestyle services are intertwined very clearly.”
Ping An saw the need for integrating various services on a single platform and adopting new technologies, which required talents with different skill sets and backgrounds to join the company around ten years ago. Ms. Tan joined Ping An in 2013 as the company began its technology transformation. “When we started a lot of these tech businesses, we hired a lot of non-financial services folks,” said Ms. Tan. “We started off with a very open and embracing culture.”
Ms. Tan is Singaporean. “We’ve been three generations outside of China,” she spoke of her own family. “There are lots of executives like myself. There are even executives in our top 100 executives who are even non-ethnic Chinese. We have Koreans, Americans … some of them do not even speak Chinese, they have the interpreters with them all along. We believe that people are what drives us.
“With diversity comes, as I’m sure you know, lots of different views, backgrounds, way of working,” said Ms. Tan.
The technology and ecosystem businesses incubated by Ping An, such as OneConnect, Lufax, and Ping An Heath, contributed about RMB80 billion in revenues and about RMB15 billion in profits in 2021.
Today, Ping An’s lifestyle services span financial services, such as wealth management and lending, healthcare including elderly home care service, automobile services, and smart city service.