As some of the most influential individuals in the world of business, finance leaders play an extremely important role. They are the ones that set trends when it comes to buying decisions and impact the economic sphere. Sameath Ouk – so-called "Sam" is one such exemplary leader in this space with 27 years of expertise in general insurance and banking. Sam has a unique leadership background in Cambodia, having served as CEO of two distinct banking/ MFI institutions and currently as CEO of People & Partners Insurance, a significant general insurance company.
In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights Asia, Sameath Ouk discusses his professional attributes and his unique role in the industry.
Throw some light on your professional background. Tell us about your journey so far with People & Partners Insurance and what drives you today.
I have spent most of my time in General Insurance for the past 20 years and swapping is one of the challenges in business careers to see a different view and benchmarks for success. I have been well educated in Asian countries for both, MBA, HRDM and PQDM. All of these are necessary for strong leadership to propel the company ahead.
As CEO of PPI, I am passionate about insurance in Cambodia and proud to have contributed to the industry's significant growth over the last 27 years. I joined PPI as Chief Development Officer (CDO) in 2015, shortly after the company was licensed and established. To date, my drive for a successful, professional, and compliant organization has led to great growth in revenue and net profit after tax, the two most crucial growth factors. Great revenue growth without accompanying profit is not a PPI goal. That will continue to be my main aim.
How would you define People & Partners Insurance as an organization and its position in the market?
PPI was designed from the onset to be a strongly funded and professional part of Cambodia's financial institution sector; insurance is highly regulated, and we take pride in our compliance with our regulator, the IRC, which is part of the Ministry of Economy and Finance. We have an external auditor (KPMG) along with our own internal audit department, as well as a legal and compliance unit. PPI is recognized by the market as competent, well-managed, and sustainable with a strong emphasis on client satisfaction. Our experience and technical knowledge are second to none with over 116 years of experience in our top 4 Management Team.
Tell us about your leadership and governance approach.
"Leadership is about people management – to ensure that is the greatest for everyone and teamwork, in my role as CEO – "Position is not the main Power, helping people work together Teamwork is the main Power". Changing and Development is an attitude - accepting new things in order to absorb market needs as well as working environment and style to all people in the Company with an appropriate functioning system in place. Most people find it hard to make a change due to their mindset and regular manners. However, it is critical for me to advance to the next level of business achievement, success, and innovation when the rest of the world is already moving on.
"As CEO of PPI, I am passionate about insurance in Cambodia, proud to have contributed to the industry's significant growth over the last 27 years"
Throughout my 20-year General Insurance journey, I've learned a lot from a management standpoint about how to offer employees the same value, from cleaner to top level, and how to cooperate and progress together for a long destination. As the Company's CEO, I make certain that no one is given preferential treatment and that no one gets dropped off.
What are the future market opportunities that you look forward to investing your time to reach your goals?
Future plans and goals as the CEO of the company, my biggest responsibility are to ensure that the company is up and operating with a proper plan and strategy in place to meet current and future market needs. Some foresight and strategy are also important to go forward in relation to the movement of the market supply shift. Our current and near-term phase plan focuses on a. Digital Marketing - one of the potential core business innovations in the 21st century - The world is suffering from multiple pandemics - People around the world are unable to move freely due to various restrictions in some prospective areas, and it will be a modern buy and sell system solutions for us all after or continue of the pandemic relief. b. Flexibility and Competitiveness - The market is giving us all nightmares due to insufficient cash flow and income for business support. As an insurer and CEO of the Company, I am confident that our clients are happy to receive an offer of cover that suits their interest insurance and cash flow reserve. c. Speedy- The market has no patience, everything needs to arrive with the demand, and we recognize that our service must be quick and sleek for business collaboration.
Based on your professional experiences, what would be your advice to budding industry leaders?
My advice to budding leaders would be to learn from every single one of the leaders in your career to date. The good ones will help you to develop good leadership traits. The bad ones will show you how not to do it! “Good leadership and innovation require great Teamwork”
Sameath Ouk, CEO, People & Partners Insurance
Sameath Ouk “Sam” is a seasoned professional in the Insurance and Reinsurance Industry. His 27+ year career spans senior positions in both the insurance and banking sectors, including as CEO of 2 Microfinance Institutions. Sam has a unique background in leadership in Cambodia as CEO of 2 different Banking/MFI Institutions and now as CEO of a prominent General Insurance Company.