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Each acquaintance can give you something valuable, helping you to shape your own personality  – says Claudia Oriovics, the new Head of Market Management at Allianz Hungária. Having recently moved from Munich to Hungary, with an expertise of almost ten years at the insurance market, she is going to manage and supervise various exciting projects that aim to strengthen the prestigious brand in Hungary even further. Allianz, being the “insurer of the future”, is ready to exchange ideas, and to explore the future through talking about different popular topics, that we all care about. Claudia Oriovics thinks that insurance is not that boring at all.

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How long have you been working for Allianz?

I joined Allianz Austria nine years ago. Back then, I was still studying, and I wanted to have a decent job next to the studies. Actually I did not really plan to work in the financial sector but finally I ended up in insurance, and I never regretted it.

What did you do before you started your new position here in Hungary?

When I joined Allianz Austria, I worked at the central sales department, then I  became the executive assistant to the CEO and CFO and after that moved to market management. Later, when Austria joined the CEE region in 2018, I got an opportunity to move to Munich to coordinate the Central and Eastern European markets as regional manager in the same area, market management. I spent the past two years in this position.

What brought you to Hungary?

I have to say I am very happy in this aspect, because – even though I grew up in Austria – my home was just about 10 minutes from the Hungarian border. I visited Hungary very often as a child, on Sundays we often had lunch with my family in Sopron. Later, when I started my studies at the university, I selected the international business faculty focusing on the CEE Region. We had to choose a foreign language accordingly. I chose Hungarian, because for me it was the most obvious. When I started to work for Allianz, I thought I would never need the Hungarian language again. Luckily, I came across the opportunity to work in Budapest, so I gratefully accepted it.

Claudia Oriovics, Market Management lead at Allianz Hungária | Photo: Biztosító Magazin / Kocsis Ferenc Árpád – NIKON.

We have been living together with the corona pandemic for about a year now. How did coronavirus affect the daily operation at Allianz?

The situation is similar across the entire CEE region, the pandemic definitely accelerated our digitalization efforts. Apart from the pandemic, Allianz had already started working on the digitalization of insurance products and services in the past, because we realised that there is a growing customer demand. Considering the current situation, we need to build on our digital developments and online services. With regards to the near future and digitalization, we will continue to work on new and even more interesting projects.

Considering the current situation, what is your view on developments of the insurance market?

As strange as it sounds, the online world and digitalization actually help us to stay closer to our customers in times like these. Here, I am not only talking about online and direct sales, but about the sales agents as well. They have the opportunity to stay in virtual touch with the customers. Some people do not want to meet in person – and we need to respect that too. Digitalization however helps us to keep up the bond with our customers in the virtual space.

What do you consider to be the biggest challenge these days?

The older generation is a bit reluctant to use the new digital way of communication. I believe that it is our job to support them, and perhaps educate them as well. We need to let them know that this is not something very difficult, and we shall show them the benefits and how these digital solutions can actually help them. Things can be done easier online. If we do not manage this, it becomes a risk, if we act on it, it becomes an opportunity.

What do you think, is there any opportunity to develop some new products?

When we speak about the pandemic risk, which is, by the way, a global discussion in the whole insurance industry, we feel that it is too early to make a judgement or draw any conclusion. However, I think cyber insurance can be an emerging topic, because it is one of the biggest risks in general. Allianz started to talk about this topic some time ago already. Now that we all work from home, being insured against the associated risks became obvious. Besides, home insurance has a growing importance as well, since – as I mentioned – many of us have been working from home. Looking at our home insurances – that we bought twenty years ago – we need to ask ourselves: is it still up to date? Is our home, where we spend most of our time, still secured? Today, for example we have a lot of electronic devices, we need a modern insurance that fits to our current needs – so it is definitely time for an insurance update.

What are your plans in the new position?

We strive to be an even stronger customer centric company on the Hungarian market. This is very important for us. We launched several projects, in order to achieve these goals. We would continue working on the digitalization more intensively than before – as I mentioned.

By keeping the brand perspective in focus towards the new customer groups, I would say, on the one hand, we continue positioning Allianz as a modern digital insurance company, which is also very secure. On the other hand, we definitely want to show that insurance is not a boring stuff.

Claudia Oriovics, Market Management lead at Allianz Hungária | Photo: Biztosító Magazin / Kocsis Ferenc Árpád – NIKON.

Can we foresee any change in how Allianz is going to execute its marketing and communication strategy?

When it comes to our image, we want to prove that we want to give something back to the society. We want to be part of various discussions; we are ready to exchange ideas on different popular topics we all care about. We have a new initiative; a new campaign launched this year called “Simply about the future”. The core of this campaign is that as an insurer, we believe in the future, we are constantly searching for new opportunities while we examine the trends that can define our future. Furthermore, it is our job to help people to navigate in the maze of the future, and at the same time it is important for us to ask questions what it means to be human in the present and in the future. In each and every part of the series we have invited external experts or we host our own Allianz colleagues as internal experts. With these experts we discuss the current situation and future developments as well as their possible impact on our life. Topics are really wide range, they cover a lot of areas: let that be education, our home, transportation or urbanisation. We also regularly do surveys in these the topics, and the results are very useful, not only for us but for the media and for the people as well.

Allianz has been dealing with simplification projects for some years. How does simplification affect the market management department?

Allianz is a truly global player on the insurance market, due to this setup, we strongly believe that we can gain important synergies. When we develop an asset globally not just a few people would be thinking about and working on it, but many more. This is a broader perspective, an advantage, that we are part of a bigger community, which is inspiring and provides us with a lot of ideas as well.

Just one example: this November we are going to launch an all new online claims notification and tracker system, which was built on a regional level. Every Allianz entity in the region will use the same application. This is a fruit of a joint development effort across CEE. In case someone has to file a claim, the user requirements are very similar. People want to get over it as soon as possible and need a simple solution. With this new tool claims can be filed online from a smartphone; photos can be attached, and the users can receive notifications on the actual status of the claim. So, the client can be aware of what is going on with the claim. At the end of the journey we are asking about their feedback as well, in order to improve our processes and tools.

Does simplification affect the communication as well?

Of course it does. Our latest initiative, called the “Voice of the customer” is about asking immediate feedback on every touchpoint we have with our clients. Feedback always has played a key role in improving and simplifying our processes. Listening to the Voice of the Customer is important to Allianz, since it helps us to better understand our customers’ needs, their behaviour and their response to our products and services. We asked feedback from our customer in the past too, but now the novelty is,  that we are going to introduce more or less a real-time solution. In addition, we also developed a governance process behind it, and we call back each and every dissatisfied customer within 24 hours, So we have a well-defined approach to tackle any issues raised through the feedback and to constantly improve.

Claudia Oriovics, Market Management lead at Allianz Hungária | Photo: Biztosító Magazin / Kocsis Ferenc Árpád – NIKON.

Insurance companies tend to utilize social media channels to reach younger customers. How convenient do you see these platforms for communication?

Talking about communication and marketing, we are pretty active on these platforms. Allianz has been present and active on all of the relevant social media channels for years. I think it is something where you have to be, but it is also important what you do, and how do you use it. Young target groups are harder to reach and interact with. The reason is that they have a distinct approach to media and they receive sales messages differently than elderly generations because they already grew up surrounded by modern advertisements and marketing techniques. Therefore traditional communication tools work less efficiently in their case. Insurance is a topic that they mostly only get to know better when they are starting a family, although already in their early and mid-20s it is important to become aware of  the relevance and importance of travel, home and motor insurance.

Are you planning to involve influencers into Allianz future marketing campaigns?

We regularly collaborate with influencers in this aspect, and this will be expanded in the future. I think we also have some very interesting topics, so I invite everyone to follow us, and give us feedback on our Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn channels.

Are you going to promote employer or personal branding within the company?

We, as market management, strongly support HR when it comes to employer branding. Indeed we would like to launch a new campaign soon. Our goal with the campaign will be to show as I mentioned before, that “insurance is not boring”. I believe that people in Hungary think the opposite way, and I am not really surprised on this. We want to be someone who shapes the future, which is actually up to us, hence we can jointly do something about it. The slogan of our new employer branding campaign will also express this. Life is always changing, and the way how we act is really our decision. Here at Allianz, we really want to play a proactive role in this transformation.

Did you have any role model? Was there anybody, who had an influence on your career path?

I do not have a specific one. I truly believe that everybody I met helped me to shape the person that I am today. Whenever I meet inspiring people, they greatly contribute to shape my values and attitude towards work. Characteristics that I did not really like so much in a person also helped me to define how I would like to be as a person and colleague.

What type of leader do you consider yourself and what is your main strength?

Based on the feedback I received in the past from my colleagues, I am a people-oriented person, which is actually very important to me. I do care about people, and this helps me to motivate them.


Do you have a secret weapon for motivation, and if so, how do you boost productivity in your team?

It is very important to show that you care about people. The most important thing is to be authentic and not artificial. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is right around the corner, it is omnipresent; we as human beings do not need to be artificial. We need to be authentic; humble and we need to have emotional intelligence, especially in times like these.

Could you manage to integrate yourself into the Hungarian team?

I am working on it. We cannot really meet these days, but we do it virtually on a regular basis. We have monthly meetings when we exchange ideas, we have an intranet platform where I encourage the colleagues to exchange. Today for example we are going to have a virtual pizza-lunch.

What short advice can you give for those, who want to succeed as a leader?

Apart from high emotional intelligence, the best advice I can give is a short quote from Richard Branson, which is indeed my personal inspiration as well. It sounds like this:  

If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your customers.

– I recommend this approach to every leader who wants to build a great team. 

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