Chief Executive Officer’s Review
Having navigated the post-pandemic economy in 2022, we continued to build on our strengths, whilst anticipating changing market demands. Our key assets – our people and our growing digital footprint – continue to serve us well as we head into a new financial year.
25 years of growth through innovation
The year 2022 marked a significant milestone in Bupa Arabia’s history as we celebrate 25 years of serving the Kingdom as a leading healthcare insurance provider, and one of the most innovative and prominent companies in the country. Our commitment to innovation has been the center of this quarter century journey, enabling us to propel both the Company and the overall health insurance industry forward to the digital age. Along with the Board of Directors, I take this opportunity to thank the Bupa Family for their commitment to the Company’s vision and to serve the people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Another year of growth
The Company recorded a year of strong results, with a gross written premiums growth of approximately 22.0%, our best results to-date. Including our cost management initiatives and strong investment income results, we recorded a Shareholders’ net income before Zakat and income tax of SR 1.03 billion, a growth of 40.5% from 2021.
The strong result was driven by both improving macroeconomic conditions post-COVID and also our commitment to digitalizing our health insurance services.
However, we also faced a number of challenges during the year including rising healthcare costs – an estimated Record-high in the Kingdom – resulting in medical inflation, and the implications of the implementation of Article 11 and the upgraded coverage of the new Essential Benefits Package, both of which brought additional claims costs. While we also continued to see increased costs due to the NPHIES system migration, we were able to maintain a smooth customer experience.
Key Wins – 2022
- Increase in app downloads and registrations
- Record-high digital sales
- NPHIES integration with a smooth customer experience
- Medical inflation
- Article-11 implementation
We continued to rise to these challenges by staying on course with our “1Bupa Strategy” with a focus on our digital strategy, being disciplined in our pricing strategy and continued investments in our value proposition to be the best in servicing our customers. Our customer communication during the year also included educating our members regarding new policies introduced by the Council of Health Insurance (CHI) and its benefits. Bupa Arabia Ventures, our venture capital arm, also continued to play a key role within the insurtech and healthtech space, focused on identifying new growth areas. Last but not least, we invested in our people – the core driver of our vision and growth strategy.
Leading Strategies of 2022
- Continued investments in digital transformation
- Disciplined pricing strategy
- Strengthening the Bupa service proposition
- Educating members regarding new policies
- Investments in employees
Key Performance Indicators Snapshot
SR 13.9 billion
+22% vs 2021
Gross written premiums
SR 1.03 billion
+50% vs 2021
Profit before Zakat and income tax
SR 553 million
+111% vs 2021
SR 14.3 billion
+15% vs 2021
Assets under management
Digital transformation is key
Our market leadership is cemented by our digitalization strategy, and our commitment continued into 2022 with a number of initiatives in place. We expanded our digital footprint with the launch of three products for the mobile app catering to end-to-end purchasing, the Wathiq and Abshir integrations, expanding the Salma chatbot, and launching the GS chatbot. Further, a number of features were scaled upwards, including Pharmaceutical Benefits Management, NPHIES utilization, and the Digital Health Platform.
Key digital highlights of 2022
NPHIES: 210 providers, 3.85 million transactions
PBM: 1,080 live providers, 1.5 million transactions
RPA: 51 bots launched, 24.6 million transactions,
Bupa Arabia’s digital transformation strategy in 2022 focused on four main pillars:
- Superior customer experience for our customers and employees
- Efficiency and automation to optimize processes
- Seamless and automated Provider Management Platform
- Big data and analytics
Internally, we revamped our career website, to reflect our branding and offer prospective candidates a seamless online experience. Moreover, the SME Broker Portal, and the Digital Sales Journey were both automated in 2022, thereby increasing efficiency and enhancing customer satisfaction.
In 2023, Bupa Arabia intends to roll out the pilot programs for Home Healthcare and Symptom Checker apps. Website revamp development will also continue, along with chatbot enhancements. Internally, we plan to implement an HR HCM system and Finance ERP platform, to streamline HR and finance activities, and increase transparency across the organization.
Recognition of our efforts
Our continuous efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of health services and spread health awareness across the country have earned us numerous awards, the most recent of which were in three categories of the Health Insurance Excellence Award by the Council of Health Insurance in 2022. Bupa Arabia also ranked among the 10 most powerful brands in the country and topped the list of leading insurance companies in the GCC region.
Healthy employee culture, the core of our high performance
At Bupa Arabia, we believe it is imperative that we enhance and preserve an organizational culture that attracts, engages, grows and retains the most talented people in the industry. In 2022, we revamped our grading structure, supported by a significant pay adjustment budget. Around 1,550 employees received an average of a 20% increase in pay and were positively impacted in terms of designation and compensation. Further, 209 employees were promoted, and 700 more were provided with a path for promotion within the next two years, implying a healthy succession pipeline of 81%.
We also achieved 100% work flexibility for all employees, by implementing new HR policies with regard to time, leave, and place of work. To enhance employee development, we provided training on personal, technical, and leadership skills, with an average of +19 training hours per employee. New recruits were also higher than the number of people who resigned, resulting in a turnover rate of 8% in 2022. The success of our employee initiative was evident in our employee engagement survey, which was tracked through Glint, our external partner, where we achieved our highest engagement score thus far, of 88%. These combined efforts have enabled us to achieve our financial targets, provide a superior customer experience, and maintain our market leader position in the industry.
Key employee highlights of 2022
Best in Class Learning programs
Total learning hours
Looking ahead into 2023
As we look towards 2023, we believe a number of factors – macroeconomic, industry development and policies, and changing behavioral factors - stand in our favor for continued growth.
On the Macroeconomic front, the General Authority for Statistics (GASTAT) estimates the real GDP of the Kingdom to have grown by 8.7% compared to 2021, bolstered by both oil and non-oil economic activities. Looking at 2023, the IMF expects the economy to grow at 2.6% year-over-year. While the comparatively lower growth mainly reflects the lower oil production estimates, the IMF expects non-oil growth to remain robust. In addition, sustained spending by the government, steady expansion in the local industrial space and the Government’s commitment towards the Vision 2030 reforms, will result in further investment activities, strengthening non-oil activity in the country.
The insurance industry will also witness a number of changes in 2023 with the introduction of a new unified regulator which will be dedicated to the expected insurance industry. The Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the new regulator, is expected to work towards aiding the insurance sector and its key players to expand within the country and the region.
We expect the private health insurance sector to expand to SR 60 billion from its current SR 30 billion, by 2030. Through 2022, we saw the expansion of the insurable population grow with a number of giga projects launched by the government, thereby aiding our member growth. With the current health insurance penetration to GDP only at 0.73%, we believe the industry has further room for value unlocking.
In addition, we believe that changing behavioral factors such as increasing demand for medical checkups and preventive healthcare, particularly among the younger population will also aid industry growth. The country is also seeing a rapid adoption of technology, with the youth population aged between 15-34 years accounting for little over one-third of the total population (36.7% as of 2020). Including the adoption of 5G and its promotion of smart cities, this provides a stronger case for digitalization of the health insurance industry, in which Bupa Arabia has already made a number of strides ahead.
To this end, I believe that Bupa Arabia is well-equipped to both grab the opportunities and face any challenges presented by various industry changes and through wider macroeconomic conditions. The foundation we have built over the past quarter century through an unwavering focus on innovation, customer service, and strengthening our talent pool, will undoubtedly sustain Bupa Arabia’s performance in 2023 and the years ahead.
Tal Hisham Nazer
Chief Executive Officer and Executive Board Member