In this exclusive iPMI Magazine interview, Christopher Knight, CEO, iPMI Magazine, met with Abhijeet Singh Sachdev, CEO of AMA Global Assistance. They discussed in detail the rich history of the business including service areas and geographical focus, plus how the market has weathered the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please introduce yourself and background in the international medical insurance and assistance market:
Abhijeet Singh Sachdev. I have been in the Healthcare industry for about 2 decades. My interests and investments within the Healthcare sphere which adds to the background arise from owning and operating hospitals and clinics to the TPA side of administration of IPMIs. Being a family run office at the end of the day we established ourselves since 1970 and this also means we bring in a plethora of experience and pedigree along the way.
You are the CEO of AMA Global Assistance. Can you walk us through the history of the business?
Like I briefly mentioned earlier our history is rich. Being one of the pioneers – AMA Global prior to its demerger from PRIVAT EMERGENCY RESCUE in the 1970s was assisting many travellers – travelling by road via the Europe- Istanbul – India route. Our days of providing Assistance to the travellers started prior to travel insurance being a mainstream product or program. The journey has been an amazing one with from a total analogue world to a total digital world.
Typically speaking, who are your customers?
Our focus remains with General insurers and corporations. We also work alongside our Assistance partners and thank everyone for their immense support and trust in us over the years. There is also a focus on some niche Government business and accounts that we cater too.
Which assistance solutions can AMA Global Assistance provide?
We are regional leaders in Travel and Health. That has been our forte and we remain highly focused on what we do in a qualitative manner over the years since the 1970s. Our clients know of that and speak well of us. That’s why we still remain the largest independent regional player. Many have come and gone or merged or acquired. We still stand strong and highly focused in our area of domain expertise.
Geographically speaking, which markets does AMA Global Assistance focus on, and why?
Our prime Focus remains South Asia and the Middle East along with Southeast Asia.
COVID-19 had an unprecedented impact on the global travel market. What does the future of global travel look like?
COVID-19 was a great test of times. The global travel market did come to a standstill and I personally certainly hope such a scenario should not happen again as many were firms were deeply impacted by it in a business sense. Some did go under. The travel market will and always come with its set of risks and rules. COVID-19 was an extraordinary situation so it’s a question of probabilities.
Are Governments and Organisations prepared for the next pandemic or global catastrophe?
I’d certainly say with all certainty the Indian government under Prime Minister Modi did an excellent job. The challenge arises from within the Governments – elected leaders who do not believe in policies the United Nations not being able to act at all levels. The global system needs to be adapted to these new challenges. On the contrary technology helped deploy the COVID-19 vaccine at a lighting speed which was unheard off. I am an optimist and think that humanity has the ability to manage well during a crisis. Governments should facilitate and ensure there are no blocks.
AMA Global Assistance has a focus on technology. How can assistance companies and insurers leverage the power of tech to improve the standard of care and reduce the bottom line?
Certainly a lot boils down to technology. The use of technology. Our Group operates a technology business for the Travel and Health industry under the brand of MedinyX Technologies. It is a market leader is some aspects. However, the point is if businesses are data driven and you have the ability to analyse data in multiple ways from multiple perspectives certain you can implement and be smart to manage things in a better format. Insurers do need the knowledge and know-how of specialist operators that can bridge those gaps.
If you could ask an insurer any question, what would it be?
Well we have lot of niche programs and differ from the mainstream players. We should have a chat!
As we return to travel in 2022, what are the major risks travellers and organisations are facing?
Well, we’ve seen and survived a Global Financial crisis, we’ve seen and survived terror attacks, We’ve seen and survived a nasty Pandemic. Need I say more?
Finally: if you could live anywhere in the world, on land or at sea, where would it be?
In my Private Forest Villa in the Himalayas tucked away in its cosiness.
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