It is a pleasure to interview Ms Wang Chunling, deputy manager of the central Nanyang branch of China Minsheng Insurance in Henan. China Minsheng Insurance is one of China's largest insurance companies and one of the six national insurers supervised by the China Insurance Regulatory Commission.
Why did you choose to work in insurance?
Insurance sales had just come to China in 1996. Back then, it was really new; no-one had heard of it. I wanted a totally new kind of job, so I choose insurance.
Who has been the most influential role model in your professional life?
Liu Hong. She suggested I go for a management role in insurance. She told me that working in management makes you more valuable in the insurance industry.
What do you see as the biggest trend affecting the Chinese insurance industry over the next 10 years?
I think that the insurance industry is about to enter a decade-long golden age. The government has made clear its requirements for the industry and helped answer many key questions through meetings such as the Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee, the Central Economic Work Conference and the Central Urbanisation Work Conference. This has paid a huge dividend in terms of opportunities for the insurance industry to play a functional role in society. This will definitely have a major impact on the industry. Aside from this, rules came out in 2006 stating that people working in the industry must have at least completed secondary school. On the 1st of July 2013, the China Insurance Regulatory Commission started rolling out the Measures for the Supervision and Administration of Insurance Salespersons, which means that in the future, insurance salespeople must be educated to at least foundation degree-level; this national general qualification certificate can be used to sell insurance products in any part of China. This means that the industry is becoming increasingly professional and standardised. Insurance is a ‘sunrise industry’ in China.
What does Henan really need that UK businesses or people can help with?
One key thing is that Chinese companies need help to really understand the UK’s policies and rules for partnerships between Chinese and UK companies, as well as what rights Chinese companies can enjoy in the future; that is really important. Chinese companies are also interested in how much influence UK companies have in the UK.
What types of clients do you enjoy working with the most?
Successful people who love their families.
Government officials who already have an understanding of insurance and who love their families.
Soldiers who love family and children.
What is the biggest challenge Henan businesses face if they want to expand internationally?
The first problem is they don’t have a great understanding of overseas markets, particularly foreign laws, regulations and policies. Secondly, they need to know how much actual influence and strength their partner has in Britain. Henan businesses want to know what preferential policies they can enjoy in the UK, and how much policy support they will get after investing in the UK.
In a movie of your life, which actor would you like to play you?
What would be your dream job if you didn’t work in insurance?
I would be a civil servant.
What piece of advice would you give your 16 year old self?
Learn how to live and how to think, and learn how to be grateful and how to smile.