//Extraordinary Passion: A special interview with Hla Hla Mon

Extraordinary Passion: A special interview with Hla Hla Mon

The policy landscape in Myanmar is progressively growing as Myanmar opens its doors to international trade and commercial enterprises. Known to be a heavily regulated socialist country, back in the day, there was only one insurance company to serve the whole of Myanmar.

Hla Hla Mon made her debut in Mynamar’s insurance market in the 1980s, when the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) sponsored 10 insurance personnel to gain professional education abroad.

Question: When did your journey in insurance begin?

I began my career in insurance in Myanmar Insurance. That was in the early 1980s. I learned a lot on the job, gaining experience and skills through day-to-day work. But I’ve always felt that I have so much more to offer. I realized early that my passion is in knowledge. But as just an assistant manager, there wasn’t much room to explore in training and development.

Initially, I was more focused in the general insurance sector. Myanmar Insurance Managing Director, Mr. Ba Tun asked me to change risk management policies.

In 1994, I got involved in agency training. It was not until 2012 that Myanmar’s insurance began to shift as the government welcomed liberalisation. This shift affected how insurance operated in Myanmar and it was not an easy transition. The process of liberalisation was slow, and traditional way of thinking was still very much existent in the minds of the people. The authorities and regulators still play a major role in the policy wordings.

Agents are trained by Myanmar Insurance Association and supported by the Ministry of Finance. However, as the insurance business grew and market expanded, agents were faced with fierce competition. Issues in ethics in business quickly became widespread. It was almost fitting for me when 2016, I was asked to join the Grand Guardian Insurance (GGI), to train staff. I was excited to share my knowledge and experiences; as well as address the issues in ethics in commercial enterprise.

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