COLOMBIA - Finance
President & CEO, Coface Colombia
Hattieann Giraldo attributes her capacity to understand and support cultural differences to having lived in the US for 16 years and then returning to Colombia. She believes her work and life experiences have given her the opportunity to be supportive of Colombia’s development.
Coface Colombia provides a complete solution in terms of credit insurance targeted especially at SMEs looking to export overseas, providing access to credit insurance at a reasonable cost for their new market.
How does Coface serve international trade entrepreneurs, and how is the firm’s international network of offices an asset for them?
One of the things we have advanced over the past year is the data content of our database. This enables our clients to take better decisions quickly. In terms of credit insurance, we are working on a new product that will serve small export companies, providing access to credit insurance at reasonable cost for their new market. We are looking at their expansion in the export business, and that is how we will support company growth in the near future. Cross-border business necessitates both a private insurer and an information company. Not all exporting companies will meet the required size for credit insurance, require credit insurance, or wish to buy credit insurance. We offer a complete solution, having information as a first step and credit insurance designed specifically for SMEs.
What is the strategy to promote insurance penetration and capture market share given rising demand for credit insurance?
Having a policy adapted for SMEs is our first strategic lever in terms of supporting international trade. It is one of the market growth ideas. On the other side, helping our midsize company’s clients to look for new business and safely using our tools of updated information as a plus for their safe growth. Credit insurance offers coverage but does not necessarily offer sufficient information to decide on what potential clients they will seek in the future. We have designed a product called Portfolio Insights that will help companies evaluate their existing portfolio, but also define the potential clients they should be looking for. The agrifood sector is one of the most attractive sectors for exports, and the region has an advantage here. This is what we need to work on in order for Colombia to grow as a country and as a whole. We want to support these mid- to smaller-sized companies keen to export agrifood production to countries where there is a clear demand. We are leveraging, starting from what we know are our traditional exports, like flowers, but also migrating products in terms of credit insurance to smaller companies in the same field or alternative ones.
How does Coface lean on technologies of big data analytics and predictive tools to benefit clients?
It is a matter of having the basic information available. Today, we have a partner that helps us with this in terms of having a tool to evaluate companies, while Coface has its own internal tool for this. What we need to obtain is the information, the basis for feeding our own analytic system. We have obtained more and more information at regional level. All of our local exporting companies can support their decision-making process by making use of it. Besides that, our clients are able to buy this information online whenever and wherever they are. For example, Portfolio Insight is an evaluation of your full portfolio. This means we require full information on the company’s portfolio and have it modeled into our scoring system.
How can Coface help companies reduce uncertainty and manage risk?
Agrifood companies also need to dedicate themselves to selling. They must protect their suppliers while also pursuing the growth of their core business of selling. They need companies to be their allies, better choose their clients, and mitigate the risk of that uncertainty. The only way to mitigate this risk is to transfer it. Credit insurance companies charge a premium to assume risk, and that is where we come in. We also avoid future risk. The preventative aspect of our activities needs further development with our companies, clients, and prospects. Credit insurance helps manage risk and prevent non-payment. Finally, it strengthens the debt collection process, which is the most valuable difference between us and our competitors. We are much stronger, and our recovery rate is a healthy 57% of all claims in a year.
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