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PIAM Promoting Talent Development In the General Insurance Industry

Kuala Lumpur, 13 December 2013 – The General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM) through its Young Manager’s Think Tank (YMTT), recently organised its annual breakfast talk. Themed, “Passion For Success”, the talk was attended by 60 young managers from the general insurance industry.

This year, the YMTT invited Teach For Malaysia Co-founder and Managing Director, Dzameer Dzulkifli, to speak at the breakfast talk which was held at the Malaysian Insurance Institute (MII). Established in 2010, Teach For Malaysia, is an independent, non-profit organisation which aims to end education inequity in Malaysia.

“Aware of the importance of talent development in the insurance industry, PIAM continues to proactively organise initiatives to enrich the industry’s talent, particularly among young managers. We believe the sharing of experiences and knowledge from young leaders regardless of industry, adds value to this development process. My sincere thanks to Encik Dzameer for taking the time to share his insights with us,” said PIAM Education / HRD Sub-committee Convenor, Dr Michael Heng Kiah Ngan.

During the session, Dzameer engaged the young managers by sharing his personal experiences since his childhood which he believed contributed to his success as a young leader at Teach For Malaysia. He began by sharing his past experience of going with the flow and letting a career path choose him.  Dzameer advised participants to ask themselves, ‘Is this what I want to do?’. He also advised that delaying critical decisions on career paths or passions could possibly reduce one’s true potential. Highlighting the power of ‘Now’, Dzameer said, “Deciding to be driven by passion ‘now’ helps make difficult decisions a little easier.”

Dzameer emphasised an important tip by relating to the core values of Teach For Malaysia namely, the sense of responsibility, excellence, collaboration and integration. “It is important to come back to one’s values, vision and mission when working in large teams, making difficult decisions or choosing a critical path, he explained. Dzameer supported this by sharing a quote by Steve Jobs who said, ‘Focus is about saying ‘no’ to a thousand things’. Dzameer also emphasised that the most effective way to implement values was to demonstrate it and practice accountability, as opposed to merely preaching it to subordinates.

Dzameer stressed the importance of a legacy of positive values which could inspire potential improvement. As young managers in the insurance industry, which is viewed by some as an ‘un-sexy’ industry, expecting change in terms of effectiveness in a short amount of time is a challenge.

Citing examples from the process of setting up Teach for Malaysia, Dzameer explained that despite being rejected various times, it was important to pursue different avenues to achieve a particular goal or passion. He added that highlighting areas where one could add value was another important factor in effectively achieving one’s goal, particularly in influencing other individuals or parties.

“I feel this session has helped me realise the importance of inspiration to succeed in life particularly for a young manager such as myself. I look forward to more beneficial talks which touch on work life balance, soft skills, as well as passion and belief. These are key areas which need to be developed among potential managers that can drive further growth in the Malaysian insurance industry,” said Muhammad Yusuf bin Bahardin from Etiqa Insurance & Takaful.

The talk was followed by a question and answer session where eager participants took the opportunity to tap into Dzameer’s experience and drive as a young leader. Past breakfast talk speakers include, Tune Talk CEO, Jason Lo; and founder Christopher Tock. Other initiatives carried out by the YMTT committee include the Young Managers’ Forum, corporate social responsibilities projects, publication of e-newsletter (Talenz) as well as participating as Young Ambassadors for the industry at career fairs.

Formed under the auspices of the PIAM Education / Human Resource Development Sub-committee, the YMTT aims to promote the sharing of ideas and networking among young managers within the insurance industry. The breakfast talk is one out of various other initiatives which address the need to collectively re-brand the general insurance industry as an attractive employer of choice and the second area highlighted was the need for proper talent management. In this regard, the Education / HRD Sub-committee had through the Young Managers Think-Tank Group as one channel engaged in initiatives focused on talent management in the general insurance industry.

The Sub-committee is also the process of initiating several action plans on rebranding of the insurance industry including reviewing collaterals on career opportunities in the insurance industry and collaborating with institutions of higher learning that have insurance as a major discipline to promote careers in insurance.


About General Insurance Association of Malaysia (PIAM)

PIAM is the national trade association of all licensed direct and reinsurance companies for general insurance in Malaysia. Currently, PIAM has 29 member companies. More information on PIAM can be obtained from its website: