Once a year, the temples of Siem Reap attract a unique group of visitors – thousands of runners who gather in the pre-dawn hours and begin the annual Angkor Wat International Half Marathon, taking off as the sun rises over the ancient city.
It’s a special scene that sums up how Manulife has, in only five years, built a deep relationship with Cambodia. Manulife Cambodia’s sponsorship of the marathon promotes health and wellness and supports local communities in need by raising money for the children’s hospitals in Cambodia. Last year, with the support of the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia, Manulife raised USD 110,000 from its employees globally and donated it to Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap.
Manulife is in Cambodia not only to give customers the security and advice they need to build a better life, but to help the country make the most of the opportunities that come with having a vibrant young population driving one of the region’s fastest growing economies.
When Manulife arrived in Cambodia five years ago, it marked the dawn of the life insurance industry in the country. After 10 months it had 1,000 customers. Today it has more than 40,000 with a total sum assured of more than USD 800 million.
“One of the most important parts of building a successful business is getting the right people. I am delighted that we have attracted so many talented Cambodians to the company,” said Manulife Cambodia CEO Robert Elliott.
The relationships that these local employees have built – by meeting with more than 100,000 Cambodians at seminars about long-term financial planning around the country – not only built a foundation for Manulife, but launched a thriving life insurance market.
“Trust in any business is very important, and Manulife played a big part in building trust within the communities we operate,” Elliott said. “For customers, their relationship with Manulife is not for a month or a year, but it’s over 10, 15, 20 years or even lifelong.”
Cambodia, like Manulife, has seen remarkable development. In only a few years, there are new bridges and buildings showing national economic expansion while new houses, better schools and new cars show how the lives of people are improving.
Soon after the company started in Cambodia, Manulife realized that road safety was a subject of great importance.The company decided to do something to help. Over the past five years, it has handed out more than 4,000 helmets to students, parents and teachers in high-traffic areas across the country. “Some child somewhere is here because of that. I’m proud that our helmets could save their lives.” Elliott said.
By putting customers at the centre of everything it does, and continuously supporting the local community, Manulife won two prestigious international awards this year from Asia Pacific Customer Service Consortium: the first for Customer Engagement Programme of the Year and the second for Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership of the Year. Manulife Cambodia is the first and only company from Cambodia that received the awards in APCSC’s 20-year history.
Undoubtedly, there will be more challenges that arise in the years to come. “Manulife will be here for our customers, and Cambodia, to overcome any bumps in the road and continue to build a better financial future,” said Elliott.