Yiling joined BIMA in September 2014. She is based in London but has racked up an impressive number of air miles already, spearheading our expansion across Asia
Q. What does your typical day look like?
A. There isn’t really a typical day when you’re a business development manager, which is what makes the role exciting! I am based in London, but I travel about 50% of the time. Usually I spend a week or two in each market I visit.
My job requires a varied set of skills. From discussions with potential partners and assessing the regulatory environment with our lawyers, to preparing detailed business cases for the board. I even get to work on product design and head up recruitment for the new operation.
Q. What do you most enjoy about your current role, and what aspects do you find most challenging?
A. What I enjoy most is the amount of responsibility I have in deciding which markets we enter. I also love that I am constantly learning. It’s also great to go on the adventure of travelling to new countries and meeting new people.
The markets that we work in can be challenging, meaning that negotiations can move more slowly than I would like.
Q. How would you describe the company culture at BIMA?
BIMA is a really fun place to work. The company is young and entrepreneurial – most people are in their early 30s and have a lot of energy and enthusiasm.
BIMA doesn’t operate like a big corporate. We have a very lean team that means we are each empowered to make a big difference to the business. All of the team is very driven, taking full ownership of everything that they do.
Q. What makes BIMA a great business?
A. BIMA is a great business because:
We create positive social impact. Our products really do reach people who haven’t had access to insurance before.
We are commercial. BIMA will only enter a new market or pursue a new product if it makes commercial sense. This means that anything we do must not only be financially responsible, but also profitable.
We recruit smart people. BIMA has a rigorous recruitment process and, as a result, hires really passionate and bright people. It is a very energising environment to work in!
Q. If you could give a new Business Development Manager one piece of advice, what would it be?
A. Be adaptable! Each new market requires a specific approach, so you must be prepared to get creative. Flexibility is also important when it comes to travel; there will be lots of last minute trips, and when you’re out on the road you have to be prepared for the unpredictability that comes with travelling in emerging markets.