Artículos en Inglés
Luis Escalante – ACSA President
Translated by: Adriana Guevara
How is ACSA born?
ACSA began as an appendix, which is how we want to call it, from Banco Agricola that was founded by my father Luis Escalante Arce. Aseguradora ACSA was born 40 years ago after that.
What is the support that ACSA offers its clients?
This legacy has been growing year after year. Five years ago it was $15 million, now it is $24,250,000, which represent the five years with an increase of almost 58%. That provides our clients with a guaranteed commitment from all our stockholders.
What place does ACSA hold in the current market?
In the market we are the third company in premium income, and in Central America we are the seventh largest.
What can you say about it?
We sponsor two schools: one is Public School del Cantón San Antonio in Comasagua, and the other is Escuela Benjamín Sol Millet, in La Cima. In both we try to fill the needs that the Ministry of Education cannot cover. In Escuela Benjamín Sol Millet we have built a computer center, renovated all the classrooms, built bathrooms, and a cafeteria.
In Cantón San Antonio, Comasagua we have renovated, painted, built bathrooms, and we are in the process of negotiating the creation of a computer center. Now we have also started to sponsor a new school with the idea of becoming a model for other companies to imitate and commit to helping education, especially with rural schools, which need help from private companies.
If all companies sponsored rural schools, we would solve big problems that the kids in the rural sectors of our country have. Education is the future of the country.
During the last years you have been chosen as a “Great Place to Work” in Central America. What do you attribute to this success?
I say that dedication and the commitment of the employees; the loyalty of the employees because to be the first in “Great Place to Work” is the result of a series of surveys that employees answer. They are voluntary surveys, performed directly by the Institute “Great Place to Work.” The people, obviously, recognize that everything that we’ve tried to do here is to make it a good place to work. It fills me with pride, because if something has been the cornerstone of my administration, my presidency of ACSA, it has always been to ensure the wellbeing of the people who dedicate themselves to the improvement of the company.
What are the benefits?
Here we have a series of benefits that really do not exist in most companies. All people, from security personnel to any person who wishes, has access to scholarships for universities, where the company covers a hundred percent of the college tuition. There are also people with Masters degree scholarships. We also provide meals so employees can have a healthy meal here. We also have constant training in insurance policies. We also have other kinds of training for people improve on the personal level and become better people. We greatly believe in training through Dale Carnegie’s programs, which are used to improve people’s personality. We have scholarships for the children of our employees. Also a plan exists were employees participate in the company’s earnings with a special bonus at the end of the year. In general, there is a lot of interaction between the personnel and the company, so everyone feels that they are part of a family.
Approximately how many employees does ACSA have?
What is the company’s expected growth in the next decade?
We are operating in an economy that to a certain point is stagnant. Also more insurance companies exist today than five years ago. Everything has lead to a price war that is uncontrollable. And, naturally, we believe this negative market will continue in the coming years. However, we are committed to what we do and we have to keep going forward. We have passed various storms during these 40 years and this one will not be the last. And I am certain that we are going emerge triumphant whatever happens.
As you mentioned, there have been 40 years of storms as well as rewards. What are the most outstanding successes that the company has achieved during these years?
This being the third largest company in the country, I think that this alone is recognition of all the effort that has been done throughout all these years, because it represents the general public’s acceptance. We have made a great effort to truly provide to our clients a good service. And I think that our customers recognize this, making us deserving of the increase in insurance premiums that we have had year after year during the last ten years. We are the [insurance] company that has grown the most in the country.
Because our purpose is to support people in difficult times, it is a satisfaction, for example, when earthquakes or floods or any type of catastrophe occur, to give that attention to our clients. We clearly know that there is a difference between a family who doesn’t have insurance during these events and a family who has insurance and can reconstruct and reach the life they used to have much faster.
ACSA’s actions are not only limited to education. What other programs has ACSA supported during the last years?
We usually have a list of the institutions we help, but there are around 40 institutions that we help: Sana Mi Corazón, Teletón, Agape, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, FEPADE, and museums all where we do much social labor. But we strongly believe in education because if we compare it with insurance, we think that education is another type of insurance to guarantee children to have a better life in the future.
Does the company also focus on training?
Yes, maybe the most representative aspect of our commitment to training and education is the construction of our Training Center, which is a place that is not common here in El Salvador, especially in the insurance industry. We have a room with capacity for 250 people and it is constantly used for training personnel and intermediaries in insurance matters. We also use it for exercise classes, accounting classes, drafting classes and many other things.
We are maybe the only company who certifies insurance sales persons, insurance adjusters and brokers. We have done this thinking that when the insurance representatives become more professional they provide a better service because when we sell an insurance policy, we sell it through the representatives. And if the representative causes a good impression on the client, we cause a good impression. Therefore, it is important for us to have well trained personnel and representatives.
Regarding employment, which younger generations currently need, you mentioned that there is the possibility for these graduates and young people to become insurance representatives. What is the process that young people need to follow to get professionally involved in this market?
We do it by invitation. Now, if any young person wants to connect with the world of insurance, he must undergo a test in the Financial System Superintendence. Meaning, they have to prepare through our seminars or any other type of resource and take the exam. Only if the Superintendence certifies them as sales persons will they be allowed to sell with different insurance companies.
In ACSA we support the youth by providing internships, so we allow many universities to send their students to complete their practical training with us. For example, I will mention that several members of our Technology Department, where we have developed many of our tools, started working with us when they were enrolled in ITCA.
They are boys with a great desire to excel; we have seen how they work and we have invested in them, we have trained them, they are very good technically, they know a lot about insurance and also help us with the technical support. They can begin to complete their practical training while in their universities and as they begin doing their internships with us is they connect, and in this case, work in ACSA insurance.
What is a new technology trend in ACSA insurance?
We are going to keep working through smart phones and mobile devices with all the representatives. They have a great possibility of working with us through websites. This website that we launched recently also has the advantage of adapting to the device used to view it. If you see it in a tablet it will become thinner and in a cellphone it is going to be different. This allows them (the representatives) to work differently.
We are also going to launch applications for mobile phones where they can contribute and do other type of things on their tablets. So we are going to work a lot to take technology into this type of device.
A Quick Glance:
40 years: ACSA
Insurance: What we do
Luis Escalante: Another employee in ACSA
Youth: The future clients of ACSA