My Career Journey with Mujalin Boonrod
Senior Manager – Insurance Management
Minor Hotel Group Limited
Mujalin Boonrod works as a Senior Insurance Manager at Minor Hotel Group Limited. She takes care of both Life & Non-Life Insurance for Minor which has three main Business Units – Minor Hotel Group, Minor Food Group and Minor Lifestyle Group.
Mujalin is a focal point on insurance, serving as an internal consultant and reviewing insurance contracts for all business entities worldwide under the Minor Portfolio. She mainly manages insurance for all owned properties – Hotels, Resorts, Serviced Suites, Spas, Shopping Plazas, Dining & Quick-service Restaurants, Lifestyle Outlets, Dairy/ Cheese/ Bakery Factories and Franchisee Businesses in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Egypt, Seychelles, Brazil, Portugal, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
She entered the insurance industry in 1999 after graduating from Marine & Aviation Insurance from the Insurance & Risk Management Faculty of Assumption University, Thailand. At the time of writing in 2021, it is her 22nd year in this industry and her 9th Year at MINOR.
A quick look into Minor Hotel GroupMinor Hotel Group’s main business units:
- Minor Hotel Group is a hotel owner, operator, and investor with a portfolio of over 75,000 rooms across more than 530 hotels, resorts and serviced suites under the Anantara, AVANI, Oaks, Tivoli, Elewana, NH Collection, NH Hotel, nhow, Marriott, Four Seasons, St. Regis, Radisson Blu and Minor International brands. Today, Minor Hotel’s hotel and spa portfolio spans across 56 countries in Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe shopping plazas & entertainment, residential properties, and a points-based vacation club.
- Minor Food Group is one of Asia’s largest casual dining and quick-service restaurant companies, operating over 2,300 outlets in 26 countries under The Pizza Company, The Coffee Club, Riverside, Thai Express, Benihana, Bonchon, Swensen’s, Sizzler, Dairy Queen and Burger King brands.
- Minor Lifestyle Group is one of Thailand’s largest distributors of lifestyle brands with over 450 points of sale, focusing primarily on fashion and lifestyle products. Its brands include Anello, Bodum, Bossini, Charles & Keith, Esprit Etam, Joseph Joseph, OVS, Radley, Scomadi, Zwilling J.A., Henckels and Minor Smart Kids. In addition, Minor Lifestyle also operates contract manufacturing business.
My turning moment was when I switched my role from seller to buyer, or if you are familiar with the insurance industry, from an Underwriter in the insurance company (Insurer) to a Risk Manager in MINOR Business (Insured).
In my experience, I firstly started my role as an insurer, then as a broker; I worked on the claims side on both roles. Then I switched roles to be on the insured side at Siemens Ltd.
After that I went back to being an insurer on the underwriting & marketing side before switching again as an insured when I was selected to be an internal consultant for a large corporation such as MINOR.
I would like to use my experience to educate the operations team on both risk prevention/ protection as well as helping the internal team to communicate best practices on running internal operations with the insurance market.
I personally think that to be a successful risk manager, we have to understand the business and foresee the risks which might affect our people, assets, liabilities, brand and reputation. We should regularly monitor safety & prevention measures. It is not only to carefully manage internal procedures, but we also have to open our eyes to see best practices from other risk managers, as well as discussing with brokers and insurers on any new insurance products which could minimize our risk exposure.
The Risk Manager is one of those who have to make a primary decision on how to manage risk in the company. Making a quick decision with insufficient information could result to giving poor advice.
Dealing with many people in a large company is challenging for me – each one specializes in their own duties, they manage their jobs well and their perspectives are influenced by their experience. As a risk manager, my duty is to give guidance on best practices and understand what really happened before giving a suggestion, finding a congenial way of communicating with them so they can open their hearts to understand that we are here to support them and make things better. Sometimes, the process is stuck when there are too many people involved but nobody is responding. I have to keep following up, lead questions, and explain the pros & cons with related parties.
As a risk manager, my duty is to give guidance on best practices and understand what really happened before giving a suggestion, finding a congenial way of communicating with them so they can open their hearts to understand that we are here to support them and make things better.
As our business has various operational locations, we have various restaurants and outlets located in department stores. We found out that one of the highest risks on our business is having “no insurance coverage” for our assets. If we failed to notify our insurer about a new location, our risk will not be transferred to the Insurer and this will also affect our pocket if there would be a big claim, such as fire damage or flood. We reviewed our risk and found that it comes from:
- Opening & closing locations too frequently
- Late declaration due to too many processes/people involved
- Typical error on information declaration
- Forgot or misunderstood of operational team that they already notified
- Change of responsible person; new replacement person did not know the process
We have reviewed our insurance policy and found a special clause – “Automatic Addition & Deletion of Insured’s Location”. This special clause normally limits declaration to occur within 60 days. We then explained our internal process on Open & Close shop with the Insurer and asked for a special agreement to adjust condition from a declaration within “60 days” to “365 days after being aware of such”.
This condition gives us peace of mind that we have insurance to protect our assets. We are in good faith to declare that as soon as we aware of the new location, the Insurer also could track the records by checking our internal system/record.
I learned that COVID-19 is an infectious risk, a major cause of loss where the impacts are felt around the world, affecting our health, our business and our livelihood. We did learn how to protect/prevent against such risk; however, it’s very difficult to control. I also learned that the insurance industry has experience on infectious diseases; thus, we have a standard special clause to provide coverage from such. On a soft market, some insurers are happy to provide this coverage, however policy wording also limits the scope of cover such as the distance, the spread and the list of diseases covered. I also have to continue learning various policy wordings, and new insurance conditions which were recently created from all classes of insurance.