„Our work must be implementation-oriented“

Klaus Mühleder (illustration, © Kornel Stadler)

Klaus Mühleder

Head of Group Development and Strategy

What are the responsibilities of the new Group Development and Strategy department?

We help Vienna Insurance Group and its Group companies continue to operate more successfully than our competition. Although this sounds quite vague at first, it is nevertheless a clear goal that also provides a great deal of freedom for entrepreneurial initiative.

What are the main areas you work on with your team?

There are essentially three areas. The first one is early identification of trends so that they can be included in our business model. The effects of digitisation, the “Internet of Things” and self-driving vehicles on our business model are examples of such trends. It is also important, however, to propose very specific adjustments so that work on creating the business model of the future can already begin. Second, our responsibilities also include “traditional” strategy work such as country screening, identifying growth areas, for example in health insurance, and establishing cooperation. And third, we work on strengthening the operational aspects of our current business model. This concerns specific projects such as claims optimisation, fraud management and closed file review. We are always focusing on networking specialist expertise and sharing best practice so that knowledge is available everywhere in the Group.

What is your main challenge?

Strategy can be highly abstract at times. It is important to me that the benefits of the department to the Group as a whole can be clearly recognised. The department’s activities should always concern implementation – which is why the operating projects that were previously mentioned are so important. In addition, we should also test new methods and approaches, such as design thinking and innovation labs, and integrate them in order to prepare for the demands of the future.