Take It From Me

Name: Steve Crouch Oc­cu­pa­tion: Coun­try Pres­i­dent of Chubb In­sur­ance Malaysia Ber­had Na­tion­al­ity: Aus­tralian Time in Malaysia: 5 years

Expatriate Lifestyle - - Contents - In­ter­view by Ta­nia Jay­ati­laka

Home in Malaysia

Six years ago I trav­elled fre­quently to Malaysia to over­see the ac­qui­si­tion and in­te­gra­tion of Jerneh In­sur­ance, a lo­cal in­sur­ance com­pany that Chubb (then known as ACE) ac­quired. I felt an in­stant con­nec­tion with the friend­li­ness of the peo­ple, the cul­ture and of course, the food. It was a quick de­ci­sion for me to say yes when I was of­fered the po­si­tion to head the Malaysia of­fice and the rest is his­tor y, as the say­ing goes.

Busi­ness as usual

Like many of my col­leagues, I sort of ‘fell’ into in­sur­ance. It is a good in­dus­try to work in and I have met some great peo­ple along the way. The great­est thing about my ca­reer in in­sur­ance is that it’s given me the op­por­tu­nity to travel around the world as well as live and work in coun­tries out­side of Aus­tralia such as Hong Kong, Sin­ga­pore and now in Malaysia.

On the road again

Driv­ing in this coun­try is re­ally dif­fer­ent from driv­ing in Aus­tralia. There are some very in­ter­est­ing driv­ing styles here which take some time to get used to. My ad­vice to other ex­pats is to be alert at all times and watch out for mo­tor­cy­cles be­fore chang­ing lanes. While it is ex­pected, you can’t al­ways rely on driv­ers to use their in­di­ca­tors when mak­ing turns or chang­ing lanes! Small things like stay­ing off the phone when driv­ing and keep­ing the kids se­cured in their child seats will help.

Han­gout spots

Malaysia is a food haven and I love din­ing out and try­ing new things. One of my new favourite places is Mr. Chew’s Chino Latino Bar & Restau­rant. Troika Sky Din­ing is another great place to take vis­i­tors for a per­fect view of the Petronas Tow­ers. To ful­fil that spicy food crav­ing, I nor­mally go to Qureshi at TPC Kuala Lumpur, a Nor th In­dian fine din­ing restau­rant or to Aliyaa in Bukit Da­mansara for Sri Lankan cui­sine.

Get­ting away

It’s got to be Ge­orge Town in Pe­nang for food and art. When I need a break to de-stress, my choice would be The Es­tates at the Pangkor Laut Re­sort. Kota Kin­a­balu is also one of my favourite places and it re­minds me of Queens­land ev­ery time I’m there. And there’s still a lot more on my to-do list! I would say that the over­all re­laxed life­style and cul­ture of get­ting to­gether here is sim­i­lar to Aus­tralia, which makes me feel right at home.

Tack­ling prob­lems

The chal­lenges that the in­sur­ance in­dus­try is fac­ing lo­cally are the lim­ited ta­lent pool and the rel­a­tively low aware­ness of the im­por­tance of in­sur­ance. On the other hand, there is still so much op­por­tu­nity for the in­dus­try to grow and that’s what makes my job here so ex­cit­ing! The mo­tor in­sur­ance mar­ket in Malaysia was lib­er­alised re­cently, which means that driv­ers in Malaysia now have more choices on what works best for them.

Strik­ing a bal­ance

I get up very early in the morn­ing to do my ex­er­cise and plan the day ahead. When I am home af­ter work, I will put my phone away and fo­cus on the fam­ily. It is eas­ier said than ac­tu­ally done, but I make ev­ery ef­fort not to bring work home! EL

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