The COVID-19 pandemic changed radically the global scenario with a deep social and economic impact in all countries. Its effects are likely going to be long-lasting, especially in those regions that at the beginning of 2020 had not completely recovered from the 2009 financial crisis.
Comparing the current situation with the one Europe experienced in 2009, which deeply affected the socio-economic tissue of all the regions and Italy in particular, the crisis caused by the COVID-19 outbreak challenged governments to act faster and give stronger support to help repair the economic and social damages, even if many decisions taken by the governments lacked in coordination. Among all, the historic and highly discussed decision taken by the European Commission to face the crisis presenting the “Next Generation EU” plan – a measure worth 750 billion euros (40% of the which dedicated to Italy and Spain) aims at leading the way out of the crisis and lay the foundations for a modern and more sustainable Europe.
Jean-Marc Daniel, professor emeritus at the l’ESCP Business School, and editorialist at Les Echos, in his article Economie italienne: le vrai problème de Mario Draghi published on February 17th on Les Echos shares his point of view on the Italian economy in this challenging times in relation to the nomination of Mario Draghi as prime minister. Mario Draghi was called to head the Italian government “with the ultimate aim to make Italy benefit from his serious reputation, his competence, and his pragmatism, shown during the years as former head of the European Central Bank” – and manage the billions Italy will receive from the European Union.
Considering the latest economic report on Italy by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Jean-Marc Daniel outlines that the major issues that need to be considered thinking of the future investments to escape the crisis are the excessive presence of bureaucratization at all levels and an inadequate education and training system, leading to unskilled workforce and unemployment. Those comments could also apply to France where the public education system is quickly and sadly losing ground in international rankings.
In this context, thanks to the relevance in the economic scenario and the accelerated shift to digital the insurtech sector is facing (described also in the Celent Insurers overview in which RGI took part last month), insurers could have an important role to help and support the Italian growth, focusing on themes that are at the top of the political agenda and crucial for the economy, such as digitalization, ESG and skill development.
Now more than ever insurers have the chance to support companies, inventing both tailor-made and simple, standard solutions, with a focus on supporting digitalization. Leaders of the sector should also try to push internationalization, thinking of innovative, multi-country digital solutions.
Besides, to achieve these goals and foster economic recovery, insurers will have a key role to support ESG, focusing especially on skill development, leveraging the new horizons provided by Smart learning and remote working. In this context, it would be crucial to develop offers and services ranging from upskilling, with initial training leading to immediate jobs, to re-skilling, which encourages mid-career reconversions.
Finally, in this scenario, timing is also of the essence, as most players need to act in the same timeframe; currently some actors are actively launching new initiatives to propose new, adapted offers and change their business models, while others are still trying to find clarity in the current crisis, potentially losing precious months and weeks. So, in relevant sectors such as insurance and financial services, as well as in politics, competence, innovation, but also timing is crucial, and should really be combined to create new opportunities and support Italian growth.