The executive Bruno Bratt, took charge of the health plan administrator Qualicorp in November last year. He had little management time before the pandemic of the new coronavirus arrived and imposed a working model unlike anything known until now.
Blatt’s arrival brought freshness to a company accustomed to a more plastered and aggressive management style. Blatt had previously been through the administrator, in 2009, when Qualicorp bought a health insurance broker founded by him. Now, it arrived with the power to “change everything”. After almost a year at the helm, the executive highlights the pillars of his performance so far, in an exclusive interview with EXAME.
“I like to do things that are of value to people. As Renato Russo said, we have to love people as if there is no tomorrow. If we do a management just looking at the margin, it is something fake, in a while the result is lost. And the development agenda of people will bring growth to the company, there is no way not to, ”says the executive.
In the last twelve months, the main focus of Blatt’s management has been a review of the company’s strategy, culture and governance. At the tip of the business strategy, the executive’s mantra is to expand access. In a sector of rising prices in a scenario of economic crisis, the challenge for the administrator (and all companies that work with health plans) is to offer products that fit the client’s pocket.
To this end, it launched more than 20 new products in recent months, with special emphasis on partnerships with regional operators and products aimed at families. Qualicorp entered into a partnership with Assim Saúde, a vertical operator in Rio de Janeiro, with Paraná Clínicas, and Grupo Notredame Intermédica, one of the largest healthcare operators in the country that works with lower average ticket products.
“It is an expansion of the portfolio to find customers who did not fit our products before, people who cannot afford plans from more expensive operators such as Amil, Sulamérica or Bradesco”, he says.
It also created a family plan with Sulamérica, with discounts for the inclusion of dependents. “This is an unprecedented product, a year ago no insurance company spoke about a family plan, it is something that comes from our innovation strategy”, says Blatt.
On another front, it is looking at the market for small and medium-sized companies and those working as a legal entity, the PJs, an audience that was never very much focused on Qualicorp. It also works in alternative channels for clients to access health plans, models still in gestation.
In front of the changes in the company’s culture, Blatt brought to Qualicorp discussions already known from more modern companies, with a focus on ensuring more diversity and well-being for employees. “I wouldn’t have come if I didn’t have a purpose. And my legacy is being able to make a difference in people’s lives, whether they are customers, employees or partners, ”he says.
Qualicorp reached 68% of women in the staff, 59% of them in leadership positions; 29% of blacks and pardos in total, 30% in leadership positions, and 5% of people with physical disabilities. It also expanded maternity and paternity leave, created the license for same-sex couples and hired pregnant women, a taboo in the corporate world. It also released the employees’ dress code and implemented short Friday, with the possibility of ending the office hours earlier on Friday.
In the office, it ended the presidential office and made the relationship between employees more horizontal. As the pandemic progressed, the change in the office became more radical. The company has already returned twelve of the fifteen floors of its headquarters. Employees continue to work remotely – face-to-face activities should only return in January, but already in a different format.
“The home office at least three times a week is here to stay. The old office model no longer makes sense. It will not be a place to go to work every day, but for people to get together and create bonds ”, he says.
While reducing the fixed space for employees, Qualicorp created spaces for brokers, which did not exist before. There are two spaces, one in São Paulo and the other in Rio de Janeiro, for training activities.
On the governance side, Qualicorp has strengthened its compliance team and is concerned with improving its communication with the market. Attention to this comes at a crucial moment: on July 21, the company’s headquarters in São Paulo was the target of a search and seizure action by the Federal Police, as part of an operation that investigates the participation of the company’s founder, José Seripieri Junior, in a cash payment scheme for the José Serra campaign (PSDB), in 2014. The company points out that it is not the target of the investigations, only ex-executives, and that it is collaborating with the authorities. Among the changes implemented in this period, there is also the change of some people in executive positions.
A closer look at the theme is already bearing fruit. Bank of America released a recent report recommending buying the company’s stock. The document begins with the following sentence: “welcome to the new Qualicorp”. The bank’s analysts highlight the changes in the company since Rede D’Or became a shareholder in the manager.
“With that comes a change in culture, a redesign of strategy and a reassessment of priorities. A more solid and transparent corporate governance structure. A strategy geared to growth and innovation. And, not least, a new way of communicating with all stakeholders. We believe that these changes enable the new Qualicorp to take a brighter path ahead ”, says the report.
Among the points highlighted in Qualicorp’s strategy by bank analysts are the diversification of products to be offered to its current customers, the internalization of some call-center activities and changes in processes to improve customer service and retention. It also highlights investments in technology and data analysis.
Despite being the largest benefits administrator in the country, with 1.2 million lives, the company still sees plenty of room to grow. “The collective plans today have about 6 million lives. Administrators cover 3 million of these customers. And we only have 1.2 million ”, says Blatt. One of the growth fronts is that of mergers and acquisitions. The company is looking for opportunities both to acquire customer portfolios and on other strategic fronts, and is expected to announce acquisitions soon. In June, it acquired the portfolio of the administrator Clube Care, with 14 thousand clients, for 20 million reais.
So many changes in a year are beginning to attract the interest of investors, in a foggy time for the health market. Although some companies have gained market share in the pandemic, the effect of rising unemployment on the operators’ customer base is still uncertain. Even so, in the last twelve months, Qualicorp accumulated a 12% rise in the Brazilian stock exchange B3, compared to a 5% drop in the Ibovespa (between the highs and lows caused by the pandemic).
In terms of numbers, Qualicorp has been walking sideways (which in a pandemic period is not necessarily bad news). In the second quarter of 2020, it had revenues of R $ 483.7 million, a decrease of 2.8% in relation to the same period of the previous year. Profit in the quarter was 126.7 million reais, due to non-recurring gains, which represented an increase of 21.5% in relation to the same period of the previous year. 2019 revenue was 2 billion reais, up 3.7% over 2018. Profit was 392.8 million, down 0.6%.