Avni Ponari (SIGAL) – Business Sight’s Revolutionary CEOs in 2020

The only thing people can agree about life is that it is unpredictable. At the moment, everything is working fine and the next, there is chaos. Numerous people, their assets fall prey to life’s sudden change of directions as they are insured in any way to withstand the impact. Hence, it cannot be stressed enough, how important insurance plays a role in an individual’s life. All people seek financial freedom at some point in their lives and invest their saving while leaving none to insurance. From a practical point of view, if investments are washed away by unforeseen events, only insurance policies are capable of giving something back. Therefore, insuring assets and investments are a vital key to having financial freedom. Buying insurance is important as it ensures that people are financially secure to face any type of problem in life and one such fine firm which covers people’s needs is SIGAL UNIQA Group.

Spearheading Exceptional Success

At the helm of the company is Mr. Avni Ponari – CEO & Founder of SIGAL UNIQA Group of Austria Sh. A. since February 22nd, 1999. He is also the Chair of the Management Board of SIGAL UGA Life Kosovo; Chair of the Supervisory Council of SIGAL UGA North Macedonia; and Chair of the Supervisory Council of SIGAL UGA Life North Macedonia. Furthermore, he is also acting as CEO and shareholder of 8 companies of the Group’s insurance market of SIGAL UNIQA Group Austria in the Balkans (Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia), as well as of several other businesses such as car concessionary, tourism, and financial businesses.

Under Mr. Ponari’s leadership, SIGAL UNIQA Group has become on the biggest and most reliable insurance company in Albania and the surrounding regions. He is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the country and he is also a widely well-known public figure in the business niche but also with a positive developmental impact and powerful role in the economic, social, cultural, sports, and education spheres in Albania and the Balkans. As a formally High Navy Official, he comes from a sector that had no direct connection with insurances, but as a Captain, he knew in detail what leadership meant and what was the role of the leader. “A Captain is someone who travels in open seas, whereas the ship is a part of the state operating in this vast watery and sky-opened environment,” claims Mr. Ponari.

“As the founder of SIGAL UNIQA and its networks in Albania, Kosovo, and North Macedonia, I am very familiar and up-to-date on what are the needs and expectations of our customers. Most of the citizens and businesses aren’t still covered financially as the main and most reliable guarantee for their financial protection in cases of misfortunes or business thriving. This issue continues to be one of our most difficult challenge which also requires extensive efforts for the financial education of the citizens as customers.” he adds further.

Stalwart Entrepreneur

Incorporated in the year 1999, SIGAL UNIQA was renamed by local investors to SIGAL UNIQA Group Austria after the market liberalization of the insurance market in Albania under Mr. Ponari’s leadership. When he had founded the company there was a previous model experience of a shareholder company and the first shareholder had no prior knowledge or skills about how such a company could operate and function. Hence, Mr. Ponari addressed the challenge by investing in shareholders’ financial and insurance-related education along with the acquisition of new insurance and business operations and cycles. Through the Albanian-American Fund of Enterprise, the Department of State of United States of America entered Eastern Europe and supplied necessary financial and resources to Mr. Ponari which enabled him to lead his company with complete freedom and retain his leadership over two decades.

Employing his Navy experience to set an example, Mr. Ponari led his company to become a leading insurance firm since 2002 with an average of 30 percent of the market share. “No matter the stormy challenges, the ship had to reach its destination. This was my mindset, my working culture and a ‘big picture’ vision to run all sectors equally diligently assessing their essential roles towards successful goal achievement. This made me conquer all harbors – to reach the planned destination – and then to restart passionately all over again,” states Mr. Ponari.

“Thanks to our inspirational motto, the dedicated hardworking staff and partner agents, our successful advertisement campaigns, the technological novelties and new products and services aimed at communicating to the citizens on the key roles of insurances as means of strengthening customer’s financial personality. This is key to becoming a free and independent citizen and educated customer for a brighter promising future based on real guarantees. Furthermore, we will continue to expand and strengthen our leadership role and market position in the future as well,” asserts Mr. Ponari.

Stellar Recognition

Due to his extraordinary leadership qualities, Mr. Ponari has been bestowed with numerous accolades.

  • - “THE ORDER OF THE RISING SUN, GOLD RAYS WITH NECK RIBBON” by the Japanese Emperor in his capacities as the ‘Honorary Council General of Japan in Albania’
  • - ‘GRAND DECORATION OF HONOUR’ by the President of Austria

Mr. Ponari translates his unique experience into writings, and reports and he also states his opinions on different socio-economic issues in the country.