AIP News RoundUp – Episode 25 – Rahul Mathur and Shefali Sonpar – Customer Experience Is Kept at the Heart of this Transformation


Michael Waitze worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo.  Michael lived and worked in Tokyo from February 1990 until December 2011.  Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, building one of the biggest and fastest-growing podcast listener bases in the region.  His show has listeners in more than 170 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Rahul Mathur

Rahul is the Startup lead at Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab in London. Prior to joining Accenture, he was an Insurance Product Manager at Laka Insurance, a London headquartered early stage InsurTech start-up which recently won at the British Insurance Awards 2019.  Rahul holds a master’s degree in Statistics from the University of Warwick. He is an Ambassador at the Asia InsurTech podcast.

Experienced leader empowering Insurers to drive growth through digital transformation. Shefali is passionate about building business solutions based on the transformation power of digital and data - pushing innovation boundaries – exploring the possibilities for technology impact on business.

August has seen some exciting developments with Insurtech and marked developments in digital adoption by Asian Insurers. The theme continues to be digital adoption to reach a traditionally untapped customer base. 

We start this episode with Chinese InsurTech Waterdrop who has raised US$230M Series D led by reinsurance giant SwissRe, alongside China-based internet firm Tencent. This announcement comes ahead of its proposed U.S. IPO. The team discussed how the online InsurTech company is poised to accelerate technological innovation and digitalization of the industry during and post COVID-19 situation. According to Waterdrop, the latest round of funding will be used to expand the platform, as well as to develop partnerships with other entities in the healthcare arena, through the use of artificial intelligence and big data.

In the Philippines, Igloo (formerly Axinan) has announced a partnership with UnionBank of the Philippines and Akulaku Indonesia to offer micro-insurance policies. This is another step towards digitizing insurance and making it more accessible for Filipinos. Akulaku is one of Indonesia’s most well-funded fintech startups best known for its “buy now, pay later” service. The value proposition of using technology to provide micro-insurance in 3,6,9  and 12-month plans with the target of introducing a new product every month. Find our episode with Wei Zhu, the founder of Igloo here

Indian insurer Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance has strategically increased its focus on customer experience with the adoption of artificial intelligence-powered (AI) solutions by Element AI. The Indian insurance market is becoming increasingly competitive and the optimal use of digital – human hybrid operation can be the differentiation that delivers seamless and superior customer experience. 

Continuing on the customer focus theme, Great Eastern and RebateMango have collaborated to launch a new dimension of rewards on UPGREAT as part of the leading insurer’s regional consumer strategy to engage its customers online. UPGREAT presently has 168,000 members in Singapore and the app is free for anyone to join and is not restricted to Great Eastern policyholders. The success of UPGREAT expands the potential customer base for Great Eastern and helps RebateMango give a better overall value to its members through their journey. 

In Singapore, we saw the launch of Surer to help the insurance industry reach SME’s. According to Surer, which launched on August 12, its platform aims to help all parties in the general insurance industry automate processes and drive network collaborations. In digitalizing insurers’ and intermediaries’ workflows, it will enable them to focus on their clients, and scale their business, without having to worry about mismanagement. Given the mature and complex Singapore market, we believe Surer bring an interesting value proposition by enabling a fully connected platform that can facilitate a ‘triple-win’ situation between policyholders who have access to, highly efficient intermediary salesforce providing better products and faster closure ultimately giving more business to insurers.

Finally, Asia InsurTech Podcast is proud to partner with ITC + DIA world tour to host the Thailand stop. Join us on 8th September, 01:00 PM GMT +7 to hear from Business leaders on the ground in the executive panel. You will meet InsurTechs in the startup Pitches & listen to thought leaders as they bring change to the way our industry works. Don’t miss the Fireside chat with Igloo’s country head Thailand at the ITC + DIA World Tour Thailand Stop. Theresa Blissing and Chancharas Chantarakarn will talk about their strategic vision, foreign InsurTechs entering the kingdom, and how the regulator is supporting them, and a lot more! Register for the free event here

Other companies mentioned in this episode: Go!, Roojai

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