EP 23 – Harshet Lunani – Founder of Qoala – I Would Rather Give a Thousand People a Dollar


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 AsiaTechPodcast.com show has listeners in more than 170 countries and his company, Michael Waitze Media produces some of Asia’s most popular podcasts.

Harshet Lunani is the Founder and CEO of Qoala, the fast-growing Southeast Asian Multi-Channel Insurtech company that aims to revolutionize insurance through a combination of underwriting risk for high frequency events in daily lives and photo-based claims, assisted by machine learning. Before successfully building Qoala, Harshet founded and ran Bima Mobile’s Indonesia setup as part of the their first foray into SE Asia. Prior to this, he worked at the Boston Consulting Group and Merrill Lynch.

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In this episode, Michael Waitze spoke to Harshet Lunani, the founder of Qoala. Qoala partners with leading insurers to build technologies and insurance products that use big data for validation of claims. Harshet studied mathematics and computer science at Oxford University and worked for globally recognized corporates including  Merrill Lynch, BCG and Endeavor before starting his own InsurTech company to address the lack of convenient and useful insurance products in Southeast Asia. 

Harshet touches on how insurance should be an easily claimable product that gives people a good experience rather than causing unnecessary stress. Raise awareness for the product and not make it an invisible transaction added to your Go-Jek or GRAB order. He speaks about the huge potential these products currently have in countries like Indonesia and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Harshet shares details on the claims management process Qoala has developed. To have a reliable and fast response the company is using AI to validate the amount for a specific claim, using both videos and photographs. The collection and usage of big data over the last year have increased the precision of the claims validation and also the fraud prevention.

Other companies mentioned in this conversation:

Lehman Brothers, Bima, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and American Airlines

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Episode 23