EP 25 – Panu Boonyakiat, Firras Sabbah, Harprem Doowa and Nicolas Faquet – Thailand Roundtable – Look at It From an Entrepreneur Standpoint

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Michael Waitze has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective. Michael worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo. Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia while building the biggest and fastest-growing listener base in the region. His flagship website, AsiaTechPodcast.com, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.

Currently the Co-founder and CEO of E-Direct Thailand (Frank.co.th). Before this, he was the co-founder and MD of Moxy/Orami Thailand growing the company from inception to a valuation of $50 million after a Series A raise from investors such as Sinar Mas Group, Eduardo Saverin, Ardent Capital, and Velos Partners. Prior to Moxy/Orami, Harprem was in the financial sector working under the private equities and derivatives division of a local firm where he managed high net-worth individuals and a portfolio over 1 billion THB.

Essec MBA, Actuary, 25 years of insurance experience in Asia and Europe, mainly in Motor and Health insurance, with AXA Singapore, AXA France, AIG Europe. A founding member of DirectAsia in 2009 as Group COO in charge of product, pricing, claims, call center, reinsurance and Hong Kong CEO. Sold DirectAsia to Hiscox for 55MUSD in March 2014. Started Roojai in December 2014.

CEO / Co-Founder Go! Insurance. Previously, CIO and Head of Digital Platforms Allianz. Several roles at Allianz Germany and Allianz Singapore and the Co-Founder Food-Startup in Germany.

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In this episode, Michael Waitze discusses the state of the Thai InsurTech market with Panu Boonyakiat, Co-Founder of Claim Di, Firras Sabbah, Founder of Go! Insurance, Harprem Doowa, Co-Founder of Frank.co.th and Nicolas Faquet, CEO of Roojai.com

The panel covers much ground, including how the Office of Insurance Commission (OIC) continues to work with InsurtTechs to ensure that the market for their products continues to expand while also providing the proper amount of consumer protection.  Furthermore, they discuss the importance of the balance between privacy and security while purchasing an insurance product. How to achieve this balance in the most efficient way possible.

The group also discussed in detail the best ways for incumbent insurers to work with the startups and what the issues were that made that challenging.  Across the board, the startup founders believed that the biggest challenge was speed…larger companies tend to move slower and with more caution, while smaller companies tend to take more risk and move faster.  Again, striking a balance is key.

The panel finished its discussion with some commentary on both the possibility of maintaining their own balance sheets and the likelihood of regional expansion.

Other companies mentioned in this conversation:

Amazon, Acko General Insurance, Allianz

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