DiscoverFS Brew- Insurtech and insurance in MENA
FS Brew- Insurtech and insurance in MENA
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FS Brew- Insurtech and insurance in MENA

Author: Renjit Philip and Vidya Veerapandian

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Welcome to FS Brew!
FS Brew is the region’s first podcast focussing on insurance and insurtech, here in the UAE and the wider Middle East.
We are based in the startup magnet, a city of dreamers and visionaries- Dubai!

In every episode, the hosts, Vidya Veerapandian and Renjit Philip have in-depth conversations with expert on the subject of insurtech, insurance, venture capital, digital transformation, actuarial science and many other topics.
35 Episodes
The emergence of Chat GPT and AI technologies has brought about a revolution in the insurance industry. These tools offer promising solutions to the complexity of data-driven insurance operations. Chat GPT, a large language model, can create chatbots that can process claims, answer customer inquiries, and even underwrite policies. AI, on the other hand, can assist insurers in analyzing data, identifying patterns, and making informed decisions about pricing and risk. The integration of these technologies can significantly enhance customer service, reduce costs, and increase efficiency. It can also improve insurers' ability to manage risk, resulting in more accurate pricing and profitable underwriting. The applications of Chat GPT and AI in the insurance industry are numerous. Chat GPT can automate the underwriting process, freeing up underwriters to tackle more complex cases. AI provides valuable insights to insurers about risk and assists in making informed decisions. Chat GPT can also automate the claims process, resulting in faster claims processing and improved customer satisfaction. Additionally, it can create chatbots that are available 24/7 to answer customer inquiries, reducing expenses while improving customer service. The potential of Chat GPT and AI to revolutionize the insurance industry is enormous. These technologies can make insurance more efficient, effective, and customer-centric. They can personalize insurance products and services, prevent fraud, and drive innovation in the industry. In summary, the benefits of Chat GPT and AI in insurance are significant, and insurers must consider these tools' potential to improve their operations. --- Send in a voice message:
FS Brew has been speaking to #venturecapital firms interested in #insurance and #insurtech space to know more about what it takes to pique their interest and get the fund in! In our first chat with a #venturecapital firm, we spoke with Ahmed Elgabri, an investment professional from Shorooq Partners, a leading #abudhabi based #vc firm with offices across #MENA and #pakistan. It was a super insightful conversation, and we even got to know the whole application process for an insurtech start-up to apply for investment and their turnaround time. We also spoke about the following: 💪 their ethos- to be founders' partners; Ahmed spoke with us in detail on 'deep' Shorooq Partners work with the founders 🌼 working with founders involves accessibility to Shorooq Partners' team itself, continuous access to partners and investors, helping build tech and team strengths, regional footprint and market access, and full support with fund-raising exercise 💸 criteria to evaluate start-ups: 🧑🏼‍🤝‍🧑🏿invest in the founders/ team who are close to the problem 🌐is the team solving a sizeable problem?🤝early signs of product-market fit, customer sign-ups ⌚Investment team to assess the start-up deck and get back within a month; investment ticket size between 1 to 3 mn $ for early-stage start-ups📖 Shorooq Partners' interesting method to invest in an industry: thesis-driven sourcing! 📊 different trends within the #vc world, capital access, and focus on sustainable business models and lean and efficient operations management 👩‍💻 trends within the #insurtech space shaping each country within the region- from Egypt to KSA to UAE, maturity, and trends vary! 🧠 their exit strategy, and they remain on top of industry trends that shape their decision-making; many valuable lessons for budding #vc professionals! Check out the interview to know more! Finally, if you are an aspiring #insurtech founder, check out to access their application online and let us know how it goes! --- Send in a voice message:
Here's our latest podcast episode with Gautam Datta from Watania Takaful! When we interviewed him a few weeks back, the freshly merged Dar Al Takaful PJSC and #Watania entity were on the verge of revealing their new name, which he makes reference to in the interview. We had a great time speaking to him about a no. of things, ranging from: 🕰️ the timeline of this seemingly complex merger; how it all panned out ⛳ the importance of having a singular company culture post-merger 📢 criticality of a good comms strategy and how Dar Al Takaful PJSC being Dubai- based and #Watania being Abu Dhabi based helped 🎰 crippling issues facing the industry such as the pricing/ discount culture which goes against the very grain of the insurance principle of probability 🙆‍♂️ how regulatory intervention to fix these issues means denting the confidence of the public towards the industry and raising credibility issues  🎯 new entity's PL and CL strategy ⌚ his approach to trends and insurtech- a matter of collaboration and using the services to ultimately drive superior customer experience 🦸🏻‍♂️ their evolving diversification plans which are highly dependent on emerging risks- cyber, pandemic-based, pension🔥 a fun rapid-fire Q&A at the end of the interview- getting to know his fav books, hobby, music band, and even his fav #middleeast city!   If anyone in the insurance sector is currently questioning the larger purpose of the industry, then this is the interview to watch to rekindle the 'power of protection' based on which this industry was formed. Link to the interview in the comments. Don't miss this episode! 👇#interview #power #ceo #insurance #collaboration #dubai #abudhabi#culture #strategy #customerexperience #podcast --- Send in a voice message:
Happy Women's Day! 👩🏻‍💼 To commemorate this year's international women's day, we spoke with three leaders from the UAE insurance industry. We asked them about their approach to advancing gender diversity and inclusion within the industry, navigating complex situations, and their leadership style. We also discussed in detail some of the common challenges women face in the insurance industry, especially within the Middle East; we delved into some practical actions women can take and what the broader ecosystem can do for women to thrive in their workplace. It was a fascinating panel discussion, and we urge our listeners to tune in to know how each of us, whether we are a man or a woman or someone in a position of power, use the influence to build an equitable system. ☯️ Thank you, Mina Sahib, Caroline Bertrand, and Tanja Magas, for leading the conversation and making it an extraordinary episode! 👏 --- Send in a voice message:
In our latest episode, we spoke with Mohamed Seghir, CEO of HAYAH Insurance, UAE's recently branded insurance company that specializes in life, medical, and savings.   It was a delightful chat as we dug deeper into how Mohamed Seghir went about rebranding and redesigning the organization which was previously AXAGreen Crescent, before AXA Gulf's exit from the region. We spoke about HAYAH's ideal customer and the behaviors which drive their digital strategy, trends that are shaping the life & health insurance market, how AI shapes their product strategies, and how a cool & young organization cannot be run by one cool person or a single 'cool' department. 😁😎 --- Send in a voice message:
FS Brew spoke with Lars Gehrmann from QIC Digital Venture Partners and got exclusive details about the #MENA-wide #startup challenge they recently launched!   We also spoke to him about the gaps in the insurance ecosystem in the region for innovative insurtechs to take shape here and what is QIC Digital Venture Partners doing to fill those gaps. Through this #startup challenge leading up to a summit that is to take place in May this year, the selected start-ups will get access to RI capacity, venture-building support, and access to talent, amongst others! Listen in to learn more about this exciting #challenge! --- Send in a voice message:
In our first episode of #FSBrewInternational for 2023, we speak with the passionate and exuberant, Rohit Nambiar, Group CEO of Tune Protect, based in KL Malaysia! This interview was a playbook on how to run an insurance company that is 'fit-for-purpose' in all aspects- customer, employee, business strategy, culture, name it, Rohit had clear views on what it takes to run a successful D2C and a parallel, flourishing B2B components of the business! Some of the things we've spoken in length are: - Tune Protect's Business model- their D2C proposition, reinsurance business which is spread across 60 countries and a white-labelled tech which is even present in the Middle East and used by leading airlines and travel agents! - Their D2C proposition in ML is focussed on Gen Z and millenials and hence their major workforce are from this generation! - Their work culture is to keep it 'fun and uncomfortable'...yes, uncomfortable! - Their laser focus since Rohit took over the business during COVID 2020, their NPS score for the employees has moved from -20 to +20 and the customer NPS score has moved from -14 to +38! - Moving away from traditional metrics like GWP, NEP, they track 4 key metrics closely- no.of customers added per month, are they buying more products, are they staying longer with Tune Protect and finally, is the average premium growing - Secret sauce- their digital capabilities and their ability to turn around a product to market in matter of days versus months taken by typical insurers - their role in Middle East and future plans - Interesting products such as consignment insurance and 14 variations to travel insurance product! --- Send in a voice message:
UAE Insurance Market: 2022 Roundup and 2023 Predictions. Today we have a very special episode on how 2022 has been for the insurance companies in the UAE so far and potentially what that means in terms of how we will be ending the year and setting the tone for 2023. Has 2022 been one of the worst years for the insurers? Will 2023 be any different? To answers some of the burning questions, we have with us Navin Ghorawat, who is a senior manager at Badri Consultancy. Navin, in a recent event, spoke about the UAE Insurance market performance and drivers & findings. And we simply had to get him online to chat with us more about it. --- Send in a voice message:
In FS Brew's latest HYPE episode, we deep dive into Open Insurance to understand:   - What is open insurance? - Who are the suitable partners who can benefit from open insurance - International examples & use cases - Business and technology readiness to build open insurance capabilities - Product lines and sectors that make sense for the region to benefit from open insurance  - Finally, the all-important regulations required to bring this concept to life!   #openinsurance #fsbrew #insurance #insurtech #embeddedinsurance --- Send in a voice message:
Here's our interview with Walid Daniel Dib, Co-founder, and CEO of Hala Insurance, the OG millennial insurtech founder from the #UAE!  We spoke with Walid on many nuances and factors involved in running an agile insurance start-up brand like Hala:  🎯Hala's business model- tech seems like the starting point...surprisingly, it is not!  🔍Test & learn culture- using hypotheses versus assumptions to test & learn product fit  🤑How did they go about building their first set of customers...did the #cacstack-up?  🏝️That one 'trend' they are keen to develop... is exciting as it is micro-level penetration of insurance  💸Current VC and funding environment outlook for insurtechs ®️Regulatory wishlist to develop the market not just within the UAE but the Middle East as a whole  🔭Drawing inspiration from other markets like #India, #Singapore, and #EU countries and start-ups, he closely tracks --- Send in a voice message:
Here's our #newswithanalysis episode after long! 💃🏻 In this episode, we've picked trending #news pieces from the #uae market exclusively, because there's just SO MUCH going on!  🎂Shory - (we had to start with this!), our review about the Shory digital experience so far, their 'socially invested' angle and more   📄Policybazaar UAE - tie-up with Adamjee Insurance UAE to provide exclusive #healthinsurance products to cater to the #Pakistani residents in the UAE and their family back home; 🏹SALAMA - Islamic Arab Insurance Co. - seemingly renewed strategy with multiple exclusive and interesting tie-ups; special shout-out to their #Kindness campaign #KindBeingsofDubai 🚀™ By AFIA Insurance Brokerage Services LLC- many interesting activities like their partnership with Hero Motorcycle - UAE, and tie up with Dubai National Insurance (DNI) to create #pedalcycleinsurance; special mention to Avinash Babur ACII for TikToking to promote insurance awareness 📲Cardea- we dig deeper into this embedded insurance proposition provider, including their recent build for Petra Insurance Brokers LLC to create --- Send in a voice message:
Here's our #FSBrewInternational interview with Andy Ann, CEO of YAS MicroInsurance based in #HongKong. Fascinating conversation and a must-watch for all #insurers aspiring to target or innovate to attract #genz and #millennials as their audiences.  We spoke extensively on many aspects of a customer lifecycle and innovation including:   🔬Extensive customer research to understand the psyche of the #millennialsand #genz that YAS MicroInsurance is targetting- Andy shared some insights that were fascinating and hilarious! 😂   🏃🏻‍♀️Moving away from insuring people and their belongings to time and event-based insurance- a clear shift from a 'limiting' factor of population to a 'limitless' possibility of events 🔮Insuring digital assets, starting with NFTs! 🖼️ 🚴🏻‍♂️Building an ecosystem around each product proposition- hard work that pays off! 🌍Their global plans, including coming into the UAE market! 🤹‍♂️Their amazing progress in the embedded insurance space- including their tie-up with a local transportation company --- Send in a voice message:
We spoke to Roopa Malhotra- Head of Customer & Digital, APAC, Zurich Insurance Group  LinkedIn:  APAC is a hugely diverse, exciting and complex landscape to manage with each country having its unique strengths and opportunities. We dug deeper into what it takes to drive digital transformation in the region, building on insurtechs innovation and incumbent's distribution strengths to build a solid insurance business, the importance of people focus a key sauce to success and much more!!   Roopa Malhotra is the Head of Customer & Digital, APAC for Zurich Insurance Group, and became a member of the Zurich Regional Committee in March 2022.  Ms. Malhotra is responsible for driving the digital strategy across the region with customer-focused propositions across channel partners and digital ecosystem players.  Before joining Zurich Group, Ms. Malhotra was Head of Digital for Chubb Insurance in the Asia Pacific. Over the years in the industry, she has gained well-rounded expertise in different aspects, including Natural Catastrophe risk management, digital product development, and partnership management.  Ms. Malhotra started her career in India as a financial analyst with the leading hedge fund - D.E. Shaw Group, before entering the insurance industry and holding positions with AIG and MSIG.   A passionate Diversity and Inclusion champion, Ms. Malhotra was also recognized as one of the rising female leaders in the region by Insurance Business Asia in 2021.  Ms. Malhotra holds an MBA in Finance with certifications in design thinking for innovation, and she is currently pursuing a Postgraduate Certificate in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge. She also actively volunteers at organizations like ‘All Hands and Hearts’ for disaster relief and Singapore’s ‘Alzheimer's Disease Association’ and is a fitness enthusiast.  #asia #zurich #motorinsurance #fsbrew #claims #insurance #lifeinsurance #healthinsurance --- Send in a voice message:
In our first episode of #FSBrewInternational, we spoke with Nicolo Robba from Lifepal.  Lifepal is the no. 1 B2C #insurance #aggregator in #indonesia. Nicolo Robba is an e-commerce leader in the South East Asia region, and has held senior roles within and Lazada previously before co-founding Lifepal.  Listen in to Nicolo as we dig deep into what it takes to create a leading insurance brand in one of the most dynamic countries in the world and fastest-growing insurance market (expected to reach $58bn by 2025).   They have a very strong customer value proposition and its success is evident in their whooping 536K followers on Instagram and 9 million monthly visitors to their #website- a feat that is tough achieve for any insurance brand! --- Send in a voice message:
We caught up with Wilson Varghese, General Manager and Head of Operations, Zurich Middle East, part of Zurich Insurance Group.  Wilson spoke in length about the Customer Benefits report recently released by Zurich Middle East and the relevance of this report in order to raise awareness about #lifeinsurance and #BeBetterPrepared. We also spoke about the incredible changes within the health insurance space, the various #trends like #wearables and #tech that are shaping the industry and how an incumbent insurer like Zurich Insurance are gearing up to these changes! We even got to dig deeper into his roles and responsibilities and how keeping the insurance promise- 'claims experience' remains at the heart of his role.  If you are keen to read about Zurich Middle East's Customer Benefits report, click here: --- Send in a voice message:
Check out our interview with founders, Vaibhav Kashyap and Javed Akberali! is the newest #healthinsurance brand in the UAE, rewarding its customers for leading a #healthylifestyle. We spoke in length about: 🧩's business model- its core components, the rewards system, and the business case behind it 🧑🏼‍🤝‍🧑🏿Customer acquisition process- how they acquired their first set of customers, what is working, and their renewed distribution strategy 🐾 Exciting partnerships they now have in place and their future diversification plans 🚦Start-up mindset, their outlook on the funding process in the region And finally, reach out to Javed Akberali if you are seeking to invest in a promising insurtech start-up in the region. The link to the full interview is in the comments section. #insurance #insurtech #fsbrew #uae #dubai #innovation #healthinsurance #funding #founders --- Send in a voice message:
Lars Gehrmann is the Group Chief Digital Officer of Qatar Insurance Group and Head of QIC Digital Venture Partners, a new digital organization with an aim to build and invest in digital ventures, the InsurTech ecosystem, and international partnerships while transforming the way Qatar Insurance Group operates digitally. Lars and the team have injected renewed energy into the region's insurance ecosystem with MENA's 1st Insurtech Hackathon, where the top 6 finalists will pitch in the grand finale at the MENA Insurtech Summit which is being held in Doha on 23rd June!  We spoke to Lars about the QIC Digital Venture Partners, the need for it, the process behind to set this up and the feedback received so far! We also spoke in length about the methodology QIC Digital Venture Partners employs to select and mentor an insurtech start-up.  Every aspiring insurance entrepreneur or anyone interested in the changing trends of the ecosystem should listen to this crisp podcast! Again, we bring to you an audio-only episode for a quick, on-the-go listen!  #insurance #insurtech #hackathon #uae #dubai #doha #qatar --- Send in a voice message:
Here's our latest podcast episode, a power-packed conversation with Frederik Bisbjerg, Executive Director- Digital & Innovation with Daman - National Health Insurance Company! He's a well-known personality within the insurance industry and has specific and workable tips and insights into running a successful, digital-first insurance business in the region. Amongst a host of things, we spoke about:  🧩 Importance of breaking down the giant digital transformation plan into smaller, 3-month goals  📚Advice to Chief Digital Officers- keep educating your board; use metrics like customer effort score (CES) to articulate the impact  👩🏻‍⚕️Is there a solid business case for reward-based health insurance here in the UAE? Instead of annual rewards, will monthly or even weekly rewards work better?  🔐 Building cloud capability and two-speed IT  🚀Creating a modular architect to create #embeddedinsurance products that can work even in the #metaverse  🧪How to get the chemistry right between incumbent insurers and #insurtech   🐲And examples of organizations who have got it right across all components of digital transformation and CX Many insights and takeaways...this is one you can’t miss!  Also bonus- here is a link Frederik’s top 5 videos on transformation: --- Send in a voice message:
We caught up with Tanja Magas, Chief Data and Analytics Officer at Democrance, a UAE- founded #insurtech with the mission to digitalize the value chain for insurers, brokers, and distribution partners.  Tanja digs deep into her role as the Chief Data Officer which involves a multi-layered strategy; she also spoke in length about how insurance is the best-poised industry to utilize the power of advanced ML technology to mitigate fraud.  We also discovered the many service offerings Democrance currently provides, apart from its original offering of #microinsurance.   If you consider yourself a data geek or you are an aspiring data officer, this is the podcast you should not miss! 📻 #insurance #podcast #analytics #ml #uae #data #technology --- Send in a voice message:
Here's the much-awaited interview with LAVANYA MUNDAYUR, Chief Executive of The New India Assurance Co. Ltd., Dubai.   We spoke in length about various nuances within the #UAE and #India's insurance landscape and much more:  🔭 The New India Assurance Co. Ltd.'s storied history and its purpose of setting up an overseas branch in many countries including here, in the UAE  🎯Commonalities and differences between the 2 markets and the impact of CEPA specifically for NIA  🇮🇳 India, despite its insurance maturity and the longevity of the industry, the penetration rate is less than 2%; the opportunities that lie within and the strategies used to serve many 'Indias' within one India  👩🏻‍⚖️ Shaping women leaders within the insurance industry and creating an environment for them to thrive is key --- Send in a voice message:
Comments (2)

Emilia Gray

The conversion of information into digital format significantly speeds up the interaction of various departments, makes the decision-making process short and more visual, which in turn makes it possible to minimize the likelihood of errors in decision-making. In addition, you can always find the best professionals for this purpose here

Apr 22nd

Slevin Kelevra

Oh, that's interesting, and I hope that it'll actually help insurance companies improve their services because it's a challenge to find anything decent nowadays. Well, I managed to discover not so long ago, but it took me forever, and hopefully, over time, there will be more companies like that one.

Dec 5th
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