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October 21, 2014

Insurance Companies Learn That Leaner Is Better

Posted by Pankaj Kulkarni (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:55 AM

Learning to leverage data in the insurance industry [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7ECOyxNMvI]

I don't know about you, but the recent news that an eminent French academic has won the 2014 Nobel Prize in economics reminded me of the theory of so-called 'perfect competition.' One thing you learn upon getting a job in the real world is that perfect competition is hard to find.

In fact, that's one of the reasons Jean Tirole won the latest Nobel in economics. He began performing some pretty amazing research after the onset of the global economic crisis that showed how innovation is stifled in many industries that are dominated by a few large companies. Instead of there existing perfect competition between companies, the very biggest enterprises tend to set prices (simply because they can), sit back, and bask in the glory of a lack of any substantial competition.

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October 17, 2014

Sending Money Socially

Posted by Rajashekara V. Maiya (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:08 AM

In France, Transferring Money With Tweets [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHPC_J2iqC4]

The power of the proverbial wake-up call. Some of us are lucky to receive them. They keep us nimble and always push ourselves and our organizations to improve. But there are those among us who are unlucky; they're the ones who don't receive wake-up calls. Remember the man who, more than 100 years ago, said the 'horseless carriage' wouldn't catch on because of all the petrol stations that would have to be built to serve them? Then there was the executive in the 1970s - a computer company CEO, no less - who said he could never see people keeping computers in their homes.

Today we received a couple of huge wake-up calls. The question is: who will heed them and who will ignore them? The call involves the fact that a French mega-bank, Groupe BPCE, is teaming up with Twitter to allow customers to transfer money via Tweets. And that's not all. Indian private sector lender Kotak Mahindra Bank (KMB) has launched a Facebook-based instant fund transfer service where money can be transferred to users' friends on social media network in real time and for free!

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October 15, 2014

Redefining The Insurance Industry

Posted by Ravi Kumar S. (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:40 AM

What's ahead for insurance? [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqBCtakf5Nw]

The founders of the insurance company Oscar have an interesting slogan: "We didn't start this company because we love health insurance. Quite the opposite, in fact." Spend some time learning about this start-up and the state of the insurance industry in general, and it becomes quite clear what the founders of Oscar mean.

If ever there were an industry that was suspicious of innovation and penalized creativity, it's the insurance business. Take a look at your next insurance bill. Do you even remotely understand it? Is it obvious as to how you can file a claim? Is there anything clear and easy-to-understand about the entire business? The answer, I gather, is no to all of these questions. So when three young entrepreneurs founded Oscar, they wanted an insurance company that was, as one of them describes it, like your family doctor. A company that is reassuring and takes the time to know its customers. You see, because insurance is so profitable without barely any effort or know-how, it is one of the last domains that is moving away from brand centricity to customer centricity. Retail, financial services, and pharmaceutical companies have embraced this movement.

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