CIO50 2019: #3 Dennis Liu, Etiqa Insurance
With Dennis Liu as Head of Business Transformation at the helm, Etiqa Insurance has rolled out a range of innovation projects during the past two years, leveraging artificial intelligence (AI), robotics process automation and chat bots.
Specifically, the business rolled out an AI-powered process for claims, a chat bot integrated with Google Assistant and WhatsApp Business for customer support, alongside integration for PayNow and MyInfo to real-time payments and customer on-boarding.
This was in addition to automating business processes and leveraging an open application programming interface (API) portal for easy integration of insurance solutions through partner platforms.
Alongside boosting customer experience levels, the wave of innovation helped the business “reduce manpower and better manage costs” required for manual processes.
From a traditional structure standpoint, Etiqa has also made “significant progress” to transform into a lean organisational structure where employees are more broadly skilled and flexible.
Instead of functional departments, the business works in self-managed teams to improve work processes and eliminate waste, endorsed by regular brainstorming meetings.
Through Liu and his department, Etiqa has been cultivating an agile start-up culture, organised through an “agile scrum” methodology across various departments and divisions.
This has enabled the business to collaborate closely and respond quickly to the market. For example, life and general insurance products were launched within two months, alongside several other innovation initiatives.
Through constant communication, reassurance and breaking down the project(s) into step-by-step processes, the business overcame scepticism and doubts in the initial stage.
According to Liu, because the Singapore insurance market is highly competitive, business transformation is required to meet changing customer expectations.
To date, 50 per cent of back-end processes are automated, while 30 per cent of staff headcount have been redeployed from operations to sales or technology.
Through improved customer experience and business growth, especially in online sales, Etiqa recorded year-on-year growth rate of 228 per cent in 2016, 432 per cent in 2017, and 154 per cent in 2018.