Raymond Cheung: Spearheading Insurtech To Create An Ecosystem For The Next Generation Of Customers

Raymond Cheung: Spearheading Insurtech To Create An Ecosystem For The Next Generation Of Customers

Raymond Cheung , Chief Executive Officer

Raymond Cheung

Chief Executive Officer

There is a massive difference in the way the various generations perceive insurance. While the baby boomers and the Gen Xers see insurance as a way to protect the assets and estates that they have painfully 'earned' over the years, the millennials believe that if something is only going to be actualized 20 years in the future, they don't need it now. While insurance is a necessity for baby boomers, insurance is no longer a need for the young generations. As insurance loses its attractiveness over time, insurance organizations must learn to change the traditional approach to cater to the wants and needs of future generations. In this regard, Alpha Millennia Technology has been making considerable strides to go beyond selling insurance as a product and is offering insurance as a service, providing maximum value and giving the desired flexibility to the end users.

With over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, Raymond Cheung started exploring digital insurance in 2018 and eventually founded Alpha Millennia Technology in 2021. He started as an actuary and worked in traditional roles in the first half of his career and then later moved into enterprise risk management (ERM). Cheung worked for the ride-hailing giant Grab as their regional Head of Insurance from 2016 to 2018. He single-handedly developed the digital insurance ecosystem for eight countries in South-East Asia. Appalled by the sluggishness of the insurance industry, crippled by legacy systems and primitive processes, Cheung decided to quit his job at Grab and started working on a new insurance concept to bridge the gap in the insurance system. The aim was to build a front-to-backend insurance infrastructure using the latest 3rd Gen microservice technology to help insurance organizations, brokers, and affinity partners develop and drive innovative insurance services to cater to the needs of future generations. CEO Insights Asia got in touch with Cheung to gain a deeper understanding of his career over the years and the journey of Alpha Millennia Technology so far. Here's an excerpt from the interview.

You have been in the industry for the past 20 years. What is your motivation to work and your success mantra?

Since I started building the new insurance ecosystem under Alpha Millennia Technology, every day has been a new challenge. We are constantly looking for new ideas, not just to develop cutting-edge usercentric systems but also to explore and create new business models to design innovative solutions to drive the insurance of the future. And that experience is very rewarding and helps me to stay motivated on a day-to-day basis.

My success mantra is that work should never be defined by the job descriptions given to you. Instead, you ought to define the job descriptions in your career. This means you must go beyond what the job descriptions say and do on a day-to-day basis what is necessary and important for the company's best interest. It is that simple! Over the years, I've had the opportunity to work in the insurance industry 'internally' as a staff of the insurance companies and 'externally' as a client looking for insurance solutions. With perspective as an insurance provider and an insurance consumer, it helps me to appreciate the pain points and the expectations of the insurance industry. It also forms the backdrop in my start-up journey, where I started to explore technology combined with innovation to enhance customer experience and the value of insurance. In a way, I have defined my job descriptions in my role as founder and CEO of Alpha Millennia Technology. I continue to redefine the job descriptions in every milestone we have achieved by constantly looking for ways to grow the company and add value to its customers.

Alpha Millennia Technology aims to redefine the insurance value chain. How is the company positioned in the current InsurTech landscape?

We are not just a system or technology provider; instead, we are a technology powerhouse for insurance and financial services. We strive to drive a new insurance business model by empowering and enabling insurance companies and affinity partners to design innovative insurance solutions to serve their customers. We want insurance to provide protection and peace of mind, and service to customers. How do we achieve this? Firstly, Alpha Millennia Technology is formed by a team of experienced insurance and finance professionals. The core team of Alpha Millennia Technology is insurance professionals – including actuaries, underwriters, risk managers, insurance agencies, insurance IT, and operations professionals. Our cumulative experience in the insurance domain alone is more than 100 years. This knowledge and experience have helped us understand the insurance's and customers' pain points and design innovative solutions. Secondly, we are trailblazers and have a futuristic approach to our solutions. The foundation of our technology, Alpha Core, was built based on our analysis of the future of insurance 10-20 years from now. That is the DNA of Alpha Millennia Technology: we focus on the needs of the customers of the future.

What's your proposition when selling your services to your clients?

The new generations are more technology and innovation-driven, and we understand that. They want products and services that meet their needs (or wants!), and they also demand customizable and personal services. Alpha Millennia Technology aims to change the perception of insurance by introducing the concept of Digital Insurance-as-a-Service (DIaaS). Fully customizable insurance options can be offered ('Standard', 'Package', 'Bundled', 'Add-ons' or 'A-La-Carte'), or insurance can also be combined with other non-insurance products and services as total integrated technology solutions. In DIaaS, we allow customers to design insurance according to their needs with a few clicks: adding or reducing coverage according to their needs, changing their premium payment terms, adjusting the sum insured, adding a rider, or changing the premium payment duration from yearly to monthly, weekly, or even daily. We believe customer experience will be significantly enhanced, reduced purchasing time, and the claims process will be simplified. We can provide customized services to such a granular detail because we have developed a full-stack technology system connected from the backend to the front end. Any changes a customer makes at the front end will automatically be linked to the backend. Over time, our understanding of customer behaviour will be further enriched with big data analytics, and we can customize insurance solutions with even greater precision according to the needs and wants of customers in the future.

Talking about the future, what are the opportunities and advancements you anticipate?

I foresee that the future of insurance will be very different from today's insurance. In my view, gamification and tokenization will play a vital role in making insurance lucrative for the younger generation. Automation will be another aspect where the customers won't need to go through an arduous process to buy a policy or get a claim paid. In Alpha Millennia Technology, we are already working to connect our technology system with the more extensive infrastructure network so that when a claim event happens, the insurance company can pay claims directly to the policyholders without them submitting a claim to the insurance company. Also, we will be integrating our system with blockchain technology and web3 interface to integrate our solutions into the crypto environments accessible by the gig community. We are building a technology ecosystem towards impacting the future and ensuring that our technology will meet the needs of the future generation.

Talking about the future generation of leaders, what advice would you give them?

I have three simple pieces of advice for the young generations: Start doing, don't stop, and keep learning. If you have an idea, even if it is raw, get paper and pen and start drafting your concept. Then you get to read more on the subject, talk to people about it, learn from others, and refine your ideas. Eventually, this will be your blueprint for your start-up project. So, my first point: Stop dreaming but start doing! For those who have started on something, don't stop. All of you who wish to do something great, don't stop. When you are tired, when the going gets tough, when you face a problem, don't stop. Celebrate every small milestone that you achieve. Over time, you will be able to taste success.

We Are Driving A New Business Model And Creating A Unique Ecosystem Where We Want Insurance To Be Seen As A Service To The Customers Rather Than A Product    

After 20 years of experience in the insurance industry, one thing that's important for me is that I am still learning daily. Change is the only constant, and there are so many times I need to unlearn something I have done before so that I can learn something new to handle the new environment or a new situation. Therefore, I will encourage all business leaders or those who aspire to be future leaders, even if you have worked in an organization for many years or are already in a senior role leading hundreds of people in your organization, don't stop learning. And as business leaders, it is also our responsibility to impart our knowledge to the next generation and groom them to do even better than us. We want to encourage the new generations to rise to take on the unique challenges ahead of them in the future.

Raymond Cheung is an insurance professional and has been in the insurance industry for more than 20 years. He is dedicated to making insurance lucrative for the new generation and built an endto- end system using the latest technology under Alpha Millennia Technology. Experience gained while working as a staff of the insurance companies and as a client looking for insurance solutions helped him explore technology combined with innovation to enhance customer experience and the value of the insurance.

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