Comprehensive InsurTech firm Tapoly has enjoyed strong growth in recent years, thanks in part to its mission of driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. Here, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO and Founder of Tapoly, tells us how she has overseen the company’s growth, the measures she believes are needed to ensure more women achieve leadership roles and the importance of technology for future progression.
Tell us a bit more about Tapoly and the clients and markets served?
Tapoly is an award-winning digital managing general agent (MGA) providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance tailored specifically to the unique requirements faced by SMEs, micro-business owners and freelancers.
In addition, we also provide a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners to aid communication, data transfer and enable automation. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems.
How has the business grown since it started and how have you ensured growth?
Since we founded Tapoly in 2016, we have maintained an average yearly growth rate of 200%. This has continued over the course of the past 18 months, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. To reach this, we have secured multiple rounds of investment and are now in the process of raising a further £2 million, with 60% committed.
To date, we have more than 40 global partners in Asia, North America, Australia, Europe and the UK. Alongside this, we have sold more than 18,000 insurance policies and are always looking to expand our product line and partnerships. Our latest launch is a new treatment risk insurance product, in partnership with Peach Pi, that uses our SaaS platform to give auxiliary health professionals cover tailored to their activities.
I have ensured growth by maintaining a growth mindset. Being a business owner means facing challenges each day, so I am always learning from those around me and expanding my network. I also think it is important to keep maintaining the values to support learning and development, such as reliability, working hard and being on time. This growth mindset also helps to build my resilience, which has certainly been important over the past 18 months.
What has your own career looked like so far?
I trained to be a chartered accountant and have previously worked in investment banking; my last job was as an internal audit director at UBS. Prior to founding Tapoly I also worked at Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan Chase, so I had a great deal of experience in the FinTech sector.
The concept for Tapoly came in 2016 when I decided to let my flat through Airbnb. I searched for an insurance policy that would protect my property, protect my guests and protect me against the risks of doing business, while providing the kind of short-term flexibility the sharing economy thrives on, but I couldn’t find one anywhere. So, Tapoly was born, along with my co-founder Sam, and we have been building and expanding the business ever since.
What advice would you offer other C-suite executives to ensure each voice is heard?
I think being as inclusive a leader as possible is key here; it’s about listening to everyone in the team, taking their ideas on board and creating space for everyone to shine. I think it’s also important to realise that great ideas and good advice can come from all around – as a leader you need input from all kinds of different people around you to help you grow your business.
It’s not about personally being the best in everything but it’s about being able to find resources and get help where needed. If you’re not actually listening to your team, you could miss the next great opportunity for your business.
What are some of the key challenges your customers are experiencing and how are you addressing these?
The main challenge facing our customers at the moment is the ongoing impact of the hard insurance market. Increased demand, reduced capacity and increasing claims mean insurers are looking to find alternative distribution and reduce operating and claim costs. The hard market also brings an increased risk for insurers. This risk requires extra data to evaluate whether insurers should offer cover.
AI and Big Data applications by InsurTechs can join up these dots, using things such as social data and the Internet of Things to cross-reference risk and improve reliability. Insurers are beginning to really recognise the power of AI and Big Data in both underwriting and distribution and the Tapoly SaaS platform utilises AI and ML, helping to streamline data and information sharing between insurers and their distribution partners. Partnering with InsurTechs can reduce the overall operating costs whilst allowing traditional insurance players to access new and untapped markets that could not previously be accessed in a cost effective way.
How important are role models for encouraging more women to strive for – and obtain – leadership roles?
Role models are important for encouraging more women to strive for and obtain leadership roles. However, I believe structural changes in the way businesses operate are the most important thing to ensure more women achieve leadership roles. Companies should be implementing diversity and inclusion policies right through from recruitment to retention, while also showcasing and celebrating the achievements of a diverse range of people.
Alongside this, more funding needs to be made available for training and mentorship, sponsorship opportunities must be increased and there needs to be better access to education. These changes are occurring, but there is much more to be done to accelerate the pace.
How has your organisation adapted over the last 18 months?
With things constantly changing over the past 18 months we have had to remain adaptable in order to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with, so being accommodating to different working times/workloads has been essential.
While the past 18 months have been challenging for so many people, it has also proven the importance of Digital Transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers who had not yet embedded technology within their operating processes to adapt, causing communication delays with their customers.
This has been a great opportunity for us, as it demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly – driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. It has only spurred us on further to continue expanding our number of global partners so more people can benefit from our service.
How important is technology to your own business for ensuring ability to scale and how do you plan to grow the business further?
As a SaaS provider, technology is vital to everything we do at Tapoly. Our tech has enabled us to respond to market needs quickly, streamline our processes and expand across the globe. It has also enabled me to build a talented team of professionals based on their expertise, rather than their location. I’m always looking ahead to the next opportunity, so I have many plans for 2022 and beyond. I’m currently most excited about our plans to expand into emerging countries, as well as continuing to build on our diverse range of insurance products for workers in the under-served gig economy.Click below to share this article