This three-year-old startup shows differentiation thinking by pioneering a system for a product traditionally sold face-to-face. It takes smarts and guts to be an innovator, which is why we have called Frank Insurance one of Asia’s most promising start-ups.
Words from the winner
Frank Insurance Broker (Thailand) Co. Ltd.
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Frank Insurance Broker (Thailand) Co. Ltd (Frank Insurance) was established in 2015 with a focus on the online sales of insurance for various needs and purposes. As of 2018 it has a customer base of over 200,000 people, with most of its clients discovering the service through online searches and word of mouth.
As a fully online business, the company overthrows all regular stereotypes of insurance broking, especially those which focus on the call center business model. Interestingly though, Frank Insurance is the only insurance provider in Thailand to receive a 4.9 star rating on Facebook, which is testament to its extremely focused customer service and user experience.
While the company’s biggest challenge is the hesitancy of its target markets to purchase insurance online, it continues to persevere in its business model, based on market intelligence which shows that the call center model is only scalable with an increase in the number of sale agents. Frank Insurance has chosen to scale through systems, utilizing a digital platform capable of handling multiple customers simultaneously. Its premise in launching a full suite of products online is to provide products which are easier to understand, low in price point, and nearly instantaneous, with policies issued in a matter of minutes online.
Growing digitally and investing in a strong tech infrastructure means being better equipped to weather an economic downturn, as overheads are kept at a minimum, while the product itself is recession-proof. The company expects Frank Insurance to be the number one insurance marketplace in Asia in ten years time, and further strengthened by relations with
multiple, strong underwriters over a comprehensive range of products for life and non-life insurance. The company is already working on integrating with a thousand B2B partners who will use Frank Insurance’s platform to sell policies, proving the scalability of the business.
Its management is fully behind the belief that SMEs can succeed beyond the markets they usually operate in. Frank Insurance has an advantage in this aspect, as its business relies on platforms and systems to grow. These same systems can be re-used in multiple countries, thus driving down set-up and start-up costs. The most crucial element for keeping the business on-course through the next five years is adherence to the company’s key statement of being “Fast, Simple and Yours.” The phrase sums up the company’s deliverables and mission, which is the customization of insurance requirements done quickly, transparently and precisely. Frank Insurance also notes that given the highly competitive industry it operates in – which sees competitors entering the market every month – the possibility of mainstream insurance bodies waking up to the threat of e-insurance is high. The probable threat helps keep the organization agile, and drives innovation.
While physical manpower requirements are low in the company, Frank Insurance commits to offering learning and development programs to its employees, with access to language courses for Thai staff to study English. It also provides insurance training courses, as well as paying for the exams and licenses that its staff require in order to work at an insurance broker.
As a company which has yet to show a profit, corporate social responsibility is at present on the backburner, but often considered. At present their annual CSR initiative is an annual tree planting exercise done by the entire staff when the company goes on its yearly trip.
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