“Growth and innovation. Growth and innovation. Growth and innovation.” -Denise Garth

To give a short personal impression: let us know what are your top 3 books everyone today needs to read and top 3 tech gadgets one needs to have?

Top 3 Books (Business oriented J): 

  1. The New Killer Apps by Chunka Mui and Paul Carroll; (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain)
  2. The Anticipatory Organization by Daniel Burrus; (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain)
  3. The Alliance by Reid Hoffman, Ben Casnocha, and Chris Yeh; (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain)

Top 3 gadgets: 

  1. iPhone (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain)
  2. iPad (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain)
  3. Fitbit  (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain) or iWatch  (available in Germanyin the USin the UKin Francein Italy and in Spain)

You are one of the most known influencers on social media. What makes you so successful and what kind of secret tips are you able to share?

I think there are 5 key things that underpin my success over the years.  These include:

  1. Strategic Thinking with both Right and Left Brain Thinking. — This combination is more important than ever in a world of disruption and change. The creative with the analytical balance allows me to imagine the possibilities but also understand and assess the path to get there.   This feeds well into strategic thinking and envisioning the future.  
  2. Voracious reader of all things. — I am an avid reader of all types of fiction and non-fiction, as well as various media sources and articles. Reading powers my creativity, imagination, and thinking that I described in my left and right brain thinking.   Reading inspires the creativity, gives me perspective and information to analyze and assess, and provides a means to let my mind go — to explore possibilities. Continuously learning, reading, exploring the possibilities is so critically important in a world of constant change.   
  3. Inquisitive and challenge the status quo.  — This is the analytical side of me that is seeking information to assess and understand, but then to find options and alternatives … just like math and science problems!
  4. Embrace and love change.  — I love and embrace new things and change. I am notorious for changing things up in my home, my office and in my presentations. I think it is important to be comfortable with change, explore it, embrace it and create change … not for the sake of change, but to make things better.  
  5. Relationships – network, develop and nurture. — At the center of a successful career is relationships.   While we are a very technology-oriented world today, relationships underpin all we do.   Taking the time to meet people, connect with them via social media like LinkedIn (which I had this at the beginning of my career), reach out for insights and advice, and support them when they need similar insights and advice is so crucial throughout one’s career.  In a world of technology-driven engagement, personal relationships will still standout.  

As I look back on my career, I was open to opportunities that came my way.   Being open to new opportunities that may take you down a new or different path is really important. And along that way, the relationships you develop provide you a network that gives you new insights and relationships that will help you. So the key is don’t overly define the path of your career, be open to the possibilities and opportunities that come your way.  And remember, relationships are the key to success.

You travel so much and gain insights into so many ecosystems: What could we all learn from each other?

While every insurer and every country often view themselves as unique, there are so many similarities between companies and countries in terms of customer needs, expectations and the products and services they want and need. We can observe and learn from each other … to see how what we are doing in one region or company can be leveraged in another. When you look at the history of some products and services, they emerge in different parts of the world and often make their way into other geographies, but with some unique nuances to adapt to the customers and market. Historically, we see the industry as its own ecosystem with players from agents to insurers, reinsurers, regulators, technology providers, services providers and more. But in a world where market boundaries are evaporating, we need to think from an outside-in perspective and reorient ourselves to a new paradigm for ecosystems.  

In the January 2018 McKinsey report, Insurance Beyond Digital: The rise of ecosystems and platforms, it highlights the strategic value of ecosystems, noting that they will account for 30% of global revenues by 2025.   That is just 7 years away … less time between when the Apple iPhone was introduced in 2007, over 11 years ago!   And think of the impact it has had on all industries.

The McKinsey report anticipates 12 distinct ecosystems, none of which are specifically about insurance.  In this new world, insurance will play with or in these ecosystems, rather than as an ecosystem by itself. This differs from today, where others have to play in the insurance ecosystem (channels, insurers, MGAs, reinsurers, etc.). It represents the shift from inside-out to outside-in.  In many ways, this change unleashes the potential and opportunities for insurers to rethink their business models from the outside-in. For example, the personal-mobility ecosystem offers a range of opportunities to expand into areas such as vehicle purchase and maintenance management, ride-sharing, carpooling, traffic management, and vehicle connectivity.  At the same time, it offers an opportunity to embed insurance within the assets, activities or products of other ecosystems, creating new market opportunities for growth. This shift to an outside-in view of ecosystems will fundamentally redefine the role of insurers in the marketplace and economy.

When you look at McKinsey’s view of ecosystems, 7 of the 10 largest companies by market capitalization are ecosystem players, including Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Tencent.  It is interesting to note that Alibaba and Tencent founded and use Ping An; Amazon just announced a partnership with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway to start a digital health insurance company; and Alphabet (i.e. Google) has forayed into insurance … emphasizing the tremendous potential of ecosystems to insurance.  At the same time, we have new InsurTech startups like Lemonade, Slice, Coverwallet, Root, Qover, and others who provide their open APIs to integrate or embed into other companies or ecosystems.  

Therefore, creating and participating in ecosystems will be crucially important for insurers as they move to Digital Insurance 2.0.  

What are your analysis of the #fintech and #insurtech ecosystem? What kind of trends and new used cases do you see? Are there regional differences or similarities?

InsurTech is separate, though related to FinTech. Like it or not, the regulations of insurance need to be considered within InsurTech.  

InsurTech investments are continuing at a rapid pace with no slowdown in sight, pushing the industry rapidly toward Digital Insurance 2.0.  First quarter 2018 is already continuing an upward trend on investments! InsurTech really got attention in the market in late 2015 / early 2016, nearly paralyzing insurers’ investments and technology decisions for a year because they were trying to figure out what this InsurTech thing meant. Some thought it would be a “passing fad” or just new technologies being introduced, but quickly found out it was much more. It was about disrupting long-held industry assumptions from how we engage customers, distribution channels, what defined a product, and much more.  

As many began to understand, there are technology start-ups who are often focused on specific processes or parts of the value chain. Early on it was heavily focused on distribution channels and has since rapidly expanded to new sources of data, underwriting, claims, servicing and much more — an internal focus.  But quietly emerging were the insurer or MGA InsurTech startups who focused on new business models inclusive of customer engagement, products, pricing, and processes from the customer perspective which has driven significant change and innovation in the decades-old orthodoxies of insurance.  In many cases, these startups were reaching and meeting the needs of unserved or underserved markets — millennials needing life insurance, renters insurance, sharing economy insurance and more.  These markedly different areas of focus reflect the greatest threat and challenge that insurers face – focusing on internal needs rather than market needs. In today’s world, it’s all about the market and customer. 

As we describe in our Greenfields and Startups report, the InsurTech startups, either insurers or MGAs, are the first movers that are shaking up the industry.  First movers are focused on gaining the competitive advantage by being first to market, enabling them to establish brand recognition, customer excitement, and loyalty, while also giving them the advantage to “test and learn” the new model, product or service. These startups are focused on upending the industry sometimes described as one of the most old-fashioned, analog consumer services in existence. 

These first mover startups are fueling and accelerating momentum for change. They are helping to push industry advancements, new cultural trends, and technology solutions for a sometimes slow-to-adapt industry by challenging the traditional business assumptions, operations, processes, and products, highlighting two distinctively different business models.  The first is a pre-digital age model, Insurance 1.0, representing the market dynamics of the past 50+ years based on the business assumptions, products, processes, and channels of the Silent and Baby Boomer generations. The second is a post-digital age model, Digital Insurance 2.0, representing the market dynamics of changing economics, technology, and customers including the next generation of buyers, Millennials, and Gen Z.

Learning from this, we are now seeing incumbent insurers and reinsurers establishing Greenfield operations to stand up a new business model, reach new markets, launch new products and more … with a focus on rapid test and learn, adapt and relaunch.   They need to think and act like the startups in the market by investing in and differentiating their business models through a rapid test and learn and delivery of innovative solutions that leverage expertise, relationships, and technologies from internal sources, partners, and ecosystems.

Some incumbent insurers for P&C and L&A and Group have begun to invest in their own Greenfields, whether a new brand or a new portfolio of products and services. Some are from well-established market leaders, and others are from smaller mid-market insurers seeking new growth opportunities. These companies are investing capital in their future just as a venture capital firm would invest in Startups. Regardless, they each represent interesting, innovative models, products and services that are capturing the interest of customers and investors alike. 

Incumbent insurers must aggressively begin to define their vision and path to Digital Insurance 2.0, leveraging today’s catalytic lever, platform solutions, to reinvent their business model, products, and services for a new era of insurance. Each organization undertaking this path will evolve differently but be being open to operationalize around its promise as a new business model paradigm acknowledges the role innovation will continue to play as insurers encounter future insurance ecosystems.

But to do this, they also recognize that their past decade of business transformation projects that replaced legacy technology was implemented under assumptions of the Insurance 1.0 model, which is not what is needed for the next decade to compete. Some insurers are still in midst of legacy modernization of their core systems for strengthening their backend processing capabilities, but most realize that these initiatives will fall short without digital transformations that will bring meaningful benefits to customers and ultimately win them. The traditional approach of building portals on top of backend systems is certainly a quick-fix, but it does not come close to helping digitalize insurance products, operations, and services.  Instead, insurers need to seek a different approach and business model.  The business model should be a low-risk one that leverages technology in a “pay as you grow” model while providing speed to value including speed to market, speed to implementation and speed to revenue.  It should be leveraging a solution platform that provides insurance carriers the ability to outperform with innovative digital capabilities on demand. The platform will accelerate innovation, support a test and learn environment, leverage new and growing ecosystems, provide scalability for growth and can be deployed in weeks or months rather than years.  Rather than pay the traditional multi-million-dollar license fee for use of the application and related system integration services, insurers of all sizes are now seeing value in paying a minimal up-front cost that comes with ready-to-launch platforms with automated, managed upgrades. 

Let’s have a look at traditional companies, how do you estimate the state of the digital transformation right now? What can we expect in the next years? Any strategic advice you can share?

In one of our research reports, 2018 Strategic Priorities, we found a contrast between insurance leaders and laggards.  For leaders, we found a growing awareness and priority among incumbent insurers to rapidly adapt to the market changes and disruption by shifting to Digital Insurance 2.0.  But unfortunately for laggards, it also highlighted the continued gap between being aware of and placing priority on these issues, and acting on them, in addition to some important gaps between different industry segments. When looking at the state of their companies over the previous year, insurers continue to be on the positive side of the scale when assessing five key strategic areas: growth, legacy replacement, introducing new products, expanding channels and developing new business models. This aligns with how they envision their companies in the next 3 years, where they are much more optimistic about their expected growth and strategic activities as compared to their current reality.  As insurers pursue these strategic initiatives, optimizing the existing business through legacy modernization and digitization is important. It will improve the current Insurance 1.0 model and enhance existing customer expectations, but it will fall substantially short in reshaping the business to fit the Digital Insurance 2.0 model and satisfy the next generation of customers. 

Developing new business models will demand taking a much broader view by looking at the next generation of buyers, who are digital sophisticates, and will require a new core platform that leverages new technologies, data, ecosystems and much more, in order to operate like a “digital first, customer first startup” that can capture market opportunities. While there is a deepening understanding or knowledge of the change and disruption in the industry, few are acting on that knowledge by planning and doing. The lack of improvement in planning and doing raises concerns about insurers’ ability to effectively navigate a widening gap.  To shift to Digital Insurance 2.0 and work around these gaps, insurers must rethink their approach.   They need to think and act like the startups in the market by investing in and differentiating their business models through the rapid test and learn and delivery of innovative solutions that leverage expertise, relationships, and technologies from internal sources, partners, and ecosystems.

While it took 20+ years to transition from Insurance 1.0 to Digital Insurance 2.0, the pace of change will likely drive Insurance 3.0 to emerge within the next 5-10 years.  What this next era entails is yet to be seen. But, for insurers still in Insurance 1.0, getting from there to Insurance 3.0 will likely be insurmountable. As Darwinism asserts, only the fittest will prosper in a competitive environment. Each and every day, insurers must recommit to Digital Insurance 2.0 business platform and ecosystem strategies and a journey that will enable their next wave of growth and value creation. Insurers’ abilities to adapt and rapidly move to Digital Insurance 2.0 will likely define their future.  The future is still unfolding. New technologies and ecosystems will continue to emerge. And with those changes, over the next decade, we will likely see the beginnings of Digital Insurance 3.0 emerge.  Organizations will need agility to adapt and respond, a keen focus on innovation that encourages experimentation, and a priority on speed to value to succeed, let alone survive.

You work a lot with c-suits and board members. What kind of trends do you see in this group? What is your most used recommendation?

“Growth and innovation.   Growth and innovation.   Growth and innovation.”

Growth and innovation strategies via Greenfields, startups, and InsurTech has moved to the top of mind for CEOs and Boards of nearly every insurer and reinsurer as they try to understand how to leverage the shift to Digital Insurance 2.0 and develop strategies and plans to respond.  Insurance executives and leaders need to ask themselves the following:

  • Do we have a strategy that considers the transformation of both the legacy business and creation of a new business for the future?
  • Who are our future customers and what will they demand?
  • Who are our emerging new competitors and how does our current model contrast with theirs?
  • Where are we focusing our resources…on the current business or on the future business? 
  • Is our technology platform the right foundation for innovation and growth?

I tell insurers they need to look at three paths on their journey to Digital Insurance 2.0 including:

  1. Keep and grow the existing business by modernizing and transforming the business using next-generation core systems in the Cloud because today’s business is paying the bills and helping to fund the future. 
  2. Optimize the existing business while creating the new with digital engagement using digital platforms and ecosystem in the Cloud because today’s customers want some level of digital engagement – across all generations.  This is critical to retain and grow the customer relationship.
  3. Develop a new business model for a new generation of buyers with a Greenfield or startup initiative using digital platforms and ecosystem in the Cloud.   This means a completely different set of business assumptions, operating model, products, processes and more to create a Digital Insurance 2.0 business.  

And remember, while the shift from Insurance 1.0 to Digital Insurance 2.0 is significant, it represents only the first phase of digitalization of insurance that began over 10 years ago with the introduction of the Apple iPhone, and leverages today’s technologies and ecosystems.  The future is still unfolding.  New technologies and ecosystems will continue to emerge. And with those changes, over the next decade we will likely see the beginnings of Digital Insurance 3.0 emerge.  If you are still at Insurance 1.0 it will like be nearly impossible to move to Insurance 3.0.  

Tell us more about Majesco – when should a client call you?

As the insurance industry shifts to business platforms for Digital Insurance 2.0., Majesco, a U.S. based and publicly traded company, is a provider of core insurance platform solutions and consulting services to insurers, MGAs and reinsurers across all segments of the industry for P&C and L&A / Group. Majesco was founded over 30 years ago in India by 4 college students, including Majesco’s current CEO Ketan Mehta. In 2015, following a demerger from the parent company Mastek Limited and a successful merger with Cover-All Technologies Inc. it was listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) the end of June 2015.

Today, Majesco’s experience and expertise in helping companies focus on growth and innovation, our work with Greenfields and startups, our ability to execute on new core platform implementations and our depth and breadth of experience with cloud that provide speed to value – speed to implementation, speed to market and speed to revenue for the industry is our key strength. We are committed to building strong and long-term relationships with our customers resulting in to a successful track record of long-term client relationships.

We believe that insurance business transformation is a journey of change and revitalization, a renaissance of Insurance focused on growth and innovation. Approximately 160 insurance companies worldwide in P&C, L&A and Group/ Employee Benefits are transforming their businesses with Majesco’s solutions. These market leading software and consulting services uniquely underpin the entire insurance value chain and are designed to empower insurers with the agility, innovation and speed needed to meet their transformation, growth and innovation opportunities.

Majesco’s platform solutions include Majesco P&C Core Suite and Majesco L&A and Group Core Suite, both inclusive of policy, billing and claims; Majesco Distribution Management, Majesco Business Analytics, Majesco Enterprise Data Warehouse, Majesco Data Model, Majesco CloudInsurer, Majesco Digital1st Insurance and Majesco Consulting services inclusive of testing services, ADM services, digital services, data services and consulting services.  Most recently, we announced our Majesco Digital1st Insurance solution portfolio, the first Digital Engagement and Microservices Platform as a Service for the entire insurance industry as another example of our market leadership. The Majesco Digital1st Insurance portfolio provides the next generation of solutions to help the insurance industry shift more rapidly to the digital age. The Digital1st portfolio will enable insurers to design custom journeys that cut through traditional insurance silos (systems and lines of business) to create an end-to-end highly personalized, engaging customer experience for their needs, on their terms. This new portfolio of digital solutions will offer cloud-based, real-time, insurance specific capabilities that enhance the customer experience and micro-services based platform that together will help insurers adapt and innovate in a rapidly changing competitive landscape.

Replacing traditional Insurance 1.0 business models with cloud-based Digital Insurance 2.0 platforms is critical to becoming truly digital. A cloud platform opens the door to new ways of doing business, engaging with customers, bringing new products to market faster and capturing rapidly unfolding market opportunities. In today’s digital shift, agility, innovation and speed can only be achieved with cloud business platforms. Leveraging cloud business platforms avoids the long, difficult and expensive implementation process usually accompanying systems replacement and subsequent upgrades. Cloud-deployed core applications give quick wins – especially important when insurers are establishing a new system or new capabilities to respond to market opportunities. With the pace of change, this allows them to move to a “pay as you grow” subscription model that allows major financial decisions in three to five year intervals and CAPEX and OPEX savings that can be redirected to business growth strategies.

We are excited to be working with incumbent, new, and innovative companies that are aggressively executing strategies to shift to Digital Insurance 2.0 and capture new market opportunities, positioning them as leaders in the industry. 

What would you recommend to young people that start their career today?

What I share with those just starting their career is to constantly read and learn, develop and nurture relationships, understand current and new technologies, think outside the box, understand the business you are in and be open to new opportunities.   Careers are rarely linear and moving up the hierarchy of a single organization any more.  Instead, they are diverse, providing new experiences and knowledge that shape and challenge our thinking and provide real value to organizations. Each organization you work with has a different culture, different focus and different dynamics.  Because of this they each are learning experiences that help hone our skills, expand our minds and provide interesting new context for our work. As industry boundaries fade, having this background becomes more valuable.  Just think … even Amazon, Apple and Google are seeking insurance knowledge and expertise now!  

“As many wise people have said, it is the journey that is the most rewarding.”


As the Senior Vice President Strategic Marketing responsible for leading marketing, industry relations and innovation, Denise engages and works closely with Majesco customers, partners and the industry to understand the market dynamics and shift to Digital Insurance 2.0 and how they can get there. 

She is a recognized Top 50 InsurTech Influencer and industry leader with both P&C and L&A insurance experience as a CIO and business executive with deep international ties in Asia and Europe through my varied career in insurance companies, ACORD, Innovation Group, Strategy Meets Action and Majesco. 

An acknowledged strategic thinker, innovation leader, international speaker, and author of thought leadership and articles regarding the key issues and opportunities facing the industry today to prepare for the future of Digital Insurance 2.0.  I am an avid reader, music lover, gardener and loves spending time with family and friends.

Thank you Denise!


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