BLOG: Meet Manjit Rana
Manjit joined the Rainmaking team November 2018 bringing a wealth of experience with him. To find out more keep reading:
We’ve heard you have an Entrepreneurial background – what has been keeping you busy before joining Rainmaking?
Immediately prior to joining Rainmaking, I was the founder and CEO of award-winning insurance innovation and InsurTech consultancy called Ingenin. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’ve been working for over 30 years in the insurance industry. It doesn’t feel that long. It’s been an exciting industry to work in as I’ve had the opportunity to run significant impacting innovation & technology-based projects that have ranged from creating new ventures for large corporates in the UK and internationally and to pureplay startups built from the ground up.
The power of being an entrepreneur has always inspired me. My first venture was an Asian fashion business which I set up at the age of 19 with my £500 student grant as a project during my year out from university. I sold it for over £100k less than 18 months later and guess that gave me the bug for wanting to work on building ventures.
Why did you join Rainmaking InsurTech?
A couple of reasons really, one, I really wanted to work on more significant, transformational corporate innovation and corporate venturing projects and we simply didn’t have the bandwidth and resources at Ingenin to do that and two, I wanted to work with a team of like-minded entrepreneurs that wanted to transform the way that corporate innovation is done.
Moreover, I get to work with Sabine who is as crazily passionate about transforming the insurance sector as I am – so how do you say no that?
What is impacting the insurance industry that you believe will have far-reaching implications?
I think the point is that there is not one single thing that will transform the industry. It’s a combination of evolving consumer behaviour/expectations, the pace at which technology is evolving, access to new types of data, innovative new business models coming from InsurTechs and established organisations from adjacent industries who are looking at the industry and trying to work out how they can disrupt the traditional players.
Any one of these factors could have a significant impact on any industry, but I believe all those factors combined will revolutionise the insurance landscape over the coming years.
Why is innovation such an essential tool for the Insurance industry?
I think innovation should be seen as a capability that everyone can access rather than a function. When you start treating innovation as a function, you give everyone else in the business an excuse to pass the innovation responsibility to the ‘innovation team’.
When you treat innovation as an organisation wide capability, you get a lot more engagement across the board and far more incremental value.
I think most insurers are recognising that just setting up an innovation lab headed up by someone from within the business very often doesn’t yield the desired results. Serious innovation requires the leadership team and the wider organisation to have the tools, knowledge, resources and time to look at existing processes and propositions through a more creative and entrepreneurial lens.
How do organisations professionalise their innovation programmes?
Most insurers have had innovation labs for several years now, but I’m still amazed at the number of insurance organisations that don’t have an innovation strategy and are still in the ‘innovation theatre’ phase – lots of tactical activities but no strategic focus.
For innovation to be truly effective, it needs to be a core capability across the whole organisation, and the innovation lab needs to be transformed into an innovation support function rather than the place where all innovation activities are centred.
The whole enterprise needs to feel that can play a part in transforming the business but to do that you need to barriers to innovation and ensure that everyone has the knowledge, skills and access to resources to enable them to innovate
What are the signs that your organisation should be exploring working with Rainmaking?
You have an innovation team, you’ve created your innovation lab with the fancy title, you’ve run the obligatory Dragon’s Den and Hackathons and tried experimenting with some POC’s, but you are just not seeing a significant impact plus the rest of the business has absolved its responsibility to innovative to the innovation team.
If you are doing all the ‘activities’ but seeing very little value coming through, it’s time to reach out. Many insurers get to this point and then get frustrated that ‘innovation’ is not helping the business address the core business issues that the business needs to focus on and give up but that’s precisely the opposite of what you should do.
If your senior managers are not seriously thinking about where the future threats and opportunities are going to come from and still focused entirely on BAU activities chances are you going to get caught out by more nimble and entrepreneurial players – who may not necessarily be your competitors today.
Consumer behaviour is changing – if you are not mimicking those behaviours internally then, you are heading for difficult times. Tryg Insurance in Sweden recognised that they were not engaging the millennials, their products were not engaging and relevant enough, and that generation of the market didn’t trust a big old insurance company. so they approached Rainmaking to help them create a brand new digital insurance business from the ground up – that was the birth of Undo an insurer designed for millennials by millennials
If some of these scenarios are sounding familiar, I think that’s the time you should consider having a conversation with us.
Innovation consultancies are popping up everywhere, why should insurers work with Rainmaking?
The Rainmaking group are a professional corporate innovation and venture creation firm. We use our entrepreneurial backgrounds and innovation to disrupt industries, define new frontiers and deliver real results.
We work with businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes, from early-stage startups to Fortune 500 corporates, to solve challenges across the ever-changing landscape of innovation. Our multidisciplinary team consist of some of the most experienced venture builders, strategists, engineers, designers, data scientists and growth experts around. We share risk and invest alongside our partners through a range of collaborative options.
Global organisations such as IKEA, Jaguar LandRover, Audi, Shell, Ramboll, Engie even Facebook trust us along with over 40 insurance companies from around the world!
What is really important is our passion. We care about delivering results in this area, leveraging our extensive experience creating innovative startups and corporate ventures and as such we are recognized globally as an industry thought leaders.
Manjit is MD of Corporate Innovation (InsurTech) at Rainmaking Innovation & StartupBootCamp. Highly regarded as an industry thought leader he is one of the pioneers of the InsurTech movement.
As a leading pioneer in this field, Manjit has led the charge for informing and educating traditional, well-established players to remain relevant by helping to shape new propositions that are more compelling and relevant in a constantly connected, fiercely competitive, radically changing market.
With over 30 years’ experience of working in the insurance space alongside co-founding ten start-up businesses and driving internal innovation for large global corporates, Manjit’s advice is firmly grounded, and his role as Advisor to some of the most exciting InsurTech disruptors and industry accelerator programmes ensures he’s permanently well-informed.
Contact Manjit to discuss your corporate innovation ideas and projects at firstname.lastname@example.org
To hear more of Manjit listen when he visited with THE INSURANCE INNOVATORS UNSCRIPTED podcast.