Jiten Puri is the CEO and founder of PolicyAdvisor.com, an innovative digital life insurance brokerage based in Toronto. PolicyAdvisor.com’s mission is to make life insurance more accessible for Canadians by using the latest technology, intuitive design and real-world human expertise.
The startup is transforming the way Canadians buy the financial protection they need. As an early-stage digital brokerage, it combines the latest technology, intuitive design, and real-world expertise to make purchasing life insurance simpler, straight-forward, and stress-free. The company harnesses data and analytics to generate actionable insights that inform their platform development as they seek to help more Canadians get the best coverage for their specific needs, online, in less time.
Prior to founding PolicyAdvisor.com, Jiten worked as an Executive Director with Morgan Stanley in New York where he advised global insurance companies and banks on transformative M&A opportunities with a special focus on the financial technology space. He previously worked with HSBC across Asian markets managing corporate lending and high net worth investing portfolios. He holds an MBA in Finance and Accounting from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
What is your definition of “innovation”?
Insurance is no longer a stranger to the exponential pace of technology transformations that are revolutionizing various domains. While industry watchers think innovation only applies to developments like driverless cars, drones deliveries, and augmented reality, unbeknownst to many, the wheels of life insurance have started to turn too.
At PolicyAdvisor.com, we are uniquely placed at the confluence of the largest Canadian insurance carriers, the modern consumer and technology that offers last mile connectivity and therefore have a ringside view of the many changes that are coming. Converging legacy industries with technology that brings more customized products to people in real time is real innovation.
Why is it important for companies to innovate and invest in modern technologies?
In our industry, innovating and investing in technology is a necessary bridge to connect legacy products and services to the modern Canadian who wants to buy something – for example life insurance – in the same way they would shop for gadgets or mattresses online or order a cab from their phone.
Consumers are increasingly focused on products, process and pricing. By iterating and innovating on products, investing in your own solutions to make them work as quickly and painlessly as possible, and provide best value to the end customer is of vital importance.
The web insures every business starts on a level playing field and has the same opportunity to reach end users. A startup in someone’s basement and global conglomerates both have the same ability to capture someone’s attention. Investing in your tech and making sure you are bringing innovation to the end user separates you from the pack.
What advice can you give to Canadian businesses looking to make the most out of their investments in innovation?
While there is something to be said for being the first to market, there are advantages to taking your time and doing the research to ensure you have a product that works as it is intended for end users. Investment isn’t only a monetary concept: your time, and your team’s time is your most valuable resource. Use it to get your core offering right and take advantage of the digital disruption and the gig economy to take care of low-level, time consuming tasks so you can focus on the big picture.