In this modern world of the competitive and digital-first market, organizations have no option but to cut through the noise and stand out for their survival. This means that they have to leverage technology to improve their internal operations, better their services, and benefit their clients. FinTech and InsurTech providers understand this need, and hence, form strategic partnerships with their clients to present them with money-saving options and transformational benefits.
121Advisor is one such firm that seeks to deliver tailored technology solutions and consulting services to clients across the Financial, Insurance, and Takaful sectors in the Asia region. The firm has been in business for the past 20 years and has pioneered several business solutions in digital technology, internet and mobile platforms, social media channels, and regulatory-compliant cloud solutions for multinational and domestic clients.
Interview Excerpt: Kevin Steer, Founder & CEO, 121Advisor speaks to The Chief’s Digest about the FinTech & InsurTech Solutions they offer, and how their innovations are supporting clients to transform their businesses.
How did you come up with the idea or concept for your business?
We have developed several FinTech & InsurTech Solutions and implemented many disruptive online solutions, including Referral Management with Marketing Automation (for Banks), Mobile Point of Sales, Online Direct Selling, Online Claims, Agency Distribution, Online Customer Service Portals & Corporate Websites. With the growth of AI & chatbots, 121Advisor implemented disruptive solutions including multilingual Chatbots & Robo Advisors along with AI-based Predictive Analytics / Machine Learning for predicting New Products, Lapsation, Fraudulent Claims & future predictions for Investment Funds.
What are your company offerings? How have consumer responses shaped them over the years?
Some of our services include:
- Predictive Analytics with Machine Learning: Using this for predicting new products to buy, churns & lapsation, underwriting, etc.
- Multi-lingual Chatbot for Financial, Insurance & Takaful (FITbot): Multi-lingual Robo Advisor and a chatbot that utilizes hybrid trees and natural language processing (NLP) to engage with customers to offer a more personalized customer experience and generate more referrals.
- Web Portal Solution for Sales & Servicing (WebPoS): Multi-lingual mobile responsive website and portal solution to enable clients to experience a unified personalized digital experience where content, sales, marketing, and work management are consolidated instead of siloed.
- Referral Management & Marketing Automation (ReMMA): Used for banks to effectively and efficiently auto-assign leads, tracks, and manages lead referrals and conversions based on user-defined workflows. Marketing automation results in personalized content delivery targeted campaigns and engagement.
- Sales Activity Mobile App (SAMA): Allows agents to effectively plan and manage sales activity to ensure all leads and prospects are addressed. Managers can monitor real-time to render assistance where necessary.
- Community & E-worksite Marketing & Distribution (CeMD): Community portal solution allows organizations to engage with members of their community to nurture trust and create advocates thereby improving customer retention. Recently launched u12know knowledge portal.
- Enterprise Product Configurator (EPC): Reduce the time to market for insurance and takaful products. Built to rapidly set up product rates, illustrations, validation engine as well as an automated testing module that allows quick product deployment.
- Multi-channel Distribution Management Solution (McDMS): For general agencies, IFAs, brokers, ALCs (Agency Leader Corporations) to simplify operations by consolidating their diverse requirements. With built-in performance management and compensation computation, our clients have seen improved sales with reduced administration costs.
How has your approach been to offering your solutions since the pandemic?
COVID-19 has helped us to deliver online solutions including direct online sales for insurance & takaful, as well as online customer service portals, where we provide Service Requests that are submitted to the servers. The servers then carry out the processing and return the results to our customer portal.
121Advisor has always offered solutions to insurers & banks. During the COVID-19 time, we were ‘locked down’ and had to work from home, but later we got permission to go back to our office and work there. We now work from the office.
How would you describe your customer growth over the years?
121Advisor has grown significantly over the past 11 years. We are continually developing new solutions. We recently launched a new knowledge portal (www.12know.com) providing lifestyle advice on Financial Planning and Health & Wellness.
We have also developed several health calculators and will be implementing a “Total Health Score” solution in the future. Moreover, we will be rolling out the Financial Planning Goals (Loans, Retirement, Medical, Child Education, Critical Illness) based on a person’s Lifestyle (Single, Married, Young Children, Grown Children, Retired). These Financial Goals are mapped to the person’s lifestyle.
On what ideals are your work culture and business ethics based on?
As a founder, I am a “techie”, and I advise the Team on InsurTech & FinTech. Plus, I develop the Database Designs and share them with the team. Based on this, I get feedback from the team and add extra fields to the tables.
What do you think is the most unique aspect of your business?
We have developed a Knowledge Portal that we plan to launch in regions such as the Asia Pacific (these will be multi-lingual) and the US & Europe (also multi-lingual).
The Thought Leadership
Kevin Steer, Founder & CEO
Kevin graduated from Cambridge University (Downing College) in 1978 with an Engineering degree. He went over to Brunei to train with Schlumberger for four months. After that, he was assigned to Australia for 18 months, then transferred to Indonesia for three years, and finally to China for six months.
Seeing the advancement that mobile computers were making, Kevin decided to do a Master’s at Imperial College, London, UK. Here, he studied Artificial Intelligence and later joined an Artificial Intelligence company in the UK.
In 1990, Kevin moved to Malaysia to set up a new entrepreneurial company focused on Insurance & Banking Solutions.
“We Don’t Follow Trends, We Pioneer Them.”