Welcome to a new series of articles, where we’ll give you insight into the team behind INSTANDA’s success. First up, we have INSTANDA’s Senior Business Analyst, Deepa Lucas, who talks to us about her journey from traditional insurance companies to insurtech. Read on for the full interview.
After finishing my electronics engineering degree in India, the IT boom was in its infancy. Companies were looking for anyone they could train to work in IT, so of course engineers were the first group they went to find.
I joined a small company to do their Y2K preparation, spending lots of time converting all years from 2 digits to 4 digits to stop any systems crashing when we hit January 2000.
After some time, I moved to the UK with my husband. I ended up joining Cornhill Insurance, which is now Allianz Insurance, and I spent around two decades with them — first in the UK, then again when we returned to India.
After deciding to come back to the UK, I really wanted to do something different. I wanted to move to an insurtech company, because I could see this was where all the action was.
I'd been looking at all the insurtechs in the market to see which one would be a good fit for me, and after reviewing all the data, I felt INSTANDA was the best fit.
I wasn’t sure that someone with 20 years of experience from the corporate world would fit into this badass start-up world. But I just went for it and thankfully, I got the job!
50% of my time is spent doing discovery sessions with our clients. The main aim of the sessions is to find out what they want from the platform, and how they can use the platform most effectively for their needs.
The other part is then working with the development (dev) teams to bring new functionality onto the platform.
It's a really good mix for me. Speaking to clients helps me understand what people are looking for most in the platform, then I can use this to align the dev team’s work to what the clients need.
My insurance experience, definitely — almost 20 years in various roles. I worked mostly for commercial insurance businesses on a wide spectrum of products and various distribution channels as well.
I also understand the dev engineering side of things really well. That combination makes life easier for both parties I'm dealing with, as I’m the bridge between the business and the engineering team.
I’ve always loved what I do, which for me is the best place to be. It's not like I ever come into work thinking “Oh my god, this is terrible”. I enjoy what I'm doing every day, whatever role it is. And I think that's a very, very proud place to be; to always be enjoying your work.
There's more and more in the IoT and wearable device space, with lots of insurtechs partnering with manufacturing companies to find new sources of data. For example, devices in cars that can tell how competently a person is driving.
We still haven't started making full use of data like the big retailers do; people like Netflix and Amazon who can predict what customers will do based on their data. If they can do that, insuretch should be doing it too.
When I joined INSTANDA, I had left my technical skills behind. I was a programmer, an IT architect, and there was a time when I really put the effort into keeping up with the technology.
Then, by the time that I blinked, it was such a big gap. That was one of my reasons to move to insurtech. I have come a long way with INSTANDA. I’ve learned a lot and have this newfound interest in technology.
I’m looking to be more technically involved in what happens at INSTANDA, maybe moving to solution architecture in the future. My ambition is basically to learn more — to be as good in technology as I am in insurance. That's where I want to be.
This is something I found more in the UK than in India. Young people, especially girls, are not wanting to come into technology, which I found really surprising. Because in India, when you join a technology company, it's a 50/50 balance of people coming in, but here girls are in the minority.
Technology's not thought of as a "cool" thing to do and I still haven't figured out why.
I think my advice would be: people think working in technology means you're sitting at your desk all day, doing very boring stuff. But that’s not what it’s like at all. I’ve found my job very rewarding at all stages. I would always say, "Go for it!". It's a very rewarding career.