Our team is fast-growing, and it is refreshing to have a fresh and insightful perspective join the team in simplifying access to insurance in Nigeria and other emerging African markets.
Introducing Ashish Mishra, the new Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Founder; we are excited to welcome him to the team. Ashish loves fast-paced, action-packed movies and is a big fan of Keanu Reaves, Liam Neeson and Matt Damon. We sat down with him to discuss joining Octamile, Insurance in Africa now, and what’s next.
Welcome, Ashish. Can we meet you?
My name is Ashish, and I am an experienced executive with a career spanning over 20 years in the insurance sector with Allianz Insurance in Nigeria and India.
I have strong interpersonal and analytical skills and expertise in team leadership, people management, and sales and marketing functions.
Prior to joining Octamile, I served as the Chief Retail Business Officer and Head of Agency at Allianz Nigeria Insurance Ltd, this position I have held since April 2018.
I also served as the Director of Nutribites Hospitality Services Private Limited. I held various leadership positions at Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Co. Ltd, India, as Vice President – Product Development and proposition, Vice President & Head – Sales Training, and Vice President & Head of Sales – of South India.
We can call you an ancestor in the sector.
Tell us about your role at Octamile and why you joined Octamile:
I joined Octamile as Co-Founder and Chief Commercial Officer. As CCO, my role is to develop & oversee the implementation of sales or commercial strategies and objectives, define the organisation’s commercial policies and ensure the company adheres to the annual budget.
What’s your favourite thing about working at Octamile since you joined?
Octamile is a startup organisation. It is fascinating to join the company during the growing years. Many areas in the business require laying down the processes, though I am genuinely amazed by the existing systems & processes and the professionalism this organisation has.
How does Octamile’s mission connect to the needs of insurers and consumers on the continent?
Octamile is a leading digital service provider (InsurTech company) & insurance services, distributor.
In Africa, the need for digitalisation in insurance is growing rapidly. This is the most identified need post-Covid. We have an All-in-One Insurance solution ready for implementation in any insurance company, bank, fintech etc.
Our solution helps the insurer build their brand as all our solutions are white-labelled and help them smoothly onboard their customers and perform KYC Verification, Risk assessment & Claim Management, thus helping them reduce their costs and manage customers’ growing expectations.
What advice would you give to other professionals who are considering making the switch to a startup?
With all of the expansion that startups are experiencing as we enter the new year, many new professionals consider working for a startup as their next career move.
Since a startup is less developed than a large corporation, working for one can be overwhelming. Despite this, working for a startup has many personal and professional benefits. They include career acceleration, More responsibilities, Learning opportunities, Flexibility, Efforts noticed, leadership opportunities, and more.
As someone who has experienced the startup and incumbent sides, what is a misconception about both sectors?
The most common myth about working in startups is that startup jobs are risky and do not provide job security. As a matter of fact, even the most established companies need to pay attention to non-performance for an extended period of time. Many people may hesitate to work for a startup because it has just started with a small number of people & departments, and they may question the company’s stability & credibility.
How do you think technology will transform insurance in Africa?
Technological advancements are starting to automate and predict standard insurance-related tasks, from onboarding the customer to risk profile assessment, filing a claim, and adjusting a policy’s coverage. As the industry embraces artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technologies, the relationship between providers and clients is also changing.
Technology is poised to reshape the insurance landscape: applied AI, distributed infrastructure, the future of connectivity, and next-level automation; all these are already knocking on the door.
Where do you think the African insurance space is headed over the next decade?
Africa is one of the world’s hot regions for insurance. Steady economic growth in most countries combined with a largely underdeveloped insurance sector has positioned the continent as the second-fastest-growing region for insurance globally after Latin America.
Before the impact of COVID-19, the insurance market was expected to grow at compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of less than 10% per annum between 2020 and 2025, nearly twice as fast as North America, over three times that of Europe and better than Asia’s 6%.
Excellent, some fun stuff before we wrap up. Are you a movie or music person?
Anytime fast action-packed movies. Big fan of Keanu Reaves, Liam Neeson, and Matt Damon.
Tea, Coffee or Water?
Any time black coffee.
Remote, Office or Hybrid?
A mix of Office and Hybrid, just like Octamile does.
Any parting words?
Excited to be here and pumped up by what we will achieve, and for anyone reading this, startups are different from what people generally think. If you want a real sense of achievement and your career to grow fast – join a startup.