We are thrilled to welcome Puja Agrawal to our executive leadership team. Puja joined Shift Technology as the company’s Chief Commercial Officer and will be responsible for accelerating Shift’s growth and customer value creation, and will oversee global sales, customer operations, and partnerships.
Prior to joining Shift, Puja served as the Chief Operating Officer at Finastra, one of the world’s largest Fintechs and a recognized leader in driving digital transformation in the financial services industry. Puja has proven experience building go-to-market strategies, ensuring customer success, and driving digital transformation in large global enterprises to smaller organizations. An enterprise software veteran and board director, Puja has held a variety of roles in private and public organizations, including a lengthy tenure in the Financial Crimes and Compliance space, where, in her own words, she had a role in, “fighting the bad guys — combating everything from human trafficking, terrorist financing, insider dealing and fraud-attacks.”
So it seems only natural that the next stop in her career journey would be with Shift, a company that is helping insurers make better decisions throughout the policy and claims lifecycle. And by doing so, is driving measurable ROI for all types of insurers from property and casualty to health and life, while at the same time helping to prevent bad actors from taking advantage of the system.
We sat down with Puja to get her thoughts on a few burning questions related to her new position at Shift.
Shift: Why did you choose to join Shift?
Puja: I believe in the noble role insurance plays in society and in the lives of individuals every day. In today’s age of increased digitalization one of the challenges insurers face is a rise in fraud. I have seen this play out in FinTech/RegTech for over a decade.
In the U.S. market alone, the FBI estimates the total cost of insurance fraud (non-health) is $40+ billion dollars per year. And in healthcare, about 1 trillion is lost in fraud, waste, and abuse. If we look at these challenges at a global scale, the numbers are simply astounding!
I joined Shift because Shift helps insurers transform their business models to become more customer centric, innovative, competitive, and collaborative. Shift helps insurers make better decisions at every customer touchpoint, from quote to post-policy creation, driving loss ratio improvements, providing better customer outcomes, and enabling insurers to combat fraud.
I have seen these disruptions in Fintech, I find what’s happening in InsurTech to be incredibly similar. Shift is in a phenomenal position at the confluence of the biggest trends shaping the insurance industry, and the problems we are solving can improve the lives of millions. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.
Shift: So, what do you think is the biggest opportunity out there for insurers?
Puja: One of my favorite quotes is, “Change fixes the past, transformation builds the future.” Insurers must transform to remain relevant. Digitalization is here to stay. Insurers need to fully lean into their transformational journeys as they face more competing pressures than ever before - between elevating customer experience, to driving efficiencies, to finding new growth strategies, to reducing overall costs.
At the same time, insurance, whether we’re talking about property, casualty, health, or life, is so incredibly specialized. This, along with strict regulations, are the reasons why it’s taken a little longer to fully embrace digital transformation. Insurers have built processes that have worked well, even if those processes are highly manual, or time consuming. However, these manual or inefficient approaches are not sustainable.
The rise of Insurtech has opened a world of new opportunities for insurers. Insurers can leverage the next generation platforms to enable such business transformation. This is why we exist at Shift – to provide AI-native business solutions that are built first with insurers’ requirements in mind, not cobbled together trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Insurers can adopt solutions that are designed by insurance experts to address their specific challenges, and better meet the needs of their customers and employees.
This is why I’m so passionate about what we do at Shift, along with hundreds of Shifters who wake up every morning immensely passionate about solving the most difficult challenges faced by insurers, today and tomorrow.
Shift: Why do you believe Shift is best positioned to help insurers take advantage of the opportunity ahead of them?
Puja: We have all seen it before in other industries. Vendors try to capture a market with only a software product. And when rubber hits the road, the product ends up overly customized as it reactively chases the various goals of the organizations using it
Shift is approaching the challenge quite differently. Shift’s approach is first and foremost to be insurance industry experts for our customers and partners. Our subject matter experts and customer success teams feature professionals who have spent their careers in insurance, and they have been in their customers’ shoes. Secondly, Shift has built one of the industry’s largest team of data scientists/AI experts. The industry domain expertise and data science together focus solely to apply AI to the unique challenges of the insurance industry. The result is a comprehensive platform with industry leading fraud detection, underwriting, and decisioning solutions that provide compounded savings for our customers.
The list just goes on and on. In short, with Shift, insurers now have a real opportunity to implement digital transformation strategies that address critical decisions at key steps in their business, thereby, putting insurers in a position to take full advantage of the opportunity ahead of them.
Shift: What does “Decisions Made Better” mean to you?
Puja: To me, it means we are a partner in our customer’s journey. Our technology and expertise positions insurers to make better informed decisions in a timely manner – transform their business models from reactive to proactive such that insurers ultimately deliver better outcomes to their customers and employees. We’re giving insurers the knowledge, the insights, the tools, and the expertise to make smart decisions, at every relevant point of customer engagement.
By doing so, we empower insurers to see more, do more, and be more for their customers.