Kumar Patel: “Insurance is something everyone needs,”

Insurance is something everyone needs, but no one enjoys paying a premium for it. We believe data transparency can help refine consumer sentiment, and we believe we have the secret sauce to execute it. Our objective is to empower consumers through personalized data insights from the data generated by them. Responsible handling of the data […]

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Insurance is something everyone needs, but no one enjoys paying a premium for it. We believe data transparency can help refine consumer sentiment, and we believe we have the secret sauce to execute it. Our objective is to empower consumers through personalized data insights from the data generated by them. Responsible handling of the data and providing transparency to consumers will help build trust between the two parties.

As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Kumar Patel, CEO and founder of Omnidya.

Kumar Patel, CEO and founder of Omnidya, is an experienced founder with a demonstrated history of working in the consumer services industry. He is skilled in Market Research, Management, Start-ups, Leadership, and Marketing. Kumar is a strong business development professional with a Juris Doctor (J.D.)

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you please tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

This world we live in has a ton of inefficiencies and problems that need to be solved. Several legacy companies often have a culture that makes it difficult for them to innovate and fix issues quickly. For example, I had an opportunity to work with a successful company that had a culture of “Yes, boss.” This culture ran deep, and as a result, they decided to stick with the status quo. They hired me to help transform the company and address its inefficiencies — but during my tenure there, it took over 50 meetings with senior management and six months to convince the senior management to switch their infrastructure to the cloud. I realized that the real issue was that they didn’t understand how cloud infrastructure works because the people around them kept telling them:

“We are good.”

“Why reinvent the wheel.”

“We’re still profitable, so why change?”

The last phrase got on my nerves every single time. This company is alike to many legacy companies in that their core issue is a culture that deters new transformation — which prevents them from rolling out new products/services in record time to boost their profits further while also staying ahead of the curve. After experiencing both sides of the spectrum and seeing several problems firsthand, I decided to join the side that proactively addresses issues.

Can you please share with us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

Every day in the startup world is fascinating. I can assure you that no two days are the same. The list of interesting things is long, but two things that stand out are make sure to fail fast and pivot quickly.

Fail Fast: Growing up in an Indian household, I was taught at an early age that failure is not an option in life. I was raised with the mentality of keep trying, and eventually, you will succeed. This doesn’t fly in the startup world where you are dealing with limited resources. It took me a long time to understand that failing “sometimes” is okay, and the hard part of failing is acknowledging the failure and moving on. I like to use the Amazon Fire Phone as an example. Amazon Fire Phone was budget-friendly and targeted a very specific demographic. BUT consumers were willing to pay a premium price for applications provided by both Android and Apple. Amazon killed the product right away, even though it had the resources to keep up with its competitors. Acknowledging failure fast can help distribute essential resources to other projects that end up being winners.

Pivot Quickly: Every time I use the word pivot, everyone rolls their eyes. In my opinion, there is a substantial distinction between a product-market fit (PMF) and a perfect product-market fit (PPMF). To go from PMF to PPMF, one must pivot. A good pivot will help a company compete more efficiently with other competitors.

To find the perfect product-market fit for Omnidya, we had to fail and pivot quickly. I can assure you telematics is not the future of the Insurance industry. Our company has distinguished itself from traditional insurance companies and new insurtech pushing telematics by introducing a new industry-first risk avoidance model that uses unique technology. We’ll be making an official announcement in the upcoming months.

Which principles or philosophies have guided your life? Your career?

Several philosophies have guided my life. But the main two are…

“Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.”

This has been my mantra for a long time. This is a bit of a cliché, but it is something that has worked for me. I am naturally an optimistic person, but at the same time, optimism won’t fix everything, so everything that I do has a plan B.

“Conscious Capitalism”

If you have read the book Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia, you know exactly what I am talking about. It is a concept that focuses on four simple concepts, Purpose, Stakeholder, Leadership, and Culture. It matters how money is made, and an organization needs to instill values long term vision and profitability.

Ok thank you for that. Let’s now move to the main focus of our interview. Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?

At Omnidya, we’ve figured out how to eliminate 100% of fraud in the insurance sector while introducing an industry-first risk avoidance model using a unique proprietary technology.

To provide a quick background, most traditional companies in the sector use the standard risk-mitigation model to which they implement modern technologies like machine learning and other artificial intelligence. That’s putting duct tape on an ancient model to try and make it current. New technology added on top of existing inefficiencies leads to additional costs, which translates to a higher premium for consumers. Shareholders and investors love hearing modern buzzwords and they also want profitability, which results in consumers paying the additional price.

We have solved the various problems from top to bottom. In today’s world, quality data is the key to solving the most complex issues. Our unique technology:

  • Automates multiple aspects of the business, thus reducing operational cost,
  • Eliminates fraud.
  • Provides consumers with real-time feedback using modern engagement tools and exceptional consumer experience from beginning to end.
  • Increases profitability.

How do you think this will change the world?

Insurance is something everyone needs, but no one enjoys paying a premium for it. We believe data transparency can help refine consumer sentiment, and we believe we have the secret sauce to execute it. Our objective is to empower consumers through personalized data insights from the data generated by them. Responsible handling of the data and providing transparency to consumers will help build trust between the two parties.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this idea that people should think more deeply about?

First of all, Black Mirror is a fantastic show, and the creators have displayed our crazy imaginations perfectly. Every solution has a drawback; just like autonomous cargo transport may eliminate the need for truck drivers in the future but cause a rise in technicians with software knowledge to maintain those new complex machines. Just as such, we believe our technology will address the inefficiency in the industry but will also highlight the skills gap. This is a drawback that can be solved with training and education.

Was there a “tipping point” that led you to this idea? Can you tell us that story?

Almost everyone I’ve talked to has had at least one lousy experience dealing with an insurance company. My major one happened when, after years of not shopping for new auto insurance and paying the increased premiums every year, I decided to shop around. My problem begins with the time it takes to get a single quote and execute the policy. This issue is something everyone can relate to. I also know they have marketplaces that compare prices, but they provide quotes — which changed as I talked to insurance agents from various companies. The time it took to execute a policy was my tipping point, and I started to research and understand the insurance sector’s inefficiencies. Most of the organization’s issues were solvable with modern technology, yet no one had addressed them. I even applied at a well-known insurance company, but I was told my ideas were too drastic after the first conversation, and that I wasn’t a good fit for the company. That is how Omnidya started.

What do you need to lead this idea to widespread adoption?

We are confident that once our product is launched, consumers will immediately experience its impact on our society. To get there, just like every other startup, we need capital to create awareness in the marketplace that there is a new company that addresses the issues they face every day dealing with insurance. Capital, strategic partnerships, and reviews from early adopters will lead to widespread adoption of this technology.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)

You have to learn quickly in this world, and having mentors helped me tremendously. There were still things I had to figure out on my own, which only come with experience.

Existing Tech v. Building It Yourself: This is a tough one, and depending on how you answer and execute this question will determine various things about the company. From my experience, the correct answer is a healthy balance of both. Do I want to build a consumer portal internally that will assist in marketing, business intelligence, etc., or do I want to implement Salesforce or another technology specializing in that space? My goal is to use the resources wisely and get to the marketplace quickly.

Managing Global Teams: Time difference and communication barriers are challenging at certain times, but it is the price one has to pay to lower the burn rate.

Cash Cash Cash: It was vital for me to bootstrap the company myself and develop it to the point of being launch-ready before reaching out to VCs. This comes with sleepless nights consistently making you think of the limited funds you have and how to leverage the most development.

Learn quickly: Going in, I was aware that I would have to wear multiple hats and tackle various issues daily, but no one told me I would have to learn the subject material overnight and make a decision the following day. I remember staying up an entire night to understand how insurance compliance differs from state to state. It was a situation where the longer I took, the longer it took for the developers to develop the platform.

Feedback from the Sector: One would think talking to someone from the sector would help you better understand the problem and help your cause, BUT this is not always true — an experienced and knowledgeable gentleman from the industry provided me with false information. Don’t trust everything the sector leaders tell you and instead do your research.

Can you share with our readers what you think are the most important “success habits” or “success mindsets”?

I have a few things that I do consistently. I don’t know if those are considered success habits or mindsets, but they work for me. I start with a macro goal and as I am trying to accomplish that, I end up implementing other disciplines required to achieve my macro goal.

Every year on my birthday, I pick up a habit that is mentally challenging for me. For example, I went an entire year being a vegetarian, the following year, I read 52 books in 52 weeks, and last year I went without drinking alcohol. This year I picked my 15-minute meditation to start the day. Each healthy habit has contributed to a healthy mindset. Regularly challenging your mind and picking up healthy disciplines is my definition of success habits and/or mindsets.

Some very well known VCs read this column. If you had 60 seconds to make a pitch to a VC, what would you say? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Omnidya provides a data-driven approach in the insurance industry where even telematics is old news. We can analyze and act on quality real-time information using our proprietary technology to create an industry-first risk avoidance model.

Between 1–1.5 million fraudulent accidents are costing over 250mn dollars annually to providers. Our technology can eliminate those fraudulent claims while also providing meaningful data for risk-avoidance, further decreasing the claims rate. Additionally, we are able to automate several processes for consumers as a by-product of developing our platform.

We will generate an accurate risk and pricing model through our quality data, which will enable us to create highly profitable offerings. Feel free to reach out for more details about our unique technology. We are looking forward to making Omnidya a household name with you by our side.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

You can follow me on Instagram, which is the only place I am active: @koolmar888. You will find several book recommendations there.

You can learn more about Omnidya and stay current…


Instagram: Omnidya_ai

Twitter: Omnidya_ai

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

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