Mr Narayanan is disrupting the insurtech industry with his startup, McXtra.
What’s your story?
On the professional front I am passionate about three things; sales and distribution, insurance and technology.
I have been in distribution ever since I did my MBA in 1997, eventually I became the Chief Distribution Officer of one of the large life insurers in India. I started my career as a techie, I did computer engineering and worked as a programmer for almost a year with one of the largest software companies in India. I decided to combine all this and start up an insurtech venture, it has been the best thing I ever did.
What excites you most about your industry?
Insurance will be the most disrupted industry over the next 5 to 10 years. It is a very large industry which contributes over 7% of global GDP. Insurance is all about data, risk assessment and the ability to offer the right solution in the most convenient manner. The rapid technological developments in the field of AI, big data, data analytics and models being built to predict consumer behaviour and real time risk assessment would completely disrupt this industry. McXtra, our insurtech platform aims to play a significant role in this disruption.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I was born in Mumbai, India and I have lived most of my life there.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Singapore due to its pragmatic approach to creating a business, friendly environment
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Entrepreneurship is like a roller coaster, there are great highs and lows. It can be a very scary ride. The key is don’t get off the roller coaster, stay on it and enjoy the ride.
Who inspires you?
Elon Musk for the visionary he is and his ability to defy all logic and deliver what seems like science fiction.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That sometime in the near future we can think of someone and that someone would know it and we can communicate with that someone purely by thinking.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing…. I gained or learnt from everything
How do you unwind?
Watching movies with my family, playing games with my kids and chess.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Goa… Its chilled out culture, beaches and hills. Plus it’s a short flight from Mumbai.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Rich Dad Poor Dad. Very basic, it should be read before you start a business.
Shameless plug for your business:
Asking customers to speak to other customers.
How can people connect with you?
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connect’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder of The Marketing Group PLC. He is the author two best selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’ and ‘Agglomerate’.