The Future of Insurance Podcast – Sudeendra Galgali

VP & Head of Innovation & Digital, American Modern Insurance Group

Season 5, Episode 4, October 10, 2023

Guest Bio

SG leads the Innovation and Digitalization team at American Modern, the US P&C subsidiary of Munich Re. In this role, he is accountable for delivering on the company’s Digital strategy and roadmap as well as the long- term Innovation agenda with a focus on transforming the way we do business. He is also the Business Sponsor for American Modern’s strategic digital transformation initiative. In addition, SG is driving a culture of innovation in the organization with a focus on customer experience, experimentation, and learning. His team focuses on key market trends like the disruption of the insurance value chain, Internet of Things, and AI- driven customer experience capabilities. He is an Innovation Executive in the global Munich Re innovation team and engages with insurtechs to accelerate the pace of innovation within American Modern and Munich Re.

SG started with American Modern in December 2014 as the technical program lead on the Business Transformation program. In this role, SG was responsible for the operational delivery of the new AMsuite system. He transitioned into his current role in August 2017. Prior to American Modern, SG has over 20 years of experience in varying management positions spanning tactical technical execution to strategic business roles, in small startup companies to a Fortune 500 organization. He has worked in various industries including technology, healthcare, and consulting. Over the past 10+ years, he has served in various senior management positions focused on innovation, product management, strategy and delivery.

He holds a degree in mechanical engineering from India and an MBA from University of Phoenix (USA). He resides in Cincinnati with his wife, two daughters and a ‘labradoodle’ dog.

Highlights from the Show

  • American Modern, part of Munich Re, is a Personal Lines Specialty carrier, focused on risks standard carriers don’t tend to write like manufactured, vacant and vacation homes; boats, RVs, collector vehicles, etc.
  • American Modern is on their second major transformation, with the first being almost a rebuilding of the entire company to enable the second transformation they’re working on today
  • They had
    • 60 products, with different versions of each one in each state
    • Multiple core systems
    • Different agent agreements and commission structures
    • Multiple writing companies to manage all of this across
  • This all made change to difficult, even for simpler ones
  • The decision was to change everything, meaning revamping the entire org from the ground up, in what they refer to as an inside-out transformation
    • 1 technology platform (Guidewire)
    • 1 underwriting company
    • Clean up the products and processes, and move to just 11 products
    • 1 commission structure for all agents
  • The biggest change was the people part because everything every employee did would be impacted
  • This took 8+ years, starting in 2013/2014, which meant it was started by one CEO and persisted in by a new CEO
  • The new transformation they’ve recently begun is to move their operation to the cloud and digitizing everything external to the company
  • In hindsight, some changes or things they’d do differently
    • Go to the Cloud from the start (which wasn’t an option when they did the first transformation)
    • Planning for the go-to-market much earlier, recognizing the complexities in launching in each state despite what seemed to be the same across states, which they pivoted early to doing but would have done from the start looking back
    • While they did change management internally, they learned how important it is, and upped their game in that respect in the second transformation
    • Lastly, don’t outsource your transformation, absolving yourself of responsibility to do it or knowledge of what’s been done, so be sure to balance in-house and consultant resources

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This episode is brought to you by The Future of Insurance book series, part of the Future of Insurance thought leadership series ( from Bryan Falchuk.

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