InsurTech in the Asia Pacific with George Kesselman

InsurTech in the Asia Pacific with George Kesselman
George Kesselman breaks down the business trends, key innovations and exciting trends dominating Insurtech in the Asia Pacific.

Fresh of the studio, George Kesselman, the president & founder of Insurtech Asia Association, joined us to discuss the intersection of insurance and technology in the Asia Pacific. We began with George's work in the insurtech industry from a start-up co-founder to a corporate executive in a leading Chinese firm within the Asia Pacific region. Then he dived deeper into the challenges, key innovations such as China's famous waterdrop model, use cases and important trends in insurtech that are converging with web3 and crypto. Last but not least, George shared a glimpse into the future of insurtech for the next few years.

"So there's a tremendous amount of friction that exists there because I think we're still at the point where we're. We're using traditional insurance products that have been invented in the 1970s and trying to add this digital layer on top of it. So where InsureTech has struggled, I would say, is unless there is a significant amount of product innovation. It's very hard to really optimize the product. So, becoming a full stack was one of the hypotheses that the InsureTechs pursued, and we've seen those take off quite well in states in China, and now India is another market that's really progressing very well." - George Kesselman


  • George Kesselman (@mr_insurtech, Linkedin), President and Founder of InsurTech Asia Association (main site, @InsurtechAsia).
  • How did you start your career?
  • Can you talk about your role with the InsurTech Asia Association? What does the association do?
  • In the distant past, you were a startup co-founder and CEO of Anapi which was acquired by AETNA insurance brokers, what did that startup experience teach you?
  • You have just finished a tenure as the chief commercial officer with ZA Tech (or ZhongAnn which is a well-known insurance giant in China), what have you learned from that experience?
  • What are the important lessons you can share with my audience in your career journey?

InsurTech in the Asia Pacific

  • To start our conversation, I want to start off by getting you to define InsurTech and how does technology interweave with the insurance industry?
  • Can you describe the total market opportunity for the insurance market in the Asia Pacific?
  • Can you distinctly talk about the different types of insurance markets, for example, consumer life and term insurance, reinsurance, and insurances pertaining to businesses, for example, cybersecurity insurance?
  • What are the key challenges that the insurtech is trying to solve?
  • Can you tell me one thing you know that most people do not know about the insurance and insurtech industry?
  • The insurance market is one of the slow-moving industries due to regulation and legislation in different countries. Can you explain the barriers to entry and explain why it is difficult for start-ups to attack the market?
  • How is the regulation of insurance differing and evolving across markets in the Asia Pacific?
  • What should an insurtech company look out for and what will be the advice you give these companies in dealing with governments?
  • Can you provide some interesting insurtech companies across the Asia Pacific?
  • What are the key trends in the insurtech market which you find exciting about the space?
  • How about the traditional insurance companies thinking of adapting the insurtech into their current operations in the midst of digital disruption?
  • There are some advances in China in insurtech specifically from tech companies such as Alibaba and traditional companies like ZhongAnn and Ping An). Can you talk about the water drop model and other new business model innovations they have done?
  • Let’s talk about decentralized finance, crypto and web3. Despite the economic downtown, what are your thoughts on applying blockchain technologies to insurance?
  • Does the concept of decentralized insurance work given that it is written in a smart contract?
  • What do you think that most crypto startups get wrong about the insurance business?
  • What is the future of insurtech in the Asia Pacific?


  • Do you have any recommendations which have inspired you lately?
  • George's recommendations: Daniel Pink, "Drive"
  • How can my audience find you?

Podcast Information: The show is hosted and produced by Bernard Leong (@bernardleong, Linkedin) and Carol Yin (@CarolYujiaYin, LinkedIn). Proper credits for the intro and end music: "Energetic Sports Drive" and the episode is mixed & edited in both video and audio format by G.Thomas Craig (@gthomascraig, LinkedIn).