Partnering MetLife to transform the insurance industry

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Imagine an insurance company branching out to new business areas such as wellness, wealth, and retirement.

This is what the world’s second largest insurer MetLife is looking to achieve with its self-styled disruptive innovation centre called LumenLab.

A long-time partner and sponsor of the NUS Business School, MetLife unveiled the new 7,800 square feet facility on 16 July at The Metropolis, Buona Vista, which houses a working space and business incubator.

“LumenLab’s remit extends beyond the traditional life and health insurance industry. Our innovation strategy focuses on consumers as the source of insights and inspiration; it goes beyond just technology innovation,” said Zia Zaman, LumenLab CEO and Chief Innovation Officer of MetLife Asia.

LumenLab could expand the boundaries of the traditional insurance industry, rolling out solutions for elongating wellness, fulfilment from affluence, and even help retirees lead a healthier lifestyle.

In addition to the School, MetLife is also looking to partner with the region’s other forward-thinking organisations to achieve its vision.

The School is one of the earliest to work with MetLife in a partnership where MetLife would provide students with resources and data for management practicum field work, and even careers with the insurance giant.

As part of the MBA programme’s management practicum module, students Rika Matsui, Kim Yeong Im and Chen Pei-Jie worked on a research project to help MetLife find out more about its customers in its two largest markets in Asia, Japan and Korea. The findings would help MetLife develop customised products for these two geographies.

“Usually we just stay in the school and attend classes, but for this project we were applying what we have studied, so in that sense it is really exciting,” said Matsui.

Both Kim and Chen added that working on the project would give them the experience and insights on customer research in the future stages of their careers.

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With its focus on new business models and capabilities, the partnership with MetLife augments the School’s efforts in developing future-ready graduates, said Professor Bernard Yeung, Dean, NUS Business School.

“Our MBA students have gained immensely from the industry experience and perspectives provided through our partnership with MetLife. We are pleased to continue growing Singapore’s and Asia’s talent pool, as we have done over the past 50 years,” said Professor Yeung.

LumenLab is one of the sponsors for NUS Business School’s flagship “Cerebration” – the world’s biggest global business case competition organised by MBA students.

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