A decade in the insurance industry followed by an entrepreneurial venture gave Ruth the insight needed to start a company focusing on digital insurance processes.
What’s your story?
I started my career in insurance straight out of university and that’s where I stayed for 10 years over 3 different continents. Frustrated with the corporate structure and the slow pace of change, I left to start a cookie business with a friend in Hong Kong as an experiment in entrepreneurship. Whilst our husbands thought of it more as a hobby, we took it seriously, taking every opportunity we could to learn about running a business. 2 years later I found myself as a trailing spouse in Singapore and found the opportunity to use my insurance and entrepreneurial skills to build our insurtech company Anapi.
What excites you most about your industry?
There are so many opportunities to digitise and strip the insurance application process down to make it simple. With the rise of tech startups and many business processes digitised, it feels like the demand is rising for simplified digital insurance processes. As a result, insurers are starting to see the need for change, and companies like Anapi can really make a difference for other tech minded companies to help them understand what their key risks are, and help them get the right insurance coverages in place to address these risks so that they can focus on building their businesses.
What is your connection to Asia?
I was born in Singapore and lived here only a short while before moving to Australia. During university, I participated in a one year language program at Tsinghua University in Beijing to learn Mandarin. I relocated to Hong Kong from Europe and lived there for 5 years where I took on a regional APAC risk manager role with a corporate insurer. Hong Kong was also where I dabbled in cookie baking and entrepreneurship. I’ve been in Singapore since the end of 2017.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
If you were to ask me this question two years ago, I would have replied Hong Kong. I loved the entrepreneurial drive and spirit in the city. People were so willing to collaborate and help each other out in their entrepreneurial journeys. I’m however not sure how the recent events have rocked the Hong Kong spirit. Having now started a similar entrepreneurial journey in Singapore, I appreciate how well set up Singapore is for startups and how easy it is to do business here. It is a city where everything runs very smoothly.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey so make sure you surround yourself with like minded people and find a mentor.
Who inspires you?
Founders who are convicted of what they are doing to change and disrupt industries. I’m inspired by their energy and drive to innovate and make a difference.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
That infrared light can enhance mitochondrial function in cells, i.e. cells can regenerate and repair themselves. I’m interested to try this out on my arthritic joints.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I don’t really have any regrets, but if I had my time again, I would have left my corporate job much earlier to pursue entrepreneurship.
How do you unwind?
I enjoy cooking more challenging dishes on the weekends and enjoying the food with a good bottle of wine. When I have more time off I love being active in nature, whether that’s scuba diving, skiing or hiking.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Indonesia for its nature. As an avid scuba diver, Indonesia is a fantastic country for its nature with amazing dive sites all over. The biodiversity is quite incredible.
Everyone in business should read this book:
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike, by Phil Knight.
Shameless plug for your business:
Anapi is the easiest way for startups to get insurance. We combine software and expertise to help startups save time and get best-in-class insurance solutions. We’ve partnered with innovative insurers to create a first of a kind protection, optimised for startups. Included online tools give businesses a modern way to easily manage all their insurance in one place.
How can people connect with you?
On LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/ruthhaller/
Social Media Links?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
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 and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.