Meet Nicola Garelli the CEO of Beema Insurance, who started working very early, during his university days and never stopped since. Beema puts users’ frictions and needs at the center of its design, which ensures that Beema’s products are responding to meaningful demands, and are tailored to a core audience.
Nicola Garelli is a manager, entrepreneur, and CEO of Beema – an innovative, market-first, insurance business backed by ENOC and in partnership with AXA. Earlier, Nicola Garelli was a Partner & Director in The Boston Consulting Group – BCG Digital Ventures in London, where he led part of the venture’s portfolio.
Having worked for 18 years with leading corporations, like The Boston Consulting Group as a Partner, and Director in London, Booz & Company (Booz Allen Hamilton), and EY.
Nicola also co-founded a microwave equipment maker and served as the Chairman of an investment company focused on early-stage ventures based in London.
Nicola is a Chartered Engineer, Member of The Council for the United States, and Italy in its Young Leader Program and Junior Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He is also the trustee of BCG’s The Future Makers program.
As the CEO of Beema Insurance, Nicola led the company through the early stage of the venture set-up at BCG Digital Ventures, from its ideation to early growth, and coordinated the design and development of the product, venture, and business activities and the recruiting and transition post-incubation. Nicola holds a Ph.D. in Management, Economics, and Industrial Engineering, an MSc in Financial Engineering, and a BSc in Telecommunication Engineering.
Solving Clients’ Needs
Nicola believes that insurance is a commodity product, and on top of that, it’s not tangible. So, product-market fit is essential. Beema Insurance has developed two first-to-market propositions for its motor insurance – the firm initially only offered its unique Pay-per-kilometer option where users could earn up to 25% cashback based on their mileage. This especially appealed to those who were driving less or owned multiple cars, or those who adopted remote working models. However, this option had little or very less appeal to people who owned a single vehicle and were high-mileage drivers. So, Nicola Garelli and his team designed another motor insurance product, Beema SmartDriver, that rewards users for safer and more responsible driving by utilizing innovative technology to measure certain behavioral data points.
Accomplishments and Challenges
Nicola Garelli has built a team with incredible talents, which helped his organization to navigate the pandemic period, embrace change, and keep focus and drive. The firm has built a unique digital offer and business model for the UAE and the international insurance partners it is currently onboarding.
Nicola Garelli believes it’s at the core of Beema’s DNA to challenge the status quo and the traditional way of doing things. What helped Beema grow exponentially, and achieve great success in such a short period is that Nicola and his colleagues as a team, are always looking for and welcoming challenges to consistently innovate their products to the highest degree.
Learning from Failures
Nicola says, “I did errors during the early stages of the venture which have been difficult to steer and correct.” He believes, the most evident has probably been the configuration of their channel mix, which demonstrated to be different from what he and his colleagues anticipated and required extensive review. Nicola Garelli has also somehow put excessive faith in the ability to, simplify the value chain, the regulatory setup, and the impact these components had on the speed to market and to adapt, taking rapid choices.
Changing the Insurance Industry
Nicola Garelli and his team are bringing a new approach to developing, launching, and managing products that people love, and as such, have an interesting pipeline that will come to life in the next couple of years. Beema will ensure its consumer and SME customers in countries where it has, direct insurance licenses receive the most convenient and fair service.
Additionally, Beema will strengthen the technology and operational stack that it uses to support its international insurance partners in high-growth countries, which enables them to remain at the edge of digital innovation and jointly grow successful portfolios.
Picture of the Future
When it comes to the future, Beema’s vision is to make insurance lovable and to provide products, which are Simpler, Easier, and Fairer. Nicola Garelli plans to expand Beema’s operations both in scale and in scope; ie. grow the product verticals to become a one-stop-shop service provider and increase Beema’s geographic presence in coherent high-growth countries.
When launching in 2019, Beema’s business began with just 1 product offering in the UAE: motor insurance. Since then, and due to Beema’s record market-share growth, and its vision to become an all-encompassing insurance provider, Nicola has launched Travel and Home insurance products, a new behavioral motor product, and he is all set to launch, Health insurance in 2022. Beema is also expanding its operations to other high-growth markets in MENA and APAC under Nicola’s leadership.