It’s probably the part of being a startup that most people are familiar with and we can see why: the innovation, the tension, no wonder we get reality shows and Netflix series like Start-Up that are all about these crucial moments.
Now imagine being part of an undergrad student team and presenting your ideas for Filipinos to live healthier, longer, and better lives–in front of an imposing panel of industry leaders for a chance at a P100,000 grand prize against almost 1,200 other participants. Oh, and you only have four days to bring the proposal together.
Can some brilliant young guns teach the veterans new tricks? The pitch day for AIA Life Hackers 2021 must have gone something like that!
Now on its third year, we spoke to the two winning teams of the latest hackfest: Dried Squid formed by students from Polytechnic University of the Philippines (Lourey Enteria, Abigail Caig, Mary Joyce De Los Reyes, Annejeline Palomo, and De Leonor Marie Sestoso), who won with their Marketing Solution proposal and Philamthropic formed by students from University of the Philippines Diliman and Ateneo de Manila University (Jemar Luczon, Moreen Agustin, Kyle Jureidini, Simon Lomibao, and Rachel Roxas), who bagged a double crown in the Product & Service and Technology & Data categories!
Affordable microinsurance from an online store
“We recognized that not everyone has the financial capacity to pay for medical treatment, especially with the pandemic drastically reducing household incomes. Thus, we felt the need to propose an affordable microinsurance for Filipinos to feel secure about the future in the event that they contract the virus” is how Philamthropic’s Rachel Roxas explained their winning entry in the Product & Service category: AIA COVID Protect microinsurance, a low-cost product specifically to give peace of mind during the pandemic.
Roxas added that “we considered the fact that there has been a rapid increase of consumers who have adopted the use of digital services… Thus, we thought about making microinsurance accessible through various channels, such as e-commerce sites, telecommunications operators Globe and Smart, and BPI mobile app aside from the usual AIA Philippines website.”
The freemium model for insurance and a super app
“We had the insight that Filipinos as bargain hunters would really want to feel the benefits of something before they buy into it and in the case of insurance, they can not see the tangible output unless they avail a product and experience the AIA Vitality features. We are mimicking the freemium model that Gen Zs and Millennials are accustomed to and allowing them to enjoy the features of the AIA Philippines' products even before they buy insurance from the company–basically creating AIA Philippines as a lifestyle even before compelling them to buy anything.” is how Philamthropic team leader Jemar Luczon introduced their winning project.
For their Technology & Data proposal, it was the My AIA Plus app that secured for them the top spot, a super app that highlights the freemium model for consumers and all-in-one toolbox for financial advisors.
The importance of getting physical
“Because AIA Philippines offers services through digital channels, it's essential to incorporate physical marketing into the mix. It will work as a link between AIA Philippines and the Filipino view of living a healthier, longer, and better life. Despite the fact that the country now has a large number of recreational sites, the majority of them only offer one or two activities that people enjoy.
With AIA SYNC, it will provide six distinct zones to meet the needs of people in a recreational setting. It will provide a setting in which their health and well-being are prioritized. It will focus on delivering the experience to the people in order for them to understand what it means to live a healthier, longer, and better life, from a perspective that is very different from how they currently perceive it. It is our competitive advantage to bridge the digital life and physical life--a hybrid marketing strategy that is tailored to our culture and way of living of general Filipinos.” This was the rationale behind Dried Squid’s Marketing Solution according to De Leonor Marie Sestoso. AIA Sync: a tangible experience for the sometimes nebulous idea of wellness.
Tips from two perspectives
With over thousands of students taking part over the years, the competition is daunting but the two winners show that a bright idea can come from anywhere.
"As someone who won eight case competitions, I would suggest to always ensure that your idea is profitable or that aside from it being able to answer the minimum requirements of the case, it should also bring business value in the long run."
"The secret is to excel on all possible touchpoints like your PowerPoint, your publicity materials, your executive summary, and even your question and answer portion. Expose yourself to the different facets of business and eventually, you'll see trends and patterns as to what matters the most to these companies.” said Philamthropic’s Jemar, who is a serial case competition champion.
On the other hand, team Dried Squid admitted they weren’t veterans and impulsively joined the competition–even going as far as basing their idea off a certain hit show. “Don’t wait until you’re ready because that day won’t come. You will never be ready for something and that’s okay. You don’t have to know everything. Just grab the opportunity, prepare, enjoy the process, embrace every moment, and grow” exclaimed Mary Joyce De Los Reyes.
“Actually, the CMO was amazed that our theme presentation is inspired from the Netflix show, Squid Game and so was our team name too,” added Abigail Caig. Bringing raw passion to the competition is an underrated strategy!
Who is AIA Philippines?
AIA Philippines is the premier life insurance company in the country and has long been the partner of Filipinos in helping them achieve healthier, longer, and better lives. On top of the cash prize, winners also received a coveted internship opportunity at AIA Philippines. Learn more about AIA Life Hackers 2021 and this year’s talented young hackers by taking a look at highlights of the event here.