The journey of entrepreneurship can be daunting at times, and it is also challenging to maintain consistent motivation. Therein, perseverance serves as a critical attribute that ensures a correlative balance between failure and success. In entrepreneurship, perseverance implies leaning forward, taking one step at a time, and eventually achieving the goal. Additionally, it enhances the goal’s value while intensifying the motivation level. Leading to excellent discoveries, perseverance broadens the knowledge sphere.
Being a perseverant entrepreneur, Kevin Steer (CEO and Founder of 121Advisor) leverages his decades of professional and executive experience of entrepreneurship while managing the company’s operations. A mastermind, Kevin’s technical expertise has been beneficial for the company to achieve growth and develop exponentially in the long run.
Insightful Journey of Entrepreneurship
Kevin pursued engineering from Cambridge University (Downing College). He traveled to Brunei to train with Schlumberger for 4 months, where he was assigned to Australia for a few months. He was further transferred to Indonesia for 3 years, and then to China for 6 months.
Comprehending the advances of mobile computers, Kevin decided to pursue Masters at Imperial College, London where he studied Artificial Intelligence. He later joined an AI company in the UK. In 1990, he moved to Malaysia to embark on a new entrepreneurial company that focused on Insurance and Banking Solutions.
In 2010, Kevin founded the One Two One Advisor Sdn. Bhd. (121Advisor)—focusing on InsurTech & Fintech solutions. The company operates on the guiding motto of: “We don’t follow trends, we pioneer them.”
Over the past decade, the company has implemented a plethora of online solutions for Referral Management within various areas. These include marketing automation, mobile point of sales, online direct selling, online claims, agency distribution, corporate websites, and many more. Its product ‘Customer First Connected Enterprise Digital Framework’ integrates with all solutions provided by the company.
Multitude of Services and Solutions
121Advisor has been delivering result-centric services that have received positive responses and heavy demands from the customers. Its services include:
- Predictive Analytics with Machine Learning
For predicting new products to buy, churns & lapsation, underwriting, and many more.
- Multi-lingual Chatbot for Financial, Insurance & Takaful (FITbot)
Multi-lingual Robo Advisor and a chatbot utilizes hybrid trees and natural language processing (NLP) to engage with customers to offer a more personalized customer experience and generate more referrals.
- Web Portal Solution for Sales & Servicing (WebPoS)
Multi-lingual mobile responsive website and portal solution to enable unified personalized digital experience for clients; content, sales, marketing, and work management are consolidated instead of siloed.
- Referral Management & Marketing Automation (ReMMA)
Used for banks to effectively and efficiently auto-assign leads, track, and manages lead referrals and conversions based on user-defined workflows. Marketing automation results in personalized content delivery targeted campaigns and engagement.
- Sales Activity Mobile App (SAMA)
Allows agents to effectively plan and manage sales activity to ensure all leads and prospects are addressed. Managers can monitor real-time to render assistance where necessary.
- Community & E-worksite Marketing & Distribution (CeMD)
Allows organizations to engage with members of their community to nurture trust and create advocates thereby improving customer retention. Recently launched u12know knowledge portal.
- Takaful & Insurance Mobility Made Simple (TIMMS)
A cross-platform mobile point of sales solution allowing agents to identify client financial needs via Customer Fact Find, recommend products, and many more. Solutions for IOS, Android & Windows.
- Customer Service Portal
The Customer Self Service Portal enables the policyholders to view their policies and certificate details via a simple internet connection; Provides a safe avenue for customers to update their personal information, pay premium, switch funds, print documents, and others, which traditionally would take weeks to be executed due to siloed lines of business.
- Enterprise Product Configurator (EPC)
Reduce the time to market for insurance and takaful products. Built to rapidly set up product rates, illustrations, validation engine as well as an automated testing module allows quick product deployment.
- Multi-channel Distribution Management Solution (McDMS)
For general agencies, IFAs, brokers, ALCs (Agency Leader Corporations) simplify operations by consolidating their diverse requirements.
Robust ‘Techie’ at the Core
Being at the helm of the company, Kevin fulfills various important roles and undertakes several responsibilities. As a ‘techie’, Kevin advises the team on InsurTech & FinTech. He is in charge of developing the Database Designs and sharing them with the team. Based on this, he receives feedback from the team and adds extra fields to the tables accordingly.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, 121Advisor continued to prosper by surpassing all the challenges. Although the pandemic bored several challenges, Kevin ensured to tackle them wisely and ensure the company’s consistent growth. Kevin states, “in times of COVID-19, we continued to build our solutions with 20+ companies.”
Measuring Growth Incorporated with Expansion
Over the past 11 years, 121Advisor has significantly grown and set various achievements and has been continuously developing new solutions. Recently, it launched a new knowledge portal that provides lifestyle advice on financial planning and Health & Wellness. Kevin remarks that millennials do not understand their financial needs and hence run into financial debts and crises. With respect to that, the company has developed a wide range of health calculators and will be further implementing a “Total Health Score” solution in the future.
In the upcoming days, the company will be rolling out the Financial Planning Goals which will cover aspects such as loans, retirement, medical, child education, and critical illness. The goals will be based on a person’s lifestyle and family background. “These Financial Goals are mapped to the person’s lifestyle. This Knowledge Portal has grown to more than 5,000 users,” mentions Kevin. Moreover, the company is also planning to expand in South East Asia as well as in the territories of Europe and the US.
Read full issue: The Top 10 Perseverant Entrepreneurs, 2021