AXA is expanding in Singapore. Here's who it wants to hire

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AXA expands Singapore team

AXA is expanding its digital team by about 30% in Singapore and is open to candidates from outside the insurance sector.

Tomasz Kurczyk, head of digital for AXA in Singapore, explains who he wants to hire and why the insurance sector is now becoming more appealing for technologists.

What’s your team working on?

“The team looks after digital commerce and partnerships, digital operations, digital services and customer engagement, CRM, and digital analytics. This year we’ve developed applied AI and machine learning to improve business processes, chatbots, and smart contracts on blockchain. In the next 12 months, our focus will be on scaling up initiatives like digitalised life and health insurance products, omni-channel customer service, and launching a proprietary digital platform.”

What jobs are you hiring for?

“We have 34 people in our team and plan to recruit 10 more, all based in Singapore. We’re hiring full-stack developers with knowledge of JavaScript technologies to help grow our proprietary platforms and support an increasing number of partnerships. We’re also looking for people in marketing automation, digital marketing and CRM. You don’t need previous insurance experience – we only have three people in the digital team who’ve worked in the sector before. But you must be proactive by suggesting new ideas and taking the initiative to fix things when there’s a problem.”

Who are your main competitors for tech talent?

“All employers in Singapore are now tapping into the same pool of expertise. The days when our main competitors for digital talent were other insurance companies are over. Now we need to compete with the likes of technology companies, start-ups and other industries such as online retailers, car sharing companies, and even government agencies.”

Why would a candidate choose an insurance firm over likes of Google?

“We’re now at the point where the hottest technologies and trends – AI, machine learning, blockchain, the internet of things, event-driven architecture – are maturing and insurance is one of the sectors where all of them need to be adopted quickly. The industry is transforming itself by really embracing technological excellence as a driver in creating value for customers.”

Is it challenging to hire technologists in Singapore?

“It’s not easy to find the right talent in Singapore, because of the intense demand. That’s why we’re collaborating closely with industry associations and education institutions to create training programmes that impart skills to prospective employees, and give them opportunities to work with industry leaders via internships and job placements. The Singapore government is also doing a good job in reskilling people who want to change their career and start working in the tech and digital space.”

Singapore wants to be an insurtech hub. Is it moving in the right direction?

“MAS, industry bodies and insurers are working together to make sure the insurance ecosystem is open to deploying new technologies by both established companies and start-ups. We’re seeing several new insurtech firms being created and existing ones expanding rapidly into other regional markets – so we’re moving in the right direction.”

You were previously at Deloitte consulting, and AXA is the first finance firm you’ve worked for. Why did you join?

“Before moving to Singapore in 2015, I was headhunted to join AXA’s Paris HQ. The main allure was the fact I could take responsibility for global initiatives and see their final impact on the business and customers. I missed this sense of fulfilment during my years of consulting work. Contrary to popular belief, insurance is not one of the most boring industries – and it serves a crucial role in society and the economy.”

Image credit: platongkoh, Getty

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