We Encourage People To Be Responsible: Devendra Rane
And once we’ve got these people on board, we try to give them as much freedom as we can to grow in their functions,” says Singh, referring to what makes Coverfox a great place to work for
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Founded in 2013 by IIT Bombay alumni Devendra Rane with the aim to simplify insurance, Coverfox.com is today India’s largest insure-tech platform that allows you to compare, buy and manage your insurance policies. Its proprietary technology and algorithm-based platform helps users choose from a range of plans across top insurance companies, understand key features and buy policies instantly and safely. The company currently offers health, car, bike, life and travel insurance policies. It is headed by CEO Premanshu Singh, a veteran of 14 years in the FMCG, technology and startup space, and an active angel investor who made one of his early investment in the portal. “We go for right attitude over right talent. And once we’ve got these people on board, we try to give them as much freedom as we can to grow in their functions,” says Singh, referring to what makes Coverfox a great place to work for.
On the importance of profits and people
The first priority should always be to do what’s best for the customer, then for the health of the organisation, then for people as a team, and then your individual goals and aspirations. If everyone in the organisation is aligned towards this, it’s a healthy culture all-around. I don’t believe that you need to give people perks in the form of fancy laptops or gourmet food to keep them motivated. Excitement should come from building something bigger than yourselves, and from the company of like-minded enthusiastic talent.
On what makes Coverfox a great place to work
We always believe in hiring the right people. We go for right attitude over right talent. And once we’ve got these people on board, we try to give them as much freedom as we can to grow in their functions and move out of their way when they are building something big. Organisational challenges should never come in the way of innovation. That’s our DNA.
On the company’s evolution
To maintain being agile with growing numbers, we’ve made separate pods for each business unit that can take independent calls on everything related to their vertical — business, product roadmap, technology and even leaves. It’s like we have five mini-companies within the firm. They have daily scrum meetings and bi-weekly sprints to keep moving ahead at rapid pace.
On people philosophy
We do have leave policies etc. in place, but they function more like guidelines rather than rules. We encourage people to be responsible about their work and to their team. Our appraisal process is aligned with this philosophy too. This goes back to put emphasis on hiring the right people in the first place.
On the company’s legacy
We want to be known as the people who spearheaded the change in the fintech ecosystem and how financial products are sold in India. We are digitising everything one piece at a time. We are turning financial products into something the consumer will understand, use and be thankful for in the future.
On the company’s road map
We aspire to be ‘Earth’s greatest home for financial products’. Earth’s, because we will expand outside India at some point. Greatest, because we will never compromise on our values in a bid to be the largest. Consumer will always come first. Home because we don’t want to push sales, and want people to feel as comfortable when they use our product and services, as they would in the comfort of their home.
On managing people issues
We don’t have any ‘people managers’. Functional heads and technical leads double up as managers for their respective teams. This helps reduce issues that might crop up due to the manager not being able to comprehend the complexity of any task being assigned to a team member. For everything else, there’s no hierarchal approach to raising your concern. We also facilitate anonymous feedback that gets answered by leadership team at every Townhall.
Most of the issues arise because of lack of transparency or lack of understanding. Explaining does help, but it’s not always possible to tell everyone every little thing. Tougher yet to discuss every business decision with the entire team. But you still need to find time to keep the team aligned about the bigger picture, and be transparent about the stuff that matters to them.