Star Tech: Wellx – UAE's first-of-its kind insurance platform

The company uses cutting-edge data analytics tools to hyper-personalise the wellness experience for individuals, families, and corporate entities

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Joydeep Sengupta

Published: Sat 21 May 2022, 10:18 PM

Wellx, founded by Vaibhav Kashyap and Javed Akberali this year, is the Arabian Gulf’s first-of-its-kind Insurtech platform that rewards individuals on the completion of health and lifestyle goals.

The company uses cutting-edge data analytics tools to hyper-personalise the wellness experience for individuals, families, and corporate entities.

The startup, which was born out of the Covid-19 pandemic, has partnered with new-gen technology companies, STEPPI & WHOOP, to track and monitor people’s physical activities.

Akberali, co-founder and Managing Director (MD), Wellx, weighed in on how and when he hit upon the big idea.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought a different perspective to well-being and brought to the fore the fragility of human life.

“Now, wellness has become a priority, and has even eclipsed financial security for many. The idea of Wellx came about from a desire to infuse wellness within the financial services space. Health Insurance was the perfect way in. We set out to build an insurance proposition that not only provides protection but also helps enhance the day-to-day lives of people. We wanted to create a wellness experience that focuses on building happier, healthier, and more resilient communities. Insurance helps us make it happen. Inspired by the UAE leadership’s drive on creating a healthier nation through initiatives such as the National Strategy for Wellbeing 2031, we believe the time and place for a solution like this is here and now,” he said.

Kashyap, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), Wellx, had a take on the insurance sector. “Traditional insurance doesn’t tackle the elephant in the room: despite overall increased financial security, lifestyle diseases and stress-related conditions being on the rise.

“As an industry, insurers must focus on our solution not being just a ‘rainy-day’ product that helps you only when you fall sick. Insurance must also provide you ‘everyday’ benefits – that’s Wellx,” he said.

He said their startup can turn health into currency.

“We’re seeing a renewed appreciation for wellbeing in people’s approach to their everyday life. While people continue to try to be healthier, why not convert all the good to something better? Studies show financial rewards have an impact on motivation and engagement in wellness programmes, hence our “cash back” proposition. With Wellx, the insurer pays the customer for taking care of their health. Customers set their own goals and earn cash back when they achieve it,” he said.

Wellx is the UAE’s first Insurtech platform that offers cashback for wellness.

“The concept of embedding preventative wellness into health insurance is a first-of-its-kind programme in the UAE. With the support of our insurance partners, we’re able to offer the rewards, without charging more for our product,” Akberali said.

Kashyap said: “There are currently no other health insurance programmes that offer cash-back in exchange for exercising healthy behaviour. Globally behavioural-driven insurance programmes have been taking over, as international insurers have started taking on the onus of reducing claims and improving the quality of life for their members. Prioritising prevention will soon become a cornerstone of all insurance programmes,” he said.

He also explained the cashback offers. “Customers can earn up to two months’ of their premium as cash vouchers from over 200 different outlets. We provide the rewards monthly to make sure the proposition remains exciting and that the rewards keep coming,” he said.

Akberali elaborated upon partnership models.

“We have curated an ecosystem with partners from the physical, mental, and financial wellness space. Our signature partners are WHOOP and STEPPI — which are very well known and have a huge following in the UAE. To find the right market fit, we set out to form partnerships that allow our customers to experience the best of wellness from the experts. STEPPI ran the Dubai 30x30 challenge and has become a household name in the UAE. WHOOP was rated the world’s most comprehensive fitness wearable by Bloomberg. In both cases, customers can use STEPPI and WHOOP as avenues to track & improve their activity and health. Wellx then rewards that healthy behaviour through our insurance plans, making for an exciting proposition overall,” he added.

“Our partnerships with like-minded brands have resulted in enhancing customers’ morale and attitudes towards daily chores, by offering them incentives for making healthy decisions and engaging in physical activities — making them lead a happier life overall, in line with the UAE’s Happiness Agenda,” said Akberali.

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