Michael Lee Lai Thai
One of the greatest features of a leadapreneur is forward-thinking. As organisations nationwide are stepping up on their effort to be IR4.0-ready, it was only apt for Leadapreneur to skew their training programmes to ensure that today’s human capital are better equipped to adapt to changes and have the ability to innovate by looking at future possibilities so that organisation are not left behind in the race.
That was why when Michael Lee Lai Thai joined the AXA Leadapreneur Accelerator Programme, he tried to figure out a future trend that will keep his company on top of their game. Michael was responsible for introducing the cashless payment system for AXA Affin General Insurance Bhd that won him his cohort championship.
As the Manager for RPA, Process Improvement & Treasury at AXA, Michael is responsible for ensuring the efficiency of their finance operations and its related business implementations. So, it was only apt for him to think of an idea that would provide a fuss-free solution for most of the transactions processed by AXA.
When he was first told that he had to come up with an innovative idea that will improve AXA’s business efficiency, Michael hit a brick wall. For the first couple of weeks, he tried considering several ideas which he could possibly execute but to no avail.
He came to a realisation that this was his chance to make an impact at his organisation, so the idea had to be something worthwhile. Then, Michael, with the help of his head of department, had a light bulb moment.
He started looking at AXA’s transaction methods and thought that there could be something in eWallet and its QR Codes. He figured if night market vendors can use QR Codes in their simple business setting why not a leading insurance company like his. When Michael finally made his project pitch, his idea received overwhelming support from his cohort and mentors.
Although the initial ideation was difficult, Michael was quick to make progress as Leadapreneur taught him how to break free from a limiting mindset. Once that lesson sank in, it became much easier for him to build on his idea and get the buy-in from others.
His eWallet idea could save AXA at least RM70,000 in transaction cost. Michael was aware that in terms of revenue or cost savings value, his projected figure was at the lower end, but his idea would help AXA create history by being one of the earliest adopters of a cashless payment method – a trend of the future.
He also added that eWallet is more cost-efficient compared to credit card transactions as certified eWallet providers are encouraging more people to adopt the cashless payment method. Even if the provider did implement financial charges, he projects it to be lower than credit payments and that will result in better savings for his company.
From Michael’s experience, Leadapreneur has pretty much been an eye-opening journey as it not only helped him break free from his limitations, but it also taught him different perspectives of problem-solving.
He happily admits that as a leadapreneur, he can now look at a problem from various angles before settling for the most viable solution.
He also noted the importance of building an innovation-focused environment as the programme helped everyone around him to be more open-minded and without the help of his mentors, cohorts and manager, this innovative idea wouldn’t have materialised.
Congratulations Michael for becoming a Champion of the Accelerator!