Jean Henri Lhuillier, the President & CEO of micro financial services giant Cebuana Lhuillier, was recently named as a “Master Innovator for 2022” by the Mansmith Innovation Awards, an award-giving body organized by Mansmith & Fielders, the country’s leading training and consultancy company.
Lhuillier was cited for revolutionizing the face of micro insurance in the Philippines—thanks to his ground-breaking work in making micro insurance more relevant in the lives of Filipinos. Based on the latest statistics, only 53.7M out of 111M Filipinos are covered by insurance. To date, 31% of the insured Filipinos was contributed by Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Insurance, the biggest attributor to date as cited by the Insurance Commission.
Cebuana Lhuillier captured the interest of the market especially from low-income communities by offering affordable micro insurance products that can be easily purchased in any of Cebuana Lhuillier’s over 3,000 branches nationwide, while also putting systems in place for easier claims payout through the same branches. This was made possible by Lhuillier’s keen support and commitment in the application of tech innovations as a means to augment Cebuana Lhuillier’s wide network of branches and partners nationwide.
“The true mark of being a financially-included Filipino is having access to the most basic financial services that are essential in our everyday lives. This includes protection against illnesses, emergencies, and uncertain situations brought by disasters or natural calamities. For 40 million Filipinos, this is made possible by Cebuana Lhuillier micro insurance,” shares Jean Henri Lhuillier, President & CEO, Cebuana Lhuillier.
Lhuillier adds, “For the past two years, Cebuana Lhuillier focused on its transition as a TechBrick company in order to ensure accessibility and convenience for our clients whenever they avail or use any of our products. We do this by expanding our network reach through physical branches while also taking advantage of proprietary technology through the development of new apps and digital channels that will bring our products and services closer to many Filipinos. In the case of our micro insurance product, we started by making sure it’s affordable and can be easily purchased by any of our kababayans regardless of their stature in life. We then made sure it’s available for purchase nationwide, in any Cebuana Lhuillier branch in the Philippines.”
From these two basic foundations, Lhuillier further expanded by pushing for more tech innovation that further elevated his micro insurance offerings. This included the unveiling of ProtectNow in 2019, a web-based platform which aggregates the best possible insurance options for their home, auto, travel, and family insurance needs coming from some of the credible insurance companies in the Philippines; the introduction of Claims PayOut Anywhere, which allowed clients to process their claims in any Cebuana Lhuillier branch nationwide; and finally, working together with online market places like Lazada and Shopee which made buying micro insurance as easy as getting as buying something from an online store.
However, it should be noted that micro insurance is just one aspect of Lhuillier’s mission in building a nation of financially-included Filipinos. Under Cebuana Lhuillier, the country’s number one micro financial services provider, Lhuillier has been the forefront of implementing the “TECHBRICK” strategy, taking advantage of their network of more than 3,000 branches nationwide with 25,000 domestic partner doors, and 3 million partner locations globally and marrying it with technological innovations as a means to further bring the micro financial services industry to the next level.
Utilizing the concept of “TechBrick”, a term Lhuillier coined himself, his vision allowed Cebuana Lhuillier and its products and services such as pawning, money transfer, micro insurance, jewelry selling, along with micro savings, a product of it banking arm Cebuana Lhuillier Bank, to maintain its relevance by ensuring availability and access regardless of channels: whether in brick-and-mortar stores, through the development of super apps, and web platforms.
The synergy between the tech and brick capability allowed Cebuana Lhuillier to empower its clients to move seamlessly and to maximize use of its products and services from offline to online.
For Lhuillier, his push for unremitting innovation remains at the core of the organization as it sets its sights into becoming a more future-ready organization. He adds, “The world and along with it, the needs of our Ka-Cebuanas, are constantly changing and evolving. However, what remains consistent is to ensure that Filipinos remain on track towards financial-inclusion and financial mobility. To that, Cebuana Lhuillier will continue to hold on to its promise of being a partner for every one of our kababayans—constantly evolving, innovating, and maintaining our relevance for the years to come.”