Written by Kim Eun, Pamela Ju, Deepak Kurien and Austin Lu
It’s been an exciting two weeks for the Haas IBD Citibanamex team! We came, we met, we ate, we worked, and we conquered – in that order.
Our main client contact, Alex West, had done an incredible job setting us up with teams all around the bank. We had meetings with the CIO, the new head of UX, directors in the eCommerce group, and a lot of exposure to their relatively new Innovation and Digital teams. We visited their call center, the digital factory, a new smart branch, and this afternoon we will be ending our experience at the still-in-the-works Innovation Lab.
Citibanamex has been investing a lot in innovation and digitizing their experience, and they’ve seeded these teams with existing bank experts as well as recruiting from the likes of Wal-Mart and IBM. We had a lot of opportunities to talk to them in 4-on-1s, and everyone was incredibly generous with their time and resources. They were excited about our project and wanted to help in any way they could.
Our project: propose a new insurance product for Seguros Citibanamex, with a focus on how to execute it through digital channels. We’ve spent these past few weeks ideating around this – specifically a product that would be appealing to women. At the end of the day, we would go back to the hotel room and brainstorm and argue about what features would be the most important (see picture below). We were lucky enough to have a team dynamic where we could argue with each other but never take it personally.
More than once, we came up with the only partially joking conclusion that, “Insurance is a perfect product.” As the Deputy CEO of Seguros Citibanamex reminded us, “Insurance is a wonderfully complex product that also does a world of social good.” We ultimately came up with a product that we very proud of: Sueños Seguros Citibanamex. It is an investment-insurance product that helps women realize their dreams.
We presented it yesterday morning, and Alex and Gaby Galindo (Citibanamex’s head of innovation) did us the great honor of setting us up in Citibanamex’s beautiful palace downtown. We started at 8 am in a comedor, where we were served breakfast and Gaby welcomed everyone to the morning’s events. In addition to us, Gaby and Alex, we had 13 additional guests from the insurance team, ranging from product managers to the Deputy CEO of Seguros Citibanamex. We could tell that we were helping to bring these two organizations together and were both honored and nervous at the responsibility.
Fortunately, the presentation went really well. Right after we pitched the product, people began asking us questions. At first, we were worried that it meant our product was going to be received poorly – but it soon became clear that they were all excited by our proposed innovations and wanted to work through exactly what that would look like.
At the end of the presentation, the leader of the Insurance team thanked all of us for our work and told us that every part of our product seemed feasible – except for potentially the technical components (such as our proposed insurance simulator or process flows through their insurance app.)
We were so pleased with how our presentation went – and pleasantly surprised to hear that they would continue to iterate on our work and that one day we may see a version of our product on the Seguros Citibanamex website.
The Last Days
The rest of the day was a dream: an archivist led us on a tour of the Citibanamex palace downtown, we went out to lunch with the insurance team for traditional Mexican food and were very sad to leave them at the end. Finally, one of the team members led us on a tour of the Zocolo. We had been there just the week before, but this experience really showed us what a difference having a local with us makes. He made us go in buildings that we had just walked by before, and we were stunned by how incredibly beautiful these buildings were. There was the gold-plated Post Office, with a stunning staircase in the middle that made us all gasp out loud when we saw it.
As our experience is coming near the end, we’re both excited to be going home and sad about leaving all the people we’ve met in our two weeks here. There is the lady at the front desk who provides us all of our security badges every morning. She asks about what we have done, and Austin entertains her with stories about eating chapulines (grasshoppers), meeting his new favorite luchador, Fuego, and driving on the streets of Mexico City. There is Thelma, the incredibly kind administrative aid that brings us water and books our meetings, finds us rooms, and helps us when we don’t know how to handle a situation. When we walk around the office now, we see people that we know and we stop and chat – it’s hard to imagine that we only showed up two weeks ago.
We’ve seen and accomplished a lot in the last two weeks and we couldn’t have had a better experience.