An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Harish Neelamana, the co-founder and president of DataCubes, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of DataCubes – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
Having worked for an extensive part of my career in the insurance industry before founding DataCubes, I saw first-hand the need that the insurance industry had, particularly when it came to the underwriting process. The commercial space of the insurance industry includes a fair amount of manual processes that can become cumbersome and time-consuming. Underwriters can spend as much as 60% of their time doing manual work, gathering information from insurance applications, and researching a business to best inform their underwriting decisions. At the same time, industries were adopting emerging technologies like AI and machine learning to intelligently automate similar processes. The same concepts had yet to make their way into commercial P&C, and I sensed an opportunity to bring AI to the underwriting process and help the insurance industry become more efficient and profitable.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
A startup environment can be hectic; there is a lot of work that needs to be done and everyone is doing everything. That can present a great opportunity as many of our employees get exposed to challenging situations that help them grow in the direction they wish too. However, as we grow as a company, we have to continue establishing processes to always be aligned internally between employees, leadership, and externally with our customers. Growing as fast as we have, maintaining alignment with our customers’ needs and with our company vision is crucial not only so that we can best serve our customers, but also so that we can make sure our team members continue to have the opportunities to grow within the company they built.
What does the future hold for DataCubes?
We are excited for what the future holds for us a company. We have come a long way and we are looking forward to our future success. This year, we expect to continue to grow the customer install base of our underwriting product offering. We will be working hard with our customers to continue to improve the product and drive greater adoption among end-users. We also will be building closer ties and technical integrations with ecosystem partners to improve our value propositions to mutual customers.
Due to the hard situation the global economy is facing, many changes are happening throughout different industries that are interconnected. As a technology provider, we are here for our customers in the insurance industry. We are going to do our part to make sure our customers can use our product offering to rapidly respond to the needs of business owners (insureds) . We will also continue to hire new employees and grow our technology team, which will help enhance our services and provide opportunities for talent to continue their professional journey uninterrupted.
What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Schaumburg?
The tech startup scene is very vibrant and shows great potential. I also expect many new ideas to come to market as the near-term market disruptions will highlight potential avenues for technology to enable a rapid recovery. I firmly believe Schaumburg is a great location for tech startups. Headquartering in Schaumburg, we have also had great success in attracting talent from the larger Chicagoland area. The Village of Schaumburg continues to invest in enabling a strong business community and Schaumburg’s proximity to Chicago has attracted a lot of local entrepreneurial and venture capital investment.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to challenge themselves and take risks in pursing their ideas. Times of unexpected change present an opportunity for testing new, innovative ideas that can change lives and deliver new business models.