From Being the First Mei Tuan Intern to Becoming “Forbes 30 under 30 Asia” Entrepreneur: Waterdrop Founder Shared His Journey in Business Innovation

From Being the First Mei Tuan Intern to Becoming “Forbes 30 under 30 Asia” Entrepreneur: Waterdrop Founder Shared His Journey in Business Innovation

Leaving a promising career and starting a new venture is something that many have envisioned but yet taken the initiative as it requires courage, determination and vision to forge a new path amid this ever-changing and globalized world. The seminar “與CEO對話: 水滴公司沈鵬談創新創業” was successfully held on 23 September, 2021, which drew more than 100 participants to learn about business innovation and entrepreneurial spirits. Waterdrop founder and “Forbes 30 under 30 Asia” entrepreneur Mr. Shen Peng shared inspiring stories on how his work experiences had emboldened him to set up his own venture and how he decided to tap into the unexplored segment of the Chinese insurance market. Waterdrop is currently one of the largest and fastest growing online insurance firms in China, which has revolutionized the insurance industry and created better medical protection for the young and the underprivileged.

Brewing entrepreneurial spirit at Mei Tuan

Despite starting as a customer service intern, Mr Sheng said that the stimulating and fast paced working environment at Mei Tuan has enabled him to learn, grow, develop skills to cope with unforeseeable challenges and soar high. Therefore, he advised fresh graduates should not to choose their first job solely based on salaries. Instead, they should opt for the ones that provide plentiful opportunities to thrive. In 2013, he had the first taste of business innovation as he led his team to launch the Mei Tuan Takeaway platform. Utilising artificial intelligence and data-driven technology, the platform has stood out from the crowd and become the largest on-demand food delivery firm, which handles at least 4 million orders daily.

Kickstarting new business with social values

However, his ambition did not stop there. His adventurous gene drove him to step out of his comfort zone and make a fresh start. Subsequently, Mr. Shen shared the reason for setting up Waterdrop when he saw a loophole in the Chinese insurance market, in which people in the rural areas and third tier cities were uninsured because of the high cost and high thresholds.  With the aspiration of providing affordable insurance, he further explained how he had leveraged on the advancement of technology and created the crowdfunding platform Waterdrop to empower the people who are left out of the loop of the traditional insurance system.

Building a good team is prerequisite to business success

He further spilled the secrets of how he had steered the company to be the first Chinese insurance firm listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He holds the belief that having a good team is pivotal to the success of any firm as diversity and agility of the team foster communication and innovation. Drawing from the book “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries and Jack Welch’s approaches in leadership, he further explained his philosophy in marketing and management strategies.

The seminar concluded with his encouraging tips on entrepreneurship and eager exchange of ideas between Mr. Shen and the students.

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