It's a culture of continuous learning and improvement

Who are the faces behind Friendsurance's tech platform and innovations? Meet our IT team in a new interview series! In the fifth episode, we are talking with Sofi Simonyan, Scrum Master, whose main responsibility is taking care of 2 teams as a Scrum Master as well as nurturing and improving the cooperation with Friendsurance's biggest partner in Bancassurance.

Since when are you with Friendsurance?

I have been welcomed to the Friendsurance family only a few months ago and had never felt a stronger sense of ‘belonging’.


Where do you currently work – in the office, at home office, or somewhere else? 

I do a little bit of both. After 1,5 years of only home office I really missed the office hustle and small talks at the coffee machine. So I jumped on the opportunity to work from the office most of the week, and I’m very grateful Friendsurance provides the opportunity to do so safely. However, I also would like to use the opportunity to work and travel, while we still can, especially after all those lockdowns..


What is your responsibility at Friendsurance? What is the most interesting part of your job?

I am taking care of 2 teams as a Scrum Master, I’m also responsible for nurturing and improving our cooperation with our biggest partner in Bancassurance. The most interesting part of my job is to work closely with people and to find ways to keep my teams  motivated and enthusiastic.

In addition, I’m a part of our amazing Agile team in the company and we have interesting initiatives for the Tech department and soon hopefully for the whole company. Growing and changing together.


What was the biggest challenge you have solved in your job so far?

The biggest challenge is maintaining the positive balance in team dynamics in distributed and multicultural teams. It is natural that our differences – whether it’s experience, knowledge, background, gender, world-view and thinking – creates a complex environment of collaboration in our daily work, but that is also what makes us a strong and unique team.


What do you like the most about working at Friendsurance?

I have to be not-original in my answer to this question and say: the people and the culture. In my opinion, one leaves or stays in a company because of ideology and the environment. If the company gives you an inspiring goal and creates a family – like environment to achieve this goal together, that’s enough for me to wake up every morning and look forward to going to work. I see dedication and care for the work and each other wherever I look. Friendsurance provides me with autonomy to do what I’m good at, and motivation to do it with a smile every single day.


How did you find your way to the Insurtech space?

It is very interesting because I found my way here as a regular user, who thought that the insurance field with complicated contracts and myriad options to choose from, is a ‘dark forest’. I read a slogan from Friendsurance, a tech company, that said, ‘WE BELIEVE THAT DEALING WITH INSURANCE SHOULD BRING A SMILE TO YOUR FACE’ and I instantly wanted to become a part of that purposeful mission.


From your perspective what are the greatest strengths of Friendsurance as a tech company?

Among many strengths to name a few: enthusiasm for innovation and advanced technologies for our platforms in our tech department, structural composition of small, cross-functional and fast-paced teams, pragmatism in development, data driven strategy in product decision making, customer-centricity and care in all our partnerships and a culture of continuous learning and improvement in the whole  the company.


How do you prepare yourself for an AI-centric world?

Jumping headfirst into AI/automation sea can be scary, but Artificial Intelligence is not science fiction anymore, it has already shown proven benefits in better decision-making with advanced data analysis and automating everyday activities to free some time for other work. The best thing we can do is educate ourselves on what AI and automation would mean in our industry, make it a part of our future business strategy and be one step ahead from our competitors.


What would be your dream celebration of successfully delivering a product with your team?

It would be something exciting! Getting together all the remote workers from my team to the same city, and have an outdoor treasure hunt game with interesting challenges. And the treasure would be small gifts related to the product we delivered and personalized appreciation cards for each of the team members for their contribution. And of course, drinks later!


What is your favourite emoticon on the team messenger Slack?

It’s the smiling sun, because I think it’s important to start and finish every day with positivity. No alt text provided for this image


Learn more about the Friendsurance Tech Team! 


Being part of the Friendsurance team means thinking new every day. We are bringing two worlds together: customer centric technical innovation and the insurance business.