We talked to Dr. Sam Chapman of The Floow on how they continually developed their capabilities into an innovative and reliable portfolio.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Dr. Sam Chapman: We are all well despite a positive case in our house. Life goes on, and we remain busy; plus, it has cut my traveling, meaning more time to spend together, which is nice.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded The Floow.
Dr. Sam Chapman: I co-founded The Floow in 2012 when seeing an opportunity to impact and disrupt motor insurance. Since then, I have directed innovation and research activities as the company has grown from 2-120 people.
How does The Floow innovate?
Dr. Sam Chapman: The Floow innovate wildly and has been recognized for this with UK’s highest award for innovation by HRH the Queen and given a ‘Queens award for enterprise in innovation.’ Our innovation is at the heart of what we do and is one of 4 core values for the company meaning all staff aim to support innovation in what they do. This has given us a number of world firsts, all driven by our mission to ‘make mobility smarter and safer.’ This has involved innovation programs working with wide partners, including the European space agency, government agencies, regulators, and those making autonomous cars. We use these programs to ensure we remain on the cutting edge of understanding mobility.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Dr. Sam Chapman: Like all businesses, The Floow was impacted, but it has also created new challenges and opportunities. We turned some of our vehicle safety analysis to enable new car-sharing platforms enabling unused vehicles to be safely loaned to NHS key workers. We have also explored societal behavioral changes across 3 continents in relation to changed mobility showing the differing impacts one region or another has regarding COVID lifestyle shifts. This analysis is helping to inform global insurance products. We are coping fine, but like most of us, we would love to return to face to face meetings when safe to do so.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Dr. Sam Chapman: Some decisions required a pivot from prior directions to adapt to societal and market shifts. Although awkward, these changes are wise to consider periodically, not just under external pressure but to enable fresh thinking.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Dr. Sam Chapman: Personally, I’m very calm, but as a company, we have had to adapt to how we communicate internally to ensure stress and anxiety are minimized for all staff.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Dr. Sam Chapman: Our competitors are global, and we are in a fiercely competitive period with ongoing industry changes. Remaining on top of innovation is fundamental to maintaining a long term advantage. This focus has allowed The Floow to grow and outstrip rivals, but this is a race we must continue to challenge ourselves to remain ahead in our sector.
Your final thoughts?
Dr. Sam Chapman: Innovation drives growth. Make sure, however, that your growth itself drives further innovation, not just profit. To keep ahead of the competition, this provides security and resilience to a changing world.