Hands On Podcast: Why COOs are like wedding planners + The importance of being uncomfortable

by Index Ventures


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Why COOs are like wedding planners + The importance of being uncomfortable

Inès Cheaib is the Chief Operating Officer at Gaia, a groundbreaking insurance company that combines reproductive health data with financial technology to make fertility treatments more accessible, affordable and individualized. In this episode of Hands On, we talk about the issues that Gaia is trying to solve, how being a COO is a uniquely broad role and the challenge of innovating and structuring insurance products that have never been measured before. Tune in and learn why fertility insurance should matter to everyone.

Listen to Hands On on Spotify. Also available on Apple Podcast & Simplecast.

Jump straight into:

(06:48) - Guest Introduction: Who is Inès Cheaib, how she got connected with our host Molly and words to live by. “You never see results overnight. Never. And it’s really an illusion to think so – because you never see the work that’s behind. It’s always just revealing everything you’ve been doing in the past.”

(11:42) - The landscape: What exactly Gaia is trying to solve and how Inès adapted to that environment. “I had no idea that insurers don't take any risks, that insurers are super-afraid of vulnerable customers, that the only innovation in insurance was on distribution.”

(20:02) - How Inès’ work as COO is similar to that of a wedding planner. “You need to be extremely comfortable with that changing all the time and having to learn and adapt and reprioritize most importantly – because the to-do is infinite.”

(27:02) - Preparing better: Why fertility insurance should matter to everyone. “Imagine a future where a 25 year-old takes a Spotify-type subscription of 10 pounds per month that gives access to all things on fertility – more checks to understand where your hormone level is at this moment, your egg reserve, et cetera.”

(30:29) - A problem in need of a solution: Increasing demand amidst a gap in availability with no insurance focused on fertility in the past. “Some people will even say that it's a luxury while we deeply believe that it's a basic human right to be able to reproduce.”

(34:55) - Brands as People: Who Gaia would be if it was a person. “We actually did this exercise two weeks ago. It was so interesting. You had literally 20 Post-Its for just three characteristics.”

Published — June 23, 2022