Voice is the new dig­i­tal at Ba­jaj Al­lianz

Ba­jaj Al­lianz Gen­eral In­sur­ance launches chat­bots for cus­tomers, em­ploy­ees as well as job seek­ers

Banking Frontiers - - Highlights - Me­hul@bank­ingfron­tiers.com

Ba­jaj Al­lianz Gen­eral In­sur­ance launches chat­bots for cus­tomers, em­ploy­ees as well as job seek­ers

Ba­jaj Al­lianz Gen­eral In­sur­ance be­gan the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year with a strong growth and plans to main­tain the mo­men­tum. It has regis­tered a growth of 23.1% with a GWP of `24.29 bil­lion in Q1 FY2018-19. It grew 23.7% in 2017-18 while the in­dus­try grew at about 16.9% on GDPI ba­sis. Its net profit grew 27% yoy to `9.21 bil­lion and un­der­writ­ing profit soared by 359% yoy to `2.93 bil­lion in FY2017-18.

Ta­pan Singhel, MD & CEO, of Ba­jaj Al­lianz Gen­eral In­sur­ance says this growth has been pos­si­ble be­cause of the ag­ile ap­proach and at­ti­tude of not flus­ter­ing when there are ups and downs. “We faced the chal­lenges head on. We be­lieve in un­der­stand­ing the wor­ries of our cus­tomers and solv­ing their prob­lems by de­sign­ing our prod­ucts and ser­vices ac­cord­ing to their ex­pec­ta­tions. We con­tinue to in­no­vate and en­gage with our cus­tomers reg­u­larly, not only at the time of claims but through­out their pol­icy pe­riod. This ap­proach has led us to­wards sus­tain­able growth and to be a mar­ket leader in the in­dus­try,” says he.

The in­sur­ance in­dus­try in In­dia is 100 years old and the prod­ucts are more or less the same. Risks are chang­ing rapidly, and Ba­jaj Al­lianz Gen­eral In­sur­ance has been a mar­ket leader and has stayed ahead of the curve to of­fer in­sur­ance so­lu­tions be­yond the ex­pec­ta­tions of its cus­tomers. The com­pany has al­ways adopted a cus­tomer cen­tric ap­proach. Singhel gives an ex­am­ple: “We launched ‘Smart Schools’ ini­tia­tive when one of the big­gest wor­ries we saw in re­cent times was chil­dren’s safety - es­pe­cially when trav­el­ling to and from school. We came up with the so­lu­tion of group per­sonal ac­ci­dent cover for school kids. It uses IoT and helps par­ents to track the where­abouts of their chil­dren the mo­ment they step into the school bus. It also helps the school in mon­i­tor­ing the move­ment of stu­dents.”

The com­pany tries to align its prod­uct strat­egy to ad­dress the needs of cus­tomers in terms of new-age risks. Says Singhel: “We were the first in the In­dian in­sur­ance in­dus­try to come up with a re­tail cy­ber in­sur­ance cover, the first to bring agreed value (ie the loss will be set­tled by the in­surer on the value of the prop­erty or con­tent agreed by the pol­i­cy­holder at the time of pur­chas­ing pol­icy) and ‘new for old’ in home in­sur­ance (ie when an item is dam­aged be­yond re­pair, the in­surer will pay out for the re­place­ment for the same in full). We were also the first to launch a global per­sonal ac­ci­dent in­sur­ance that cov­ers ad­ven­ture sports.”


The com­pany lever­ages both the con­ven­tional ways of mar­ket­ing as well the new age tools to cater to all the seg­ments of cus­tomers across all ge­ogra­phies. It reg­u­larly con­ducts re­gion spe­cific road­shows in tier 2 and 3 towns. For in­stance, it holds health in­sur­ance aware­ness cam­paigns for its cus­tomers and cam­paigns tar­get­ing farm­ers ed­u­cat­ing them on Prad­han Mantri Fasal Bima Yo­jna. Singhel feels: “Such cam­paigns help us reach the grassroots and pro­vide ser­vices to the un­tapped and highly po­ten­tial mar­ket,” says Singhel.

In the on­line space, cur­rent events and top­i­cal trends are in­cor­po­rated into the cam­paign themes of the com­pany to make its ads more rel­e­vant and en­gag­ing. Ex­plains Singhel: “We fol­low a con­tent driven ap­proach on on­line me­dia as cus­tomers to­day pre­fer do­ing re­search and com­par­ing the prod­ucts on­line. Our ap­proach is to ex­plain the nu­ances of in­sur­ance in a sim­pli­fied man­ner that con­nects with the au­di­ence and this helps us drive qual­ity traf­fic on the web­site, such as the ‘De­mys­ti­fy­ing In­sur­ance’ sec­tion on our web­site.’ So­cial me­dia also plays a vi­tal role

in en­gag­ing with the cus­tomers and reach­ing out to the new ones.”

Ba­jaj Al­lianz Gen­eral In­sur­ance is also ex­pand­ing its reach by craft­ing its com­mu­ni­ca­tion in dif­fer­ent lan­guages. This is done to cap­ture a larger group of peo­ple in emerg­ing tier 2 and 3 mar­kets, which has seen a rise in in­ter­net pen­e­tra­tion lately and con­tin­ues to grow. “As in­sur­ers, we will con­tinue to en­hance en­gage­ment with our con­sumers,” says Singhel.


The com­pany has been us­ing IoT, AI, ML, etc in its value chain as it be­lieves that this is how things will be de­fined in the fu­ture. It has in­tro­duced an HR chat­bot ‘Buddy’ that ad­dresses HR re­lated queries of its em­ploy­ees. It is also the first in the in­sur­ance in­dus­try to have Vir­tual Em­ployee ‘Eve’, which rep­re­sents com­pany’s au­to­mated Tal­ent Ac­qui­si­tion Por­tal - Tal.Port - that con­ducts ro­botic video in­ter­views for job seek­ers.

“We have been the first in the In­dian in­sur­ance in­dus­try to use blockchain where, with­out the cus­tomer in­ti­mat­ing their over­seas flight de­lay claim, we proac­tively ap­proach them with their el­i­gi­ble claim amount through our ‘Travel Ezee’ ap­pli­ca­tion,” says Singhel, adding: “Our ‘Mo­tor OTS’ ap­pli­ca­tion, en­ables cus­tomer to self-in­spect their claims by click­ing im­ages of their car dam­age, up­load them on com­pany’s self-ser­vice mo­bile ap­pli­ca­tion ‘in­sur­ance wal­let’ and the claim is then set­tled in few min­utes with­out the cus­tomer ap­proach­ing our branch. To en­hance our cus­tomer ser­vice lev­els, we also in­tro­duced AI en­abled chat­bot ‘BOING’ which ad­dresses cus­tomer queries 24/7. This chat­bot is also avail­able on Alexa (Ama­zon Echo only) and Google As­sis­tant as we be­lieve that ‘voice’ will make the cus­tomer in­ter­ac­tion even sim­pler and will take their ex­pe­ri­ence to the next level.”

Al­though on­line chan­nel is still at a very nascent stage in In­dia, the com­pany has seen a grad­ual in­crease in poli­cies that are pur­chased on­line. Singhel says 3% of the to­tal poli­cies sold by the com­pany are through the on­line chan­nel. The con­sis­tent fo­cus on dig­i­ti­za­tion of pro­cesses for an en­hanced cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and bet­ter ex­pense man­age­ment has been in­stru­men­tal in main­tain­ing prof­itabil­ity, he adds.


Nearly 9% of the com­pany’s to­tal poli­cies is­sued in 2017-18 are in ru­ral ar­eas and it has seen CAGR of 22.6% in the past 4 years. Singhel be­lieves there will be tremen­dous growth for in­sur­ance in ru­ral ar­eas be­cause of the po­ten­tial this un­tapped mar­ket holds. The com­pany is work­ing to­wards in­creas­ing this num­ber through 3 mech­a­nisms. The largest mech­a­nism is crop in­sur­ance through govern­ment schemes, wherein the com­pany is­sued around 300,000 crop in­sur­ance poli­cies last year. The plan is to in­crease pen­e­tra­tion of in­sur­ance prod­ucts in ru­ral ar­eas through Com­mon Ser­vice Cen­tres (CSC). This chan­nel will soon be­come one of the big­gest chan­nels in ru­ral ar­eas and the com­pany is ap­point­ing sep­a­rate staff to han­dle the chan­nel. Be­sides, it has a num­ber of banca tie-ups, which has helped it reach out to cus­tomers in these ar­eas through their net­work.

The com­pany is look­ing at ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Na­tional Health Pro­tec­tion Mis­sion scheme. The sec­ond mech­a­nism is vir­tual of­fice - an en­tire of­fice in­te­grated into a tablet that helps the staff to reach out to re­motest cor­ners of the coun­try to im­prove dis­tri­bu­tion. It is a cost ef­fec­tive dis­tri­bu­tion model since it does not need brick and mor­tar of­fices to func­tion. This not only ad­dresses the in­fra­struc­ture prob­lem, but also pro­vides em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in ru­ral ar­eas. Singhel says with the com­pany’s 1200 vir­tual of­fices, it has been able to tap newer ge­ogra­phies.The 3rd mech­a­nism is the banca tie-ups which has helped the com­pany to reach out to cus­tomers in these ar­eas through their net­work.


Ba­jaj Al­lianz Gen­eral In­sur­ance has grown in terms of pre­mium and prof­itabil­ity and will con­tinue to do so. It hopes to con­tinue to in­vest in tech­nol­ogy to reap the ben­e­fits of the lat­est ad­vance­ments. Says Singhel: “In the long run, it is our am­bi­tion to be present in ev­ery town and vil­lage and to give em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties to a mil­lion peo­ple. We will con­tinue to de­liver su­pe­rior value to our cus­tomers.

Ta­pan Singhel men­tions Ba­jaj Al­lainz Gen­eral In­sur­ance has 238 banca tie-ups and it aims for 100% pol­icy is­suance in the bank branch it­self

Prad­han Mantri Fasal Bima Yo­jana aware­ness cam­paign in Chat­tis­garh

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