HDFC ERGO combines technology & innovation to outpace competition
HDFC ERGO has completely transformed its business model to a digital one in the past 3 years:
HDFC ERGO has completely transformed its business model to a digital one in the past 3 years
HDFC ERGO General Insurance, thanks to its partnership with HDFC Bank, Deutsche Bank, Saraswat Bank, Lakshmi Vilas Bank and L&T Financial Services among others, has the largest bancassurance channel in the industry today. Its geographical expansion across urban and rural India has been a key growth strategy and the company has increased its branch presence from 107 to the current 122 branches across 106 cities as of March 2018. According to Samir H. Shah, ED and CFO of the company, the company issued 789,908 policies in rural areas in the last financial year as compared to 632,452 policies the previous year. “Going forward, we plan to continue to deepen our reach by establishing our presence in new markets and consolidating our presence in existing markets,” says he.
CURRENT FY GROWTH
In Q1 FY2018-19, the company’s retail business grew by 25% on a yoy basis. This was driven mainly by auto and online channels, mainly in its preferred segments of motor and retail health. “Our corporate business grew by 30% yoy, in our preferred segments of property and liability insurance. Our calibrated portfolio strategy, with a focus on preferred segments, helped us achieve this performance and we plan to continue to pursue this strategy during the rest of the current FY,” says Shah.
The company has given key emphasis on educating individuals about the need for insurance in their daily lives. It has used both traditional and online mediums in recent times to communicate about the importance of insurance. It is also associated Harish Bhimani, the voiceover artist of the Mahabharat series, for its radio campaign ‘Voice of Time’. Explains Shah: “The idea was to remind individuals that complaining to God at difficult times is not a solution but rather theyr should take precautionary measures by insuring themselves.”
#HackSeLado, is a social media campaign of the company aiming to spread awareness about cybercrimes in India and the measures one should take to ensure that they are secure on all online platforms. Shah says the campaign, initiated with the launch of [email protected] secure, helped create awareness among the audience and encouraged them to take up the fight against cybercrimes and frauds.
The company’s #PromiseofHealth campaign focused on persuading people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and help them attain better physical and mental health. The my:health service was launched on the company’s mobile app - Insurance Portfolio Organizer (IPO), which assists individuals at every step to live and take up a healthy lifestyle. Says Shah: “Through the campaign, consumers were educated about the features of my:health services which were categorized from A to Z, highlighting the basic human health needs and importance of following a healthy lifestyle.”
IT & DIGITAL INITIATIVES
HDFC ERGO believes in implementing innovative technologies to ensure that the customers are given the best experience. It realized that customer are increasing favoring and adopting services through the digital platform and hence in the past 3 years has completely transformed its business model into a digital platform. In 2018, it has undertaken a number of IT & digital initiatives. The notable among these is a unique one-stop platform on the IPO (Insurance Portfolio Organizer) App, which allows individuals to manage their health and well-being using their smartphones. The my:health services allows individuals to booking a doctor’s appointment, get diet and physical exercise plans, check their health risk assessment and much more.
Similarly, an AI-enabled chatbot called DIA was launched in April 2018. This is a voice-based service that offers customers a more intuitive way to interact with the company and get instant responses to all their queries. Says Shah: “This has enabled us to deliver a superior customer service experience. DIA is available on Amazon Alexa, Google Home and our website for consumers to interact with us.”
The Overnight Vehicle Repair Service allows the company’s customers to get their cars professionally repaired overnight, without affecting their daily routine and vehicle downtime. “The service offers convenience to the customers and ensures their vehicles are ready by next day morning. In addition, it also helps customers avoid the cost of travel in the absence of their vehicle and the general hassle of driving to
and from the garage,” explains Shah.
There are a host of other technology solutions that the company has adopted as well as in the process of being adopted to help take customer experience to the next level. These include robotics process automation (RPA), voice analytics (VA) and AI. Moreover, through RPA and VA, according to Shah, the company is are ensuring that it stays ahead of the curve and help its business exploit new technology and concepts to achieve organizational efficiencies.
Customer-centricity is core of the company’s business strategy. Its insurance domain expertise, analytical capabilities and relationships nurtured over the years enable it to understand the insurance needs of its customers and to offer the right solutions at the right price, which helps in achieving profitability.
Says Shah: “We strongly believe in consistently delivering superior service to our customers. Our digitization initiatives enable us to issue 92% of policies through the digital platform. In addition, we have deployed various automation and AI-based solutions to support delivery excellence in customer service. Also, to support our call center agents, we have launched our agent chatbot ‘Aby’, which helps our call center agents to deliver superior customer service experience.”
Recently, there were some regulatory interventions in the insurance industry, like the introduction of mandatory long-term TP cover for 4-wheelers and 2-wheelers and increasing the sum insured for compulsory PA cover. Says Shah: “Some of our suggestions on the regulatory front include setting up of an industry-level organization (similar to CIBIL in the banking sector) for sharing information on frauds, moving towards risk-based capital framework for solvency and doing away with dispatch of physical copies of policies to customers based on their consent.”
TARGETS FOR 2018-19
In 2017-18, HDFC ERGO has achieved a growth of 18%, which was in line with the industry growth rate. Says Shah: “In 201819, we estimate that the industry will grow by about 13-15% and our ambition is to grow faster than the industry.”
At a penetration level of 0.93%, the Indian non-life insurance market continues to be underpenetrated, offering significant growth opportunities. Shah says in terms of the channel/medium, the company aims to continue to grow faster than the industry through business expansion in existing market segments and by continuing to be at the forefront of providing insurance solutions for emerging risks.
Samir Shah expects RPA,VA & AI will drive digital transformation at HDFC ERGO
The panelists at the launch of HDFC ERGO’s Cyber Security Awareness Week