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:

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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.


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.”


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

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