Shri­ram Life to ex­pand pres­ence in block & tehsil ar­eas

It has been con­sis­tently gar­ner­ing more than 50% of its busi­ness from ru­ral ar­eas of In­dia:

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Shri­ram Life In­sur­ance, which com­menced op­er­a­tions in 2006, has now a net­work of 609 of­fices and 75,000 agents across In­dia. It has plans to ex­pand its geo­graphic pres­ence in block and tehsil ar­eas and aims to of­fer life in­sur­ance plans and so­lu­tions that cater to a wider de­mo­graphic.

NEW BUSI­NESS PRE­MIUM

Shri­ram Life is ranked 5th among pri­vate life in­sur­ers in re­spect of num­ber of poli­cies is­sued in H1 of FY 2018-19. The to­tal new busi­ness pre­mium (NBP) that it re­ceived has grown by 16% yoy in H1 against the in­dus­try growth of 5%. The com­pany’s in­di­vid­ual busi­ness APE has grown by 14%. Ac­cord­ing to Manoj Jain, MD of the com­pany, with 136,000 poli­cies is­sued, the com­pany has grown by 43% and the av­er­age pre­mium per pol­icy is around `16,333, which is lower than the av­er­age pre­mium of LIC of In­dia and pri­vate in­sur­ance com­pa­nies. “This reaf­firms our ap­proach and tar­get cus­tomer seg­ment. We would like to con­tinue our fo­cus on the com­mon man through our di­rect distri­bu­tion and through our ex­ist­ing part­ner­ship with Shri­ram group com­pa­nies and ex­ist­ing ex­ter­nal tie-ups,” he adds.

The com­pany fo­cuses on non-ur­ban and ru­ral mar­ket cus­tomers and the prod­ucts and pro­cesses are de­signed to take care of the needs of the com­mon man. Jain main­tains that the com­pany has been con­sis­tently sour­ce­ing 50% of the busi­ness from ru­ral ar­eas. In 2018-19, it has sourced 56,000 poli­cies from the ru­ral mar­kets.

NEW PROD­UCT IN­NO­VA­TIONS

Shri­ram Life has launched 2 on­line prod­ucts - Com­pre­hen­sive Can­cer Care and a term plan, which are tar­geted at the tech savvy cus­tomers. It has in­tro­duced a prod­uct un­der the POS guide­lines of the reg­u­la­tor. The com­pany has iden­ti­fied a prod­uct gap in its port­fo­lio, a prod­uct of­fer­ing a guar­an­teed re­turn un­der the sin­gle pre­mium op­tion. To fill this gap, it re­cently came out with As­sured Ad­van­tage Plus, of­fer­ing 10 times life in­sur­ance cover with in­come tax ben­e­fits.

Says Jain: “As the ben­e­fits un­der these prod­ucts are guar­an­teed, the op­por­tu­nity for mis-sell is greatly min­i­mized and ad­dresses the re­quire­ment of the risk averse cus­tomer seg­ment.

BRAND CAM­PAIGNS

Shri­ram Life’s mar­ket­ing ef­forts are gen­er­ally lo­cal level ini­tia­tives aimed at lead gen­er­a­tion. For ex­am­ple, in Orissa, it had a ‘Van Cam­paign’, where vans decked up with in­sur­ance posters went to vil­lages for spread­ing aware­ness on life in­sur­ance and Shri­ram Life. Ex­plains Jain: “In 4 days in Sep­tem­ber 2018, we cov­ered more than 600 vil­lages. We have a con­tin­u­ously run­ning vil­lage level cam­paign in Ut­tar Pradesh, named as ‘Ek Kadam Gaon Kee Ore’. We plan to do a small brand aware­ness cam­paign in me­dia dur­ing the last quar­ter of the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year. We are also eval­u­at­ing FM ra­dio cam­paigns to cre­ate brand aware­ness.” Jain also says the com­pany has tied up with in­sti­tu­tions like Muthoot, Manap­pu­ram, Ba­jaj Cap­i­tal and Utkarsh Small Fi­nance Bank to of­fer life in­sur­ance prod­ucts to their cus­tomers. These tie-ups are akin to ban­cas­sur­ance model, says Jain, ad­ding the com­pany also makes use of its own net­work of branches.

APP FOR SALES TEAM

The com­pany has re­cently taken up sev­eral tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tives to of­fer bet­ter ser­vice to the cus­tomers. Shri­ram Value Ser­vices, a part of Shri­ram Group, is a key part­ner in tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ment. Jain says the com­pany re­cently launched a mo­bil­i­ty­based ap­pli­ca­tion for the sales team, which is in­tended to help the team in new busi­ness and re­newals. “We start work­ing on the tech­nol­ogy sup­port as per the re­quire­ment of the cus­tomers. We are also deep­en­ing our pres­ence in taluka and block level towns through low cost tech­nol­ogy en­abled distri­bu­tion model,” says Jain. The com­pany of­fers on­line cour­ses for its staff mem­bers through LMS aimed at im­prov­ing the knowl­edge lev­els of the team.

Shri­ram Life has part­nered with SureBüddy, a mo­bile-only in­sure-tech player, to launch an in­no­va­tive app that pro­vides in­sur­ance in re­turn for view­ing ad­ver­tise­ments. Cus­tomers sim­ply view 5 min­utes of ads per month to keep their cover ac­tive. It has also started its so­cial me­dia mar­ket­ing ac­tiv­i­ties on Google and other rel­e­vant spa­ces.

PRIC­ING, PROFITABIL­ITY

The com­pany has a con­ser­va­tive and fru­gal cost man­age­ment ap­proach, and this has helped it to con­sis­tently re­port prof­its since in­cep­tion. Jain ar­gues: “We fo­cus on cus­tomers liv­ing in the semi­ur­ban and ru­ral cen­ters, who have enough po­ten­tial. A con­tin­u­ous bench mark­ing with com­pe­ti­tion’s prod­ucts helps us in fur­ther­ance of our mar­ket share.”

Manoj Jain high­lights Shri­ram Life’s fo­cus on cus­tomers liv­ing in the semi-ur­ban and ru­ral cen­ters, a seg­ment which has enough po­ten­tial to grow

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