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:
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.
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.
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