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BI boosts Discovery, ML boosts Efficiency

SBI General Insurance is implementing virtual desktops on the cloud to further facilitate remote working: 

P.C. Kandpal highlights the 21% rise in the number of followers of the company on social media platforms

The social media presence of SBI General Insurance, a relatively young company in the general insurance domain, is pretty aggressive. According to P C Kandpal, MD & CEO, the company will continue advertisements on all possible platforms with the right media mix, but with the covid triggered lockdown, it has focused more on digital marketing in the last 5-6 months. “In fact, even the offline channels were altered to phygital mode,” he says.

Engaging On Social Media

Facebook, Instagram & Twitter are the most favored platforms that SBI General Insurance uses to connect with customers and prospects. “We have seen a 21% rise in the number of followers last month on social media platforms, purely because of campaigns. Also, some topical posts, as well as product launches, have seen an engagement rate of about 50-60%,” says Kandpal.



The company’s digital journey covers customer experience, distribution channels, and partners. Explains Kandpal: “At the same time, we are redefining or modernizing our journey by deploying business intelligence (BI) and analytics that offers data visualization, self-service, data discovery with data governance and predictive planning. With the use of machine learning (ML) models, we are eliminating low-value activities to minimize expenses and enhance efficiencies. Thus, technology along with the use of BI and ML models is helping us in improving our risk selection, pricing, underwriting, ability to service and pay claims. It is enabling us to provide enhanced customer experience and increase our efficiency.” The company aims to expand its digital footprint, says Kandpal, elaborating: “At present, our focus is on further increasing automation through AI/ML. Many more digital tie-ups are on the anvil. We are also implementing virtual desktops on cloud to further facilitate remote working.”

BAU: Digital Readiness

The use of digital services increased multi-fold and the company was quick to shift to digital offerings, as the digital adaptation was happening during the last 2 years. “We were able to manage the Business as Usual (BAU), keeping it largely uninterrupted with digital readiness like customer portal, intermediary portal, mobile app, etc. Customer behaviours and preferred interactions have changed significantly because of covid. We have also increased our digital tie-ups, which further enabled us to enhance the functionalities, process automation and experiences of the intermediaries. Necessary infrastructure was put in place to facilitate remote working, which ensured that there was no impact on business and operations,” says Kandpal.

WFH: Seamless Transition

The covid-triggered lockdown led to a sudden shift in the business operations across industries leading to almost overnight shift to digital platforms. SBI General Insurance too was able to continue BAU with a robust BCP and a digital infrastructure in place. Kandpal says in fact, it enabled seamless transition of all employees to the WFH mode, adopting phygital approach for business channels, switch to process automations in most operational functions, and much more. “Digitization also helped us in minimizing the impact on customer services during the lockdown period,” he adds. Along with the constant proactive communication with channel partners, the company focused on converting the existing face-to-face personal equation with its channel partners to digital platforms. Says Kandpal: “Our robust digital infrastructure helped us carry out business transactions through various modes like intermediary portals, micro-sites and full-scale digital integrations. People have been always considered as cornerstone of our business, including employees, customers and channel partners.”

Online Renewals Surge

SBI General Insurance has reported stellar 48% yoy growth in motor insurance segment, led by 94% yoy jump in third party segment. It reported better-than-industry growth for the sixth consecutive month. Compared with major private players, it has witnessed strong growth in retail segments at 49% yoy. It reported stellar ex-crop growth of 39% (up 23% yoy in 7MFY21, higher than 1% yoy for general insurers). General insurers reported 7% yoy growth in premiums (excluding crop) in October 2020 (marginally lower than 10-11% yoy growth over the past 2 months).

The company’s digital infrastructure readiness ensured operational BAU in terms of policy issuance and addressing customer queries, making it digital, contactless and seamless. Kandpal emphasizes that the most important element in the non-life business operations is the actual issuance of policies for new as well renewal businesses. Through the lockdown phase there was a lot of thrust on renewals through online modes and a significant chunk of the company’s renewals have now transitioned into that mode.

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