IndiaFirst Life- leveraging technology, stretching creativity

Reported by: |Updated: May 6, 2020

Rushabh Gandhi, deputy CEO at IndiaFirst Life Insurance, traces the technology journey and the marketing strategy of the company

Mehul Dani: How has your digital strategy evolved in the current FY? 

Rushabh Gandhi

Rushabh Gandhi: Our digital strategy has strategically evolved and improved over the years to help us handle and manage data in different forms and types. Our digital focus includes business agility, enhanced and effective customer service, analytics driven insights and decisions and secure and scalable systems ability. We have moved to paperless, automated sales management process with seamless customer onboarding and fulfilment journey. We have ensured omni-channel experience across touch points for customer acquisition and retention. Today, we can service customer requests through traditional as well as digital touch points, such as intelligent IVR, chatbots, WhatsApp and mobile apps. We have capabilities to integrate and interact with different ecosystems based on business and data needs. Our infrastructure and system architecture are based on micro-services, which provide reusability and flexibility to integrate and scale on demand.

Technology has always been an integral part of our processes and it continues to be the enabler. We are now focussing on AI and ML. We believe that AI is going to impact majority of processes right from prospecting to processing and servicing. We are keen on experimenting with IoT devices and big data and exploring voice analytics.

Please quantify the use of apps, digital platforms and describe usage patterns across the customer segments.

Our sales ecosystem is dependent on distributor network and members of this network constitute our primary customers. We focus on aiding them with easy to use, efficient tools and platforms. Our end customers interact with us through multiple channels like call center, website, chatbots, WhatsApp etc. Primary data analysis suggests young customers are keen on using new tech platforms for service and sales options. We have always believed in being present where the customer is.

Has mobile and e-wallets served as an enabler for digitization of your initiatives?

Mobile wallets have made an impact, especially in micro segment and in influencing the online buying journey. Mobile wallet users are sensitive to price points and therefore require specifically defined product strategy. We have also partnered with wallet players to leverage their platforms to provide customers ease in paying their due premiums.

How much business is garnered online? How have you brought distributors and agents into the fold of your digital strategy? 

Our sales team is empowered with digital tools such as RAPID and ACTIFY. As much as 95% of our business is generated via these, which also work in an offline mode. The data is synchronized with the servers as and when connectivity is available. Additionally, we have an online sales portal, which can be accessed directly from our website by customers and various third-party aggregators to complete the sales journey online.

Distributors and agents are integral part of our digital roadmap. They have been empowered with various tools and technologies for sales and servicing like distribution portal, sales applications, recommendation tools, quotations modules, etc. Most of these tools and systems are made available to both sales employees and distribution partners.

How does your technology innovation enhance rural penetration?

To ensure financial inclusion for rural India, it is important to have product solutions that safeguard the interest of the customer and yet are sustainable for the insurer. Product innovation, distribution innovation and technology innovation will fuel enhanced life insurance penetration in the country. The development and outreach of life insurance are dependent on technology. The payments through wallets, the transfer of data electronically, the KYC process are all facilitated and enable the last-mile-connect through technology.

We have invested in developing a well-rounded product suite that caters to the needs of different customers while lending to the nuances of the channels. For example, we have invested in an extremely simple plan called the ‘Insurance Khata’ that is tailored for the mass market enabling them to make payments in tranches in the absence of regular income; while increasing insurance with every tranche and even receiving money back at the end if nothing were to happen. Such a simple plan is easy to sell and buy, making it very viable for CSC, PoS and micro channel. There is also a vast opportunity in digital sales and other strategic alliances in addition to established networks of banks, agents and brokers.

What online marketing and promotions were undertaken in 2019-20

For the fast-moving online space involving netizens and millennials, we launched a fresh campaign. Our recent ‘Ye Toh Certain Hai’ campaign aims to build brand awareness and improve brand consideration.

Insight: Indians have a cover for everything. Mobile se leke laptop tak, car se leke fridge tak, TV se toothbrush tak. Iss deshko proud karnewaale ‘Covers ke Lovers’ ke liye, laayein hai hum bade proudly our new campaign!

Amazon Banners: In a first of its kind for an insurance brand, we ran a contextual targeted campaign to all those who were purchasing ‘covers’ on the biggest eCom website Amazon. We ran the campaign during the end of season sale, which is peak traffic season at Amazon. This campaign led to increased traffic on the IndiaFirst Life website as well.

Microsite: The microsite titled the ‘Museum of Covers’, was launched as a teaser to get people to share pictures of the things Indians love to ‘COVER’. We wanted to tell people that when they cover everything from their mobile phones to fridges, they should also cover the most important thing – which is their lives. The microsite had 2.5k entries.

Launch of Qawwali Video: In a reveal, we launched the Qawwali video. At 2 million views+, Qawwalika hit hona certain hai! We trended on the number 4 spot on Twitter too for the same.

JioSaavn: We launched the Qawwali video on JioSaavn and received an all-time high engagement rate of 29.16%.

We adopt an entirely different strategy for different media. Video content on digital is a core part of our digital initiatives, but we also have blogs, social media posts, OOH, radio, cinema ads, print ads in regional languages and thought leadership videos both in long and short format that engages and educates. For us, marketing is no longer a numbers game. It’s a game of relevance.

How have you gained by deploying analytics? 

We set up an analytics practice a few years ago and deployed it at the pre-sale, during sale and post stages. Apart from standard customer segmentation, product recommendation, profitability estimations and fraud prediction (at new business as well as claims stage), we are steadily moving towards advanced analytics to predict customer behaviour and distributor performance. We are using analytical models to derive the product mix and sales productivity.

How is technology put to use for customer relationship management?

As far as CRM is concerned, most life insurance companies have an integrated view of customers’ requirement. Basis those insights, various offerings have been extended to customers and distributors. With the help of technology and advanced customer analytics, we offer customized services and that too in preferred mode of delivery. We are also able to optimize the communication for precise messaging and are moving towards multi-lingual conversationsas well.

What are the future digital initiatives? 

We will continue to implement systems as per our digital roadmap. We have already invested in ‘Low code No Code’ platform, ‘Out Systems’, which gives us flexibility to develop modular and flexible apps. This also helps in reducing cost and time to market. We will continue to explore and introduce AI in our processes and invest time and money on advance analytics.

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