Kotak General Insurance is adding more human resources & automation relating to cybersecurity issues such as SQL injections, cross-site scripting vulnerabilities, improper authentication or authorization, etc:
Kotak General Insurance has a national footprint of 25 branches spread across India and has 1339 employees as of December 2022. Kotak General Insurance values customer service, quality and innovation above everything else. The company was established in November 2015, and aims to cater to a wide range of customer segment & geographies offering an array of non-life insurance products. Suresh Sankaranarayanan, Chief Technology Officer at Kotak General Insurance, has a Masters in Financial Management from NMIMS and a remarkable 21 years of work experience in IT domain across insurance, manufacturing, and software sectors. He has earlier worked at SBI General, ICICI Lombard & Polaris Software Labs.
There are certain kinds of software errors and problems, which are common now-a-days. Kotak GI supports both waterfall and CI-CD development pipelines and thus the software testing methodologies have been adapted to both the models. System and process continue to evolve in complexity. Years ago, the common errors were functional errors, logic errors, calculation errors, and unit level bugs. Suresh points out: “With increasing maturity of the software development lifecycle, unit test conditions meet with greater success ratio than ever before. Currently, we see that there are issues with system level integrations, negative testing, and boundary conditions. There is now an increased focus on the testing and remediation of cybersecurity issues (eg SQL injections, cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities, improper authentication or authorization, etc).”
Testing: Manual, Automated
There are some tools for software testing which are the most commonly used at any organization. Much of Kotak GI’s testing is a mix of manual and automated processes. For automated testing, the company prefers Selenium WebDrivers as it is widely used and supports various browsers like Chrome, Mozilla, Firefox, Safari and Edge, which helps optimize costs, as its open source. Kotak GI also does bot based testing which checks the mobile application across multiple mobile devices, OEMs, form factors, and operation system versions. “Automated testing is an area where we plan to invest more in the coming times. We are aiming to do complete regression testing for common and high usage products so that any changes made to software do not adversely affect the existing functionality.”
Qualified Team, Tech Partners
The testing team under Suresh is largely outsourced, as outsourcing provides it the head start required of trained resources. There is also a small team of in-house testers. Most of the freshers Kotak GI takes are usually trained in testing before being on-boarded to its projects. Additionally, the company ensures that the team has a mix of people with insurance domain expertise so that it has a grip on insurance products and processes which helps in quicker and better productivity of resources. The company generally onboards testers having bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, mathematics, or the equivalent.
Suresh vouches about his talented members: “We have a skilled manual testing team with the ability to design and write test scenarios, cases, and apply business knowledge. We have a dedicated team involved in the testing of various applications, including the business users and business analysts who themselves test the application independently of the testing team. QualityKiosk Technologies and AQM Technologies are our 2 preferred partners for us in the testing space.”
Engagement Strategy, Plans
Work model continues to be hybrid mix of ‘Work from Home’ and ‘Work from Office’, which reduces travel durations and helps people balance work and life.
With an increase in the number of systems, processes and products, Kotak GI has increased head count by 20-30% in its testing team during the last 12 months. The company has started to see that the attrition trends in the industry are reducing and it expects it to stabilize soon. As a philosophy, the company follow an engagement strategy which encompasses its employees and outsourced staff.
Suresh adds: “We are targeting higher automation of regression packs and additional in-house testing resources to further broaden scope of expertise, and optimize the cost. This would enable the experienced resources to work on new functionality and systems and help in improving the quality of software and create a superior customer experience (CX). We will now look at adding more in-house testers in the next few months as we have many products, processes and systems to cater to.”