It’s been eight years since Bharti AXA General Insurance started operations. Around its third year, the insurer started registering Rs 1000 crore in annual turnover, becoming one of the fastest growing companies in the industry thanks to a conducive market and a couple of very bankable promoters, Bharti Enterprises and AXA Group.
There was a slowdown in the growth trajectory following moderate portfolio performance in the Corporate Healthcare segment. But that’s water under the bridge; for the past year, Bharti AXA General Insurance has been back taking positive strides ahead.
Sanjeev Srinivasan is Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Bharti AXA General Insurance since December 2016. The insurance veteran of 14 years has seen the industry change at lightning speed but the only constant has been putting customers first.
“Efficient portfolio management is of utmost importance in General Insurance. You need a strong team adept at understanding customers and channel needs along with the nuances of portfolio management.” Sanjeev adds that a customer’s experience of a claims service defines an insurance company – a customer should be dealt with care and empathy at every touch point. In line with Srinivasan’s ethos, the organization is imbibing a philosophy of moving from ‘Payer to Partner’ and has many initiatives like dedicated claims handler and assistance services aiding its growth and customer retention rates.
“We have regained momentum,” says Srinivasan. The general insurance industry is flourishing and worth around Rs 1.2 lakh crore growing at 22 to 23 percent according to Srinivasan. This general insurer has been adding six million customers annually across premiums ranging from less than Rs 10 a month to the very high end. Their partnership with Airtel Payments Bank has brought over 75 lakh customers in the micro insurance segment.
“We will continue to form partnerships with banks and NBFCs to build on our agency business and corporate customers. Motor insurance is a significant part of our portfolio mix and with the launch of new products in health, travel and SME - the fastest growing segments for the industry - we will have a much better product mix by the end of 2017,” says the CEO and MD. This year the company also introduced agriculture insurance plans for the farmer community.
Partnerships aside, taking the business digital is a key part of Bharti AXA’s strategy; it ranks in the top five digital market shareholders among general insurance companies.
“Digital is big for us, we are growing at over 50 per cent Year on Year here” says Srinivasan. Bharti AXA’s digital assets have helped convert an average of 12.5 per cent users seeking quotes into clients. Like I said before customer experience is everything in this business. A digital presence extends to customers a much more convenient and paperless way to purchase insurance with three clicks. And when a customer or any of our intermediaries does need help, digital assets such as our interactive personalised videos simplifies policy specifications and other requirements in an easily comprehended way.”
As Bharti AXA General Insurance is all set to redefine the industry with its customer centric digital initiatives, Srinivasan’s advice to those entering the insurance business is: “Technology will be the key – it will help you keep costs low, price products better and offer an enhanced, differentiated customer experience. Technology will be your key to keeping a finger on the pulse of this whirlwind market.”