Leader Speak

We Are Moving Towards Personalization At Scale: Sarbvir Singh

Sarbvir Singh Yashish Dahiya CEO Policybazaar

Policybazaar is moving towards personalization at a mass scale in order to improve overall customer experience offerings. Tools like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and machine learning are being used to understand customer behavior and needs. 

“Technology has to be the servant of man and not the other way round. We are trying to move towards personalization at a mass scale. Earlier, that wasn’t possible. We were taught in marketing books like Kotler that we need to segment customers based on various criteria,” said Sarbvir Singh, CEO, Policybazaar at Global Fintech Fest organized by Internet and Mobile Association of India.

“However, technology is allowing us to understand what the customer is about, his context, why is he here, and what should be the best product for him,” he added.  

Singh said that Policybazaar is moving towards the needs of consumers by designing relevant insights and having discussions with them.  

“Use of old marketing technology is obsolete because we want to have a discussion with the customers and understand their context. For example, a customer who bought an insurance policy from us updates that he has two children after a few years. So, we will inform him that it is the right time for him to buy a term insurance policy,” said Singh.

Change in consumer behavior because of Covid-19

Singh also said that insurance was something that people generally would agree about but still wouldn’t buy, but that seems to have changed since the pandemic. “Things change when incidents happen. Covid-19 is the mother of all incidents. Suddenly, everyone woke up. In the last 4 months, insurance became a pull product rather than a push product,” said Singh.

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According to Singh, the number of inquiries on Policybazaar has increased by 40-60% every month. 

“People are talking a lot more to the advisors. Traditionally, advisors were chasing the consumer but now the consumer wants to talk to them. People are buying a lot more policies than they used to buy,” he added.

Consumers should take responsibility

Yashish Dahiya, Group CEO and Co-Founder, Policybazaar is of the view that the customer needs to take responsibility in buying insurance on time rather than after a catastrophe.

“Customer’s responsibility is buying insurance timely and not after a catastrophe happens. We are seeing this specifically in the case of Covid-19,” said Dahiya.

He added, only 45 million customers in India have bought a health insurance policy on their own. Some have got it from their company or the government and the average policy is Rs 2 lacs. And, today none of the private treatment costs for Covid-19 is under Rs 2 lacs.

He also said that there isn't a simpler product in the world than term insurance. “If the policyholder is alive, he won’t get paid. If he is not around, his family will get paid. The policyholder needs to pay a small fraction for term insurance. If that’s important to consumers that after the breadwinner of the family’s demise, the family gets continuity benefit from an economic perspective, they must have term insurance. If they believe that it’s not important, the family approaching relatives, friends, and asking for financial support is lack of responsibility” added Dahiya.

Insurance penetration in India was only 3.7% in 2018, one of the lowest across the world, according to IRDAI's annual report.

According to Dahiya, he squarely wants to put under penetration of insurance on the consumer and not just the industry. “Most health insurance policies pay you when you get into a hospital. The problem lies when a person already has a particular disease and is trying to figure out how he can get paid to cover that particular disease at a hospital. It's too late. That's not when you buy insurance,” said Dahiya.

(Article edited by: Sunny Lamba)

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