1Reasons your motor insurance claim can be rejected
The Coronavirus outbreak has claimed over 39,000* lives and over eight* lakh have been infected across the globe. Many countries, including India, have imposed lockdowns to help contain the spread of the disease. With these lockdowns in place, corporates have enabled work from home policy for its employees to ensure their safety.
So, is the case at Policybazaar.com and that has been working well for the company. “Our productivity has improved. On day one of work from home, our sales went up by 20%,” Yashish Dahiya, Group CEO and Co-founder, Policybazaar said at a webinar on ‘Tech Startups in India: Navigating through uncertain times’ organized by YourStory in association with Amazon Web Services. Shradha Sharma, Founder & CEO of YourStory Media was moderating the panel.
“I have always believed that this could work but somehow we were never able to expand that concept. However, I got my opportunity with this (lockdown) and all these 13,000 employees now work from home,” he added.
Dahiya said that the tech team has been able to deploy the systems and infrastructure required to work from home beautifully and seamlessly. “On a national scale, running a (sales) call centre from home with 13,000 dispersed employees is something…,” he added.
He said, the company has multiple buildings and running all of them is a huge cost, so work from home is turning out to be a positive outcome. “Now it opens up everything for me. Tomorrow, if I want to open up a contact center in Chennai, I am not going to rent a building. (in fact) I don’t see more than 50% of our capacity back in the offices even after the crisis is over,” he added.
Talking about cost management, he said, “it is critical but we have to be very considerate about the situation as well because eventually a lot of our costs are our people. Cutting those costs in these times is not appropriate. So, if your backend is strong, you will be able to hold up, if its not, you got to build that up,” he added. Dahiya also said that the company is also in a position to offer a trained workforce of 4,000 peeple to banks and insurance companies. “It's a dream for any company to run their sales office from home. We don’t just have the technology, we have the compliance, security and product and performance management,” he added.
Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, Sequoia Capital, said “on the cost side, there is no such thing as fixed cost. You should be renegotiating every single contract that you have and cut down facilities that you don’t need anymore. Try to do variabilization as much as you can and do it in a very thoughtful way.”
Massive opportunity for online insurance buying
According to Dahiya, the company is looking at revising its revenue estimates. “Out of our 17 business units, 12 have no or positive impact. Insurance is holding up beautifully and for us its a massive opportunity because clearly people are not walking to banks to buy insurance right now,” he added.
The company is looking at expanding and doubling its marketing spends. “The last thing you want is somebody coming to you physically to sell insurance during this sort of a situation. Being in that pole position from the digital front, it is playing to our advantage at this stage,” he added. Dahiya also said that an entrepreneur should make use of an opportunity immediately to reach out to his customers.
“One needs to guess what are the opportunities that are (available) immediately over the next three months and this is (something) you need to think short term. From a development perspective, nobody is making those long-term decisions that will help them next year. I would be surprised if somebody is doing that,” he added.
“If you have something which is instantaneous, then it's a great time to reach out to people. Otherwise, in business you should use chances to reach out to people. This isn’t the time to waste those chances,” said Dahiya.
Regular communication among employees is the key for work from home
For Dahiya, communication on a daily basis with his team and the entire workforce is the key for work from home. “I have started communicating a lot more, not just with my teams but also partners and regulators. This is through e-mails and videos. I'm keeping people updated on what I am thinking at a strategic level and being extremely honest. I have increased that,” said Dahiya.
He said that keeping a tab of all the metrics and watching the performance on a regular basis for everybody is essential. “You need to review teams and they should know that they are being tracked. You also need to appreciate them for their good work,” he added.
(Excerpts from the webinar)
*at the time of writing
17 Feb, 2023