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Category ArchiveEduction

LIC’s market share drops in 2014-15

 

S.K. Roy, chariman, LIC, explained at CII summit where the report was released: “In 2002, the number of individual agents associated with life insurance was 8.26 lakh which reached a peak of 2.9 million in 2010 and is now 2.19 million. This is not the cause, but effect of low growth.” He added that one has to plan for growth and value creation together at the same time.” Maybe in the past we did not see both together. We grew but maybe some stake holders felt that they did not experience value proposition that they were looking forward to. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that we experienced a slump,” he added.
Global insurers target EMs

Despite With the focus returning to growth and combating low interest rates in matured economies, insurers are seeking to expand their presence in emerging markets, in order to capitalize on better growth dynamics. Many global insurers are targeting acquisition opportunities in the emerging markets (EMs) of Asia, Latin America, and Central and Eastern European region.Despite the modest growth in bond yields, the overall low interest rate environment remains a key concern for the insurance sector, mainly for the life insurance sector due to their guaranteed savings product offerings. To ease the pressure, life insurers continue to de-risk and realign their operations, says the CII- Ernst & Young report. As part of their strategy to come out of this phase, life insurers are adopting several strategies, such as realigning the product mix, minimizing guarantees, selling non-core businesses and focusing on emerging markets. Most life insurers are shifting their product mix away

from spread based products to fee-based products. Several insurers have reduced the emphasis on the spread business, while raising the share of fee-based retirement, pensions and protection business. These product mix shifts are aimed at reducing the exposure to low interest rate risk. In addition, insurers are aggressively revamping their product design, including increasing fees, limiting features, reducing guarantees and rationalizing bonus rates. Several life insurers are restructuring their operations and shedding non-core businesses to reduce their exposure to interest rate sensitive businesses such as
banking and asset management. Insurers are also streamlining their operations to improve efficiency and risk management to drive long-term profitable growth.

 

mehul@bankingfrontiers.com

IT, digital assets to drive Bharti AXA

Sandeep Ghosh, MD & CEO, Bharti AXA Life Insurance, maintains that the company’s initiatives are focused on providing digitally led solutions at various phases of the customer journey:

Mehul Dani: What are the growth indicators for the company in FY15?

Sandeep Ghosh: Our new business premium for FY15 grew by 26%. The main reasons for this growth are increased footprint of sales staff (agents and advisors), launch of new products (compliant with the new IRDA guidelines for traditional products) and increase in the business from group partner and brokers.

Which new products are offered in Q1, 2015-16? How have you brought in product innovations?

Tor Ql 2015-16, we launched eFuturelnvest, a ULIP available online. We now have a comprehensive product suite to choose from online as well – protection, traditional and ULIP. We have also launched a comprehensive Premium Waiver Rider, which covers not only death but also critical illnesses and total permanent disability. We intend to launch 2 more traditional products and a rider in the next 1-2 months. Going forward, we would launch more products within segments falling in the sub categories as well as in some of the niche segments. Keeping customer centricity as our top priority, naturally leads to product innovation. We aim to provide the right product proposition with range of flexibilities for the customer in terms of features, PPT, PT, premium payment modes and payment options.

How many policies have been issued in rural India in 2014-15? How do you propose to up the volume?

We wrote close to 20,000 under the rural segment in FY 2014-15. We intend to leverage upon the common service center network to increase the policy count under this segment.

 

Sandeep Ghosh

 

What are the marketing, branding and promotional activities planned for 2015-16?

Our brand is predicated on providing a drag and new perspective in life insurance and thereby redefining the category itself. Strategy of proof, the guiding strategy for brand positioning, creates customer­centric solutions that make a real difference in their lives. We will continue to build the brand on this core thought. Our plans also involve strengthening our brand presence on digital media, especially social, by telling compelling and share-worthy stories. Currently, we have established ourselves on Facebook and Linkedln, being the most engaging in the insurance category. In future, we want to create a strong ecosystem for the brand by investing across other platforms including Twitter, YouTube and blogs. We would gradually explore distribution opportunities on social media and take our digital strategy to the next level. We strongly believe that digital is the way to go and we are building capabilities that will
help us transform the way we do business, not just marketing.

How is Bharti AXA Life different frorr other insurers?

Life insurance products involve a lot of I features within the same design and hence I it is difficult to find 2 products with the same features in the industry except protection. We at Bharti AXA Life differentiate ourselves by our focus on customer! centricity and convenience. Digitalization being the key, our initiatives are focused on i providing digitally led solutions at various j phases of the customer journey. We pride ourselves in many industry-first practices. One, Bharti AXA Life provides a dedicated claims handler that will assist the claimant throughout the claims process and update him at each milestone. Two, Bharti AXA Life guarantees the payment of the fund value in 48 hours post claim intimation, else we pay an additional interest of 1% of fund value for every day of delay. To further ease the claims process, we have launched an online claims portal that allows the customer to register a claim anytime, anywhere, ensuring the customer does not have to run from pillar to post to claim what is rightfully his/hers. Also, it has been our constant endeavour to be a source of education for our customers. Practices like pre-sales call to confirm the policy details, is a step further in our efforts to keep the customer’s interest at the heart of all our operations.

What are the changes introduced in information technology in the last one year?

Some of the key initiatives are:

e-application with electronic form filling for all the products, riders and image upload facility: This enables our
agents to log in policy at any hour of the day from any internet-enabled PC or laptop. This saves backend data entry, imaging efforts.

CRM enhancement with single view of customer: This provides our customers with better experience at the call center as call center representatives can now provide better solutions and support to the customers.

Web based claims reporting and tracking: The claims experience has become more transparent with launch of this web module.

Digital tools for distributors:

Mobile financial need analysis and lead management tools for distributors are making selling experience better for both distributors and customers.

Switch: We recently launched a sales tool called Switch, which is pre-loaded on a top-of-the-line Samsung tablet. As a pilot exercise, the Switch-loaded tablets were handed over to selected salespeople, who were re-christened ‘digital advisors’. It enables the digital advisor to do a comprehensive needs-based sale for every prospective customer. It recommends a product or a combination of products, which are best suited to meet the customer’s needs.

What are the plans to use social media for marketing and branding?

We have employed social media primarily for brand building. But, now we are extensively looking at digital as an avenue to drive business.

What are the targets for 2015-16?

We expect to continue with the growth momentum and build on this. We are exploring various means to grow the business, focusing mainly on areas like increasing productivity in agency channel, offering online solutions, etc. We are making sizeable investments in technology and digital assets to drive efficiency on both distribution and customer service front. Productivity improvement, cost efficiency, geographical expansion to increase the reach, strong branding on the back of
various customer service proof-points and social media strategy are expected to fuel the growth in medium to long term.

How do you view raising the limit of FDI for insurance sector to 49%?

When AXA entered India in a joint venture with the Bharti group,

the expectation was to have a greater share (more than 26%) in the company. It is a welcome move by the regulator for both AXA and Bharti. In terms of our commitment, operational matters and services, things will remain exactly the same.

mehul@bankingfrontiers.com

 

Development MFIs’ disbursements up by 55%

 

Ten largest MFIs in terms of aggregate gross loan portfolio (GLP) account for 75% of the total industry GLP. Further, 16 large MFIs (GLP>15 billion) account for 86% of the portfolio, according to the 13th issue of the MFIN MicroMeter.

The GLP of MFIs is now more evenly distributed across various regions in the country. Share of south is 30%, east 28%, north 22% and west is 20%. The top 5 top states – West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh – account for 59% of GLP. The states with highest growth in portfolio are Manipur, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir, albeit from a low base. As of 31 March 2015, aggregate GLP of MFIs stood at 1:401.38 billion, growing 61% over FY13- 14 (including oIF-balance sheet portfolio).

The MFIs reach over 30.5 million clients, recording a yoy growth of 29%, with annual disbursement increasing
by 55% over the last fiscal. Average loan outstanding per client, on a pan India basis is 113,160. MFIs have a network of 10,553 branches with 80,097 employees across 32 states and union territories. West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh are top states in terms of number of branches. MP, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Bihar, Gujarat and TN have the highest concentration of MFIs.

During Q4 FY14-15, MFIs disbursed over 10.75 million loans worth 1190 billion. Compared with Q4 FY13-14, the number of loans disbursed grew by 41% and loan amount disbursed by 63%. During Q4 FY14-15, MFIs received a total of 1116.71 billion in debt funding and recorded a yoy growth of 91%. And 78% of the funding came from banks and rest from other financial institutions.