Digital Transformation Pioneering Innovation in Insurance

Kishore Kumar Poludasu

In the ever-evolving insurance industry landscape, SBI General Insurance strategically positions itself not merely to compete but to excel amidst challenges posed by agile entrants, particularly fintech startups, shared Kishore Kumar Poludasu, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, SBI General Insurance, in an exclusive interaction with Srajan Agarwal of Elets News Network (ENN)

Considering the ever-evolving landscape of the insurance industry, what are the most significant challenges SBI General Insurance has faced in recent years, and how have you strategically addressed them to ensure the company’s continued growth?

In recent years, SBI General Insurance has had new opportunities within the constantly evolving insurance landscape. One of the key opportunities has been the digital transformation imperative, necessitating a shift from traditional operations to a robust online presence. SBI General Insurance has strategically addressed this by investing in cutting-edge technology and digital platforms to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency. Adaptation to changing regulatory frameworks is critical and requires constant vigilance and proactive compliance measures.

The Company has with the help of a diligent regulatory affairs department, ensured adherence to all regulatory requirements. Additionally, the intensely competitive market dynamics have demanded innovative product development and pricing strategies, prompting SBI General Insurance to introduce unique, personalised, innovative, customer-centric insurance solutions. The uncertainty posed by natural calamities and the growing complexity of risk assessment have also been met through prudent risk management strategies. These multifaceted approaches have collectively enabled SBI General Insurance to maintain its steady growth trajectory in this dynamic industry.

Given the rise of digital technologies and the shift towards online customer experiences, how are you innovating SBI’s digital offerings to meet the demands of a younger, more tech-savvy generation?

In response to the growing prevalence of digital technologies and the evolving expectations of a tech-savvy generation, we at SBI General Insurance have embarked on a journey of digital innovation to ensure our offerings remain relevant and appealing to a younger demographic. Our commitment to providing an exceptional online customer experience is evident through various initiatives.

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We have launched an insurance buying journey via WhatsApp, offering consumers a hassle-free buying experience ensures that end to-end purchase happens on the platform itself. Additionally, we’ve invested in enhancing our website and mobile applications to make them more user-friendly and feature rich. This allows customers, especially the tech-savvy younger generation, to easily access information, purchase policies, file claims, and interact with us through digital channels.

We’re also developing digital-only insurance products that cater to the evolving needs of this demographic, offering convenient and flexible coverage, allowing customers to tailor policies to their unique requirements. We have recently launched, ‘Health Edge Insurance’ – a fully customisable digital-only health product that has strengthened our focus on the health insurance segment. At SBI General Insurance, innovation in products is an ongoing process aimed at meeting the diverse needs of our customers.

Furthermore, we’re actively leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence to better understand customer preferences and behaviours, enabling us to personalise offerings, streamline processes, and deliver proactive support through digital channels. Our digital customer support channels are continuously improved to offer quick and efficient responses to inquiries and claims processing, ensuring that our tech-savvy customers have a smooth and hassle-free experience. By combining these digital innovations with our commitment to transparency, ethical practices, and customercentricity, we aim to provide a holistic digital experience that meets the demands of a younger, more tech-savvy generation while upholding the trust and reliability that SBI General Insurance is known for.

SBI General Insurance is known for its commitment to customer satisfaction. Can you shed light on the initiatives and strategies the company has implemented to consistently maintain and even enhance the quality of customer service over the years?

At SBI General Insurance, our unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction has been the cornerstone of our strategies and initiatives. We understand that exceptional customer service is an ongoing journey, not just a goal, and we’ve undertaken key initiatives to consistently enhance service quality. The evolving insurance landscape in India demands a seamless digital experience to meet dynamic customer expectations. Technological disruptions have reshaped the industry, fostering customer-centric offerings and superior service quality that benefit insurers and policyholders alike.

In our pursuit of elevating customer satisfaction, we’ve migrated our website to the cloud, resulting in significant performance improvements. We’ve also invested in advanced CRM and Analytics tools, empowering our call centre team to optimise outreach through lead scoring, propensity-based calling, and data enrichment, resulting in enhanced efficiency. Apart from this, we also monitor Net Promoter Score (NPS) score, we constantly interact with our customers and take action on the feedback.

In the face of increasing competition from fintech startups and other nimble players entering the insurance sector, how does SBI General Insurance differentiate itself, and what are the unique value propositions it offers to its customers?

In the ever-evolving insurance industry landscape, SBI General Insurance strategically positions itself not merely to compete but to excel amidst challenges posed by agile entrants, particularly fintech startups. Our distinctiveness and unique value propositions are founded on a harmonious blend of crucial elements.

SBI General Insurance stands out through an unparalleled trust and legacy, stemming from our affiliation with the State Bank of India, which assures customers of unwavering reliability and trustworthiness. Bolstered by an extensive national footprint, encompassing a vast network of branches and distribution channels, we provide personalised services tailored to the diverse needs of urban and rural customers. Our unwavering customer-centric approach underscores our commitment to comprehending unique customer requirements, reflected in our tailored insurance solutions. We consistently innovate within our product portfolio, offering customisable options across a range of insurance types and exploring advanced digital solutions powered by cuttingedge technology. Our rock-solid financial foundation, coupled with meticulous risk management, instils confidence among stakeholders, while our steadfast commitment to transparent and ethical business practices is deeply ingrained in our corporate culture, serving as the cornerstone of trust and confidence.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a focal point for many organisations. How are you contributing to the broader societal and environmental causes, and what impact do you believe these CSR initiatives have on the company’s brand image and customer loyalty?

At SBI General, we are committed towards our corporate social responsibility aiming to reach maximum beneficiaries through various possible projects. We believe it is critical to invest in vulnerable communities to enable them and the economy to prosper. We are resolutely committed to advancing our CSR initiatives, emphasising the importance of investing in vulnerable communities to uplift them and fuel economic growth. We firmly believe that these investments must be substantial, deeply ingrained, and sustained to drive meaningful change.

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As a responsible entity, we prioritise mutual growth and public welfare, anchoring our CSR initiatives in ethical principles, robust governance, and transparent reporting. Our core CSR areas include Education, Healthcare, Socio-economic and Environmental Sustainability, and Road Safety, all aimed at making a significant impact. Our work in livelihood enhancement involves collaborating with the SBI Foundation to develop a climateresilient livelihood model benefiting 4,600 individuals across ten flood-affected villages in Chamoli District, Uttarakhand. Simultaneously, our dedication to nurturing young athletes in winter sports aligns with our vision to produce future Olympic qualifiers.

We place a strong focus on remedial education, recognising its transformative role in communities. Our unwavering commitment to environmental sustainability is evident through projects like the ‘Solar Steam Cooking System,’ improving the lives of underprivileged communities and promoting sustainable energy practices.

Additionally, our “Surakshit Sadkein, Surakshit Bharat” program seeks to transform high-fatality road sections into zero-fatality corridors in Maharashtra, underlining our dedication to road safety. We believe our CSR initiatives not only contribute to societal and environmental causes but also enhance our brand image and foster customer loyalty, reflecting our commitment to meaningful impact and responsible business practices.

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