Amity Institute Of Training & Development

Reimagining the future: Life Insurance industry for the next 5 years

A Conversation with Mr. V. Viswanand, Deputy Managing Director at Max Life Insurance

Mr. V. Viswanand is an industry veteran with a dynamic presence in the financial service space for over 22 years. He's working in the capacity of Deputy Managing Director at Max Life Insurance and is an esteemed member of the Board. He is the Founder Team member and has been associated with Max life for nearly two decades and one of the oldest employees of Max Life. He has consistently demonstrated qualitative leadership across diverse verticals including agency, life insurance, direct sales, product development, persistency management, operations technology, and quality of Max life. He is a veteran in the insurance sector. Over the years he has also played a very instrumental role in not only propelling Max Life to emerge as an industry leader in the conservation ratios 61st-month persistency, claims paid ratio, and customer loyalty but also win several global and national accolades in quality and technology including a coveted gold medal at ASQ, National Society for Quality and RBNQA which is the Ram Krishna Bajaj national quality award constituted by IMC Chamber of Commerce.

Click below to watch the recorded conversation.

 

Amity: - Coming back to insurance, the 2020 global insurance outlook highlights a very unique moment for the industry. Never before has such great potential been side by side with significant risk put together. It also outlines imperatives and priorities for insurance as they look to make a meaningful impact on the short term results and prepare for long term success. To borrow a famous line from literature, the current state of the insurance industry can be described as the best of times in the worst of times, so it is a very unique situation where we are into. India accounts for nearly 2% of the total world’s insurance premium. Seeing the potential of growth is immense for the insurance sector. What has been the impact of COVID 19 on the life insurance sector in India?

Mr. V.Viswanand: - Thank you for that very generous introduction. I would like to take this in two parts, first in India as a whole and what's been happening even pre COVID because COVID might be bent in the road but there's always been a story before that. What if COVID did not happen? Where would India be from a life insurance perspective? So as you rightly said the share of global insurance premiums that India had is far lower than the share of the population of the planet so we only have about 2.4% share of global insurance premiums and we are number 10 in the premium ranking of all countries on the planet. As you know population wise we are number 2 closely tending towards number one. However, a very interesting opportunity is that we are number one in policies. So, the number of the life insured at 36 crores Indians, we constitute the largest population group in sheer numbers, in terms of life insurance acceptance and retention of those policies. so that's an interesting opportunity which is showing that maybe the ticket sizes are small but many people have been covered in sheer numbers. There is a Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association called LIMRA which is based in North America the study shows that people buy at least seven times in a 35-year life span of working. So, when you typically work for 30- 35 years you will buy once every 5 years.

It is a well-known fact especially when you get your first job, that is when I bought my first policy. When you get married, or first child, actually the biggest trigger, when you settle down and purchase your first home, then maybe a job or promotion which gives you a lift and then your child’s education and child marriage and then your retirement. The opportunity of this 36 crores population which has already purchased insurance, is far greater than going to a person who has not purchased insurance.

So, the competency of somebody buying a policy again after purchasing the first policy is significantly larger than convincing that person to buy insurance for the first time. So that’s the opportunity we have in India. Having said that, we do far poorly in the mortality protection gap survey which is again done once in five years by reinsurers one of the largest reinsurers in the world called reinsurance. But interesting is the mortality protection gap that India has which keeps it at the rank of 9 out of 13 Asian countries. Our coverage in 2015, when the last study was done, was only 7.5%. That means if you take all of India as one household and you calculate how much insurance is required, if the breadwinners were to disappear, one way to keep the rest of the families going, if that figure is 100 rupees the coverage was only 7.5% in India including real estate, assets, PPF all kind of wealth and life insurance policies. Interestingly this moved very rapidly in the last 5 years and that is very heartening to know because the 7.5 has jumped up to 17%. It is a study that has just concluded in July 2020 and this big jump is the leading jump in all Asian countries. So that means the first point which I mentioned is in the number of policies and the fact that we are underinsured, but we are a large number of insurance policy holders in the country. It looks like now they're getting more and more clue towards purchasing real protection and that's very-very heartening as well. So now that is the India story pre COVID.

Now, what has COVID done to this sector?

Interestingly right after the first lockdown, I think that was on 23rd March, seems a long time ago more than 200 days now yes but there was a certain spike in Google searches for the term life insurance or term insurance and so on. The spike went up to nearly 85% higher than the previous year and this was very interesting because Google knows more about us than we do about ourselves. When you aggregate all these Google searches and with these Google Analytics reports which shows that the sudden spike is contrary to the rest of Asia. In Asia, the same searches for term insurance, life insurance saw a drop whether it is the Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia. There is also a drop, a decline at the same time. However, in India, we saw a sudden spike which has been unprecedented before. So this gives me confidence that I think Indians love their families more. When you see fear and adversity we look for risk protection but the rest of Asia they are busy caring for themselves. I think there was no search for their families, family’s protection, or financial security. They were looking at other things such as how I keep my health, my immunity, my masks, and my sanitizer.

While in India besides all of that we had a spike in search for family protection so that is very interesting as well. I think there are broadly two large fears, one is fear of loss of health and life, and 2nd is the loss of financial capital. If you recall in March we saw a drop in the equity market and then interest rates also started declining rapidly, so people saw that capital being eroded. Not only there was the fear of health and life but there was also fear of my financial capital what will happen to that, what will happen to these lowering returns, how do I meet my child's education plan that I have in my mind, how do I meet my retirement. Suddenly I am seeing the corpus coming down. We did a survey, India Protection Quotient Survey through Indian Market Research Bureau this was in June- July across urban India. For all digitalized customers who are digitally savvy, we asked them their reason to save and we found a dramatic change post COVID. The reason always used to be for the last five years saving for my child's education and number two is for my retirement. This has undergone a change post COVID. The number one reason has become saving for medical emergencies. Nobody knew what is true what to fake, what has happened how much is the cost of ICU what is hospitalization. So all these kinds of questions came up and suddenly 57% of India in this survey was saying that we are more interested in protecting our here and now, financial corpus, and preparing for medical emergencies. So essentially the impact of all these is that the private sector has degrown i.e. 23 life insurance companies, on the whole, has degrown by 11% in the first half of the year.

While sum assured has grown by 16% very interesting phenomena, where the premium has reduced the total premiums collected new business has reduced by 11% but the sum assured that these reduced premiums have bought has gone through the go at a 16% growth. Companies like ours Max life has grown by 40% during this time in the six months. India and Indians know that they need protection. So focus on providing protection and guaranteed options is that onus falls on life insurance companies that means taking more risk, mortality risk, investment risk but with risk comes greater margins. So hopefully we should see margin profile increase insurance. We are seeing in last quarter about 6 insurers in the top 10 showing growth signs in Q2 already, which means that maybe after Q3 is completed, let’s say, by the end of this calendar year, we would see a majority of them running back into the group. I hope I answered the question.

Amity: - Thank you for sharing very interesting information in terms of growth in sum assured and the spike in Google searches regarding term insurance which was not the case in other Asian countries. Japan and other Asian countries are doing well in terms of insurance premiums as far as the sector is concerned. But the interesting fact with term insurance is, it is India that is leading more and I feel what you're saying is right unless there is the fear we are not that sensitive or aware of our insurance requirements.

How are life insurance companies which are competing not only with peers but also industry alternatives such as your asset management or pure wealth management so how does the insurance sector cater to that? How do they differentiate themselves as a value-added service which is non-monetary benefits particularly health coverage which continues to converge now? As you rightly mentioned that a child’s education was number one and now it is a health factor that has become number one. So how it has changed?

Mr. V.Viswanand: - That very interesting question personally to me because I spent little less than 10 years working in a foreign bank before joining Max Life two decades ago. In those ten years, we were the largest distributors of mutual funds, third-party mutual funds in the country with about 86 branches. It is way back in times more than 25 years ago. However we saw a couple of equity downturns, there was a Harshad Mehta scam, and there was a bloodbath in the BSE and then there was the Ketan Parekh scam and the market step going up and down. After some time I felt a kind of hollowness because I found that customers were buying based on our advice. It was a great idea to invest in equity because in the 1990s equity market was in the bull run largely except when these scams came. I felt a little hollowness because one of the customers got back to me asking what I sold to him. I felt a little empty inside and then this insurance sector opened up. I found that the role of life insurance is very unique compared to mutual funds, fixed deposits, and such. Its role is unique and it is embedded inside every product of life insurance and in the policy contract that is the word sum assured. This sum which is assured that is the guaranteed amount that is payable on the occurrence of the insured event be either on death or on maturity both ways this amount is guaranteed. Usually, the sum assured is significantly higher than the premium you pay, never less than 10 times nowadays because if less than 10 times you don't even get cover which means your majority corpus will be taxable. So on average, it is about 15 times an annual premium. If you pay one rupee you get at least 15 rupees of cover guaranteed on death or maturity.

On top of this, you have the fund value growth, you have your bonuses declared, and so on and that is the number one differentiator that is not available in other products. In a mutual fund, you will get what you put. Here you putting only 5 to 10 rupees but you are getting a guarantee of ₹100 on maturity or death provided you don’t lapse a policy, provided you stick your part of the contract as a customer. The company is bound to stick its part of the contract through this policy contract terms and this word called sum. So as a banker I used to find it quite amusing. When we give a home loan, people distribute and offer us, sweets. But the irony is, as a banker I should be distributing it because till the last EMI the house belongs to us and that people don’t realize. However, in insurance, the moment you pay your first monthly premium, your cover and your little benefit through this word called sum assured is guaranteed. It is quite contrary and that is the risk that life insurers take. I am very happy to see that this risk taking capability has increased especially during COVID times. Essentially the role of life insurance how's it differentiated through sum assured it makes it safe, it makes it systematic because every year you are paying. Tomorrow if you stop your SIP in mutual funds no one will call and ask you to put it. No one will call you because they do not care they will move on.

However, in life insurance, the insurance company, the agent advisor will be after you to pay the renewal premiums. So that is the beauty of safe and systematic and everyone needs a bit of discipline and lastly it is self-completing through sum assured. Come what may, if it matures or if you die during the policy tenure, that is the interesting part. We surveyed our customers to find out do they understand sum assured? If they understand the sum assured does it increase their bonding and customer loyalty with us? The loyalty measures that we use are NPS the Net Promoter Score. That means the promoters, the people who give us a score of nine or 10 subtracted by people who give a score from zero to 6 that is the NPS and ask the question how likely are to recommend this brand to your friends family colleagues right on a scale of zero to 10. We have about close to 4 million customers and when we did a sample we found that those who remember that policies sum assured their NPS was in the range of 40s and those who do not remember this sum assured only remember the premium that they have to pay their net promoter score is minus in the negative zone. So again it is showing that understanding this product category is very important. I find it very funny that people remember their premiums but sometimes they don’t remember their sum assured. It’s like you remember the value of your EMI you are paying for a home loan but you don't know the value of your home loan. That is the role of life insurance and how it is differentiated between AMCs or Bank offerings.

Amity: - With the evolution of digital sales and service offerings, it is changing the ecosystem of the insurance sector more, so which has happened due to COVID 19. So with the emergence of the new digital technology insurance sector is heading towards rover advisors, artificial intelligence and data power systems, and much more. How do you see this technology is changing the ecosystem in the insurance sector in India from intermediaries to digital technologies and new ways of approaching the clients and customers?

Mr. V.Viswanand: - To share with you on the digital side, we use the business as two ways in acquiring new customers. One is the B to B side which is a traditional agents or bank sellers face to face model and the other is B to C side or the online site where the website is open and customers come and buy or they might go web aggregator such as policy bazaar and compare and buy online sitting at the comfort of their home or their own office. Interestingly we find that the digital split for a company like Max life is 80: 20 in several policies. 80% is B2B usually about anywhere between 15 and 20-22% in many policies is online.

This is by and large quite comparable with leading companies even in China or other digital savvy economies much higher than North America and for that matter Europe. The digital online business though I think it is all purchased from the comfort of your home just like a net banking transaction I would say. However, the reality is that 80 to 85% is assisted by a human. Even in a purchase offer product like term insurance, what largely sell is term insurance, even in those about 80-85% people want to know more than what they read and see. If you know what you want to look for then you can look for it, but if you are not sure what do you need to look for you would like to know because the average policy contract is for 40 years. So it is not a decision to buy now like an Amazon purchase which you can return, it's a 40 year decision. We do provide a freedom period for one month but what is going to change in one month, they ask all those questions and typically there are 20 minutes of talk time on an average happening with the call centre executive who has been trained and licensed like an agent on the phone, but that service is required, and it is not unique to India. Only traditional offline space this digitalization and new technologies are pushed us to question some holy cause, especially in the last 200 days. I will give you some examples first one is training. It is always best done face to face, we need one trainer for office at least preferably 2 that is the question now when we check our offices and still training is happening through virtual meets. Training is shifting to learning anywhere anytime on demand. Suddenly we are seeing that we might not have a 322 trainer in 322 offices. but if you have a bunch of 5 great trainers, we can get all 322 trained at the same time. They are all in a virtual classroom and will get the best training and the best SMEs support the best subject matter expert support available in the nation. So this was a new thing that we've done.

The second question was agent recruitment. We recruit about 25,000 to 30,000 new agents every year and the sector recruits about 20 lacs in total both in the public and private sector. This recruitment machinery and the newly recruited agents contribute to nearly 40% of a company’s top line in any given year. During pandemic when people were not meeting or people were scared to meet, even scared to go to the examination centre and write an agent exam, we have proven that recruitment can be done virtually. So the agent recruitment can be done virtually through recruitment webinars. We have shown significant growth than in the past and we are finally available to tap new segments. Many entrepreneurs could not come with the entrepreneur mindset. They could not come to the office every day and sit for the training and then be there for 8 hours a day and then continue visiting us here. Guess what, it is not required, they are most welcome to come but it wasn't essential because the agent recruitment can be virtualized.

The third is sales management practices, these daily check-in checkout calls, the sales hurdles that happens between a supervisor and his team members.0 why should that happen in person why can't they do it virtually over WebEx, zoom, WhatsApp video? That has transformed as well so that our producers are sellers don't have to come to the office, they go to the client space directly and save all time energy, and effort, so that has changed. Our prospect consumers will not conclude sales virtually they have to see a human being, it is again a mindset. In the first quarter, nearly more than half of our sales are happening virtually, fully paperless, signatureless and the entire thing has happened virtually with a lot effort, input, and transformation. But the new technologies that are available today I can only thank our staff that COVID is happening now and not 10 years ago. If it had 10 years ago we would have crumbled. Now we are hardly sitting and it's all because of these new technologies. So we have to identify this new organization muscle and guard and grow it because even post COVID recovery we should not lose this training process of conducting webinars and learning. We should not lose this digital recruitment capability, remote selling capability for conducting sales. Some people reverse and some digital modes will get accelerated such as digital artifacts. Now if all our training modules are available, any consumer facing modules are available do it yourself videos which we were not available. Our sellers are learning it and I think our customers are adopting it very well including do-it-yourself calculators and tools. It gives them control and they don't feel pressured when they see a person sitting in front of them. I think the quality of sales and the market contract will also improve in this kind of scenario.

Amity: - Robo Advisors, which is a new term, which has been coined the new terms. So there is a paradigm shift, can you explain how do you see this? It is more of a customer experience than the product part. And are you come out with different innovative products?

Mr. V Viswanand: - Sure. I'm going to give you an answer which will disappoint you. Having been in Financial Services now for 29 years, I still think that Financial Services is actually at the root of it is dealing with money which is a man-made concept. Humans don't understand money. What is currency, barter system we can understand somewhat, but currency money we don’t understand and not even time? Because financial services talk about money and time. Both these concepts, the human mind finds it difficult to understand. So that's why. One needs to sit, talk, and as you talk you are thinking. Robo advisory is great, and I know countries like Singapore Robo advisory is still a show piece, and that's why trust and relationship continue to remain the dominant factor in terms of choice or selection of which company, which brand, which advisor, and which product. I will give you some equations that we use in the B2C and B2B. The B2C market which is business to consumer is direct to consumer online market. There are 6 factors we look at. Experience is one of them, but actually, it is the last one. We tried various experiments, I mean, it happens now and then, we try AB testing and the number one factor is brand and not experience in financial services because they want that security. So, even if there is a poor experience, no problem, if the brand is strong, they will reduce their expectations of the bank.

The second is the product feature which is an important product feature. Now it is the price, as you mentioned Amazon, Flipkart, but all of us know heart on the heart and the big days happens when the real sales take off which means the price discount. So the price has a big factor in India and so is a value conscious market. You can't take Indian for a ride and that's why iPhone purchase is there but in the lowest segment in India. So it's only the top market, which is purchasing the brand and the experience. The fourth is insurance claims. What is your claim favourite show? The fifth is your entry condition and your eligibility, there is eligibility there is underwriting and the last is experience.

In the online market remember there is no agent, no customer is sitting and choosing. No one can influence the customer but we have seen that this is a hierarchy of selection. While in our offline sale which is face to face, the number one factor is not experience, it's the relationship, is that someone I trust. So you will ask a few questions maybe, but you really expect all the answers, comparison everything and when you only have 40 minutes, and then the final question is would you recommend it. Have you bought this yourselves? So the herd mentality, I don't want to be the first person. So relationship, product feature, price and benefit and then not my experience, but the experience of the seller because if the seller experience is excellent by the Insurance companies processes then the seller narrates it in their words that the customer understands saying "company is good, Product is also good". The seller should be happy and then the relationship factor takeovers.

Amity:- I have read and heard many times that it is not about how much you're worth but it all depends on which premium phone you're using, and if you're logging in through an iPhone the pricing of the premium changes and you then things change. Is that happening at the spot? I have read many times that decides AI decides through which phone you are logged in for inquiry or something like that for premium?

Mr. V Viswanand: - Interesting so this is hypo personalization if you may call it, yes, we do use it, but we do not change premiums. The good news is we are regulated. We cannot deviate from it and we don't want to deviate from it. But having said that, yes, and to answer your very specific question, if a person searches our website and gets the quotation for a policy from an iPhone versus an Android, we know that the iPhone conversion rate is higher. That's all. I think it's a socio-economic co-relation. It is just like a similar thing. If you see the Cibil score of iPhone users it's probably higher than that of the non-iPhone user. That's all. It is just a socioeconomic kind of a flag, we do anything about it well perhaps we would, our way of messaging to that consumer would be very different than the other ones. That's all. In a language other person understand or in a language other iPhone customers have understood what we try to do. That's a level of personalization.

But having said there in policies issuance in underwriting we do things like asking for KYC documents from the bank. Why do you need to run again for proof of identity proof of address? So we can get that from the bank we do that. Cibil Score we can get that instead of asking you for your ITR, your IT returns, or your last 3 years bank statements all that we can avoid. and we also have an industry insurance bureau. The bureau provides us the fraud data so that we can go through it and we don't have to, there might be 1% fraudsters. The 99% people need not be put through the same checks to calculate 1% fraudsters. That database is evolving every day as we see and all insurance companies are participating in the insurance information bureaus database. Then we also try these Central KYC which I think is gaining momentum and it's a government initiative, part of the Government of India software stack and that's working again catching space. So we have a mutual fund we can link with your PAN number and get all your details and ask you even okay with it. Go ahead.

So you don't have to provide fresh documents every time you go to a bank or a mutual fund, or an insurance company. So that helps in terms of anti-money laundering and terms of underwriting, Especially financials. The digitalization of health, health cards, and our health records, which the government has just begun during COVID times, will also help and in medical underwriting in time, maybe 10 years later. So, I think this kind of hyper personalization and technology enablement will help improve the overall customer experience and reduce the effort of the customer. Thanks to this we can bring out innovative buy now and pay later products. So, buy now, don't give premium now until we are ready to underwrite you, and before we're ready to accept your policy, we will say, okay you are clear. We will ping you only after the services are fully accepted by both parties, rather than you pay upfront. If we reject, we will refund you and recurring more cost. So that's the kind of work which is happening. I think there's still a long distance away from it but baby steps have begun.

Amity:- Taking a few from what you said about the underwriting process and the things like that since you were talking about reimagining the future in the next 5 years like Block Chain Technology, Cloud Computing, and Cognitive computing. These are new technologies, and as I was reading it is like a blockchain based solution. It can combine current death registration and the death claim process into a single simplified procedure requiring minimum intervention from multiple stakeholders. This is making a quantum jump or rather what we say It is termed as "the game-changer", a potential game-changer in the insurance sector. So what are your views on, these technologies, which are like, block chain and cognitive computational? And how will it lead to customer experience what we're talking about?

Mr. V Viswanand: - So, essentially, I know this is about I am going back 4 years. The industry set up two use cases and about half a dozen companies each with their specialist IT teams working on the block chain use cases. It was the area of underwriting and fraud prevention. I think it died a slow death. Again, we are a regulated industry and privacy and security are embedded in regulations. So in such situations do we need to collect all of this? We will try saying, you know, medical records may be private and personal. So let's use block chain there and this was one of the use cases as well, but guess what our medical report is not constant all the time. It's valid for a maximum of a year, after that, we need to test you again. so, then use case breaks unless it is your bank policy every month, right? So, I think that's where we are. But having said that these central databases which are secure and providing the same convenience are available, the customer doesn't mind. He doesn't care what technology you are using. Blockchain or not, as long as you are making his effort low.

So, I think that is working RPI use cases are working in very mundane situations, such as bank reconciliation. Many banks are using RPI for that. But again does it result in cost takeout? Not much, because the cost of labour in India is still very cheap. But it does result in a customer experience improvement and TATs, Turnaround Time dramatically. So we're able to clear claims very quickly.

Today, more than half of our claims are paid in what we call "insta claims" within 24 hours. In fact, by 3 O'clock If one confirms the documents are OK, we pay the same day the funds in the nominees account for death. So the technology is used like you said use cases to improve customer experiences, significant technologies to improve or reduce cost is still questionable, though the journey has begun.

Amity: - In this unprecedented time how would you like to make your employees future ready? What is your thinking and What are you doing about it?

Mr. V Viswanand: - I always believe that to be future ready you must present ready because if there is no present there is no future. COVID has given us a glimpse of the future which is work from home, work from anywhere. Why should we need these physical meetings and physical workplaces? We conducted an employee survey among our 15000 employees in early April. We found out of the 15000 employees about 13500 are in the field. They are in sales or sales management and their number one issue was how do I achieve my goals in this world of social distancing, how do I achieve goal? Another segment, which is the support function and our corporate support functions in the home office and so on, their issue was different. They said they want a work-life balance. And now, when work begins when the family begins it’s all merged into one thing, and that’s causing stress. So two very different problems. So, how do we go about solving it? The first problem was the field problem because that's a larger number. Our sales business and our customer depend on them. So, what we did, as they are spread out in 322 physical branches and 1500 bank branches where people are present. So it's a large distribution across the country. So, what we did was, we had to transient them from the face to face model to home to home model. From their home to the customer's client home. And somebody said it's not just home to home it might be H to H, or heart to heart because insurance is still an emotional product, because not all left brain, so emotional question has to be added into the digital world.

So, what we did was we launched a kind of a mission called mission possible. Mission possible was launched on 3rd April 2020. In April week one we designed all these processes, customer faces processes, sales service everything from face to face to H to H. Second week we deployed it with our front line sellers, all are front line employees the 13500. In the third week of April, we selected our top 10000 agent advisors and top 10000 bank sellers and trained and certified them. They were all at their homes in April during the first lockdown. And then in week 4, we expanded to all our 46,000 agent advisors and our 50,000 bank staff who are licensed to sell Max life policy. Then we did a 4 by 4 training program essentially. One is on digital sales two on using digital training on a large scale third was the virtual sales management process, all our sales management processes and governance had to become virtualize and lastly, it was the agent recruitment. This was the toughest and I am most satisfied with this. Imagine recruiting a person in a very harsh career where for every yes you might get 7 or 8 no. The rejection rate is very high. So recruiting them digitally and training them and launching them. So these were the four workstreams and this is enabled through digital marketing and enablement tools.

All our content from paper based and PPT based was made digital and mobile screen based. We had to think mobile-first and transient all of that.

So all our onboarding, right from the payment process to the transaction process everything was virtualized to make it friction-free so that the process became signatureless and paperless. The third was the analytic engine, whom to meet when do I meet that was also driven and centrally controlled somewhat in the field. And finally, our listening pose became an active listening pose because no one knew what we were doing, will it be right or wrong?

We also set up and institutionalized the same pose and continuing now. There is a big new muscle that we have developed which is large ears to listen to what’s happening from our customers and our front line.

In April, we were just about 20% of our last year's sales. By the time we ended the 1st quarter, we came to 80% of the sales of last year in quarter one. Around the 3rd month of quarter two, we came to growth, we managed the growth.

So that’s very interesting overall for the field. For the home office what we did was enable them to work from home, which is the laptop, or take the desktop if your computer is there in the office. After 3 months we realized people are getting back pain and spondylitis because home chairs are not meant to sit for 10 hours or 8 hours in a day. For their convenience we got the office chairs shifted to their homes. We ensured that we have a silent hour from 1 to 2 which is a lunch break, that’s the time when no phone calls no meetings. It’s called a silent hour and it belongs to all our 15,000 employees. No zoom meetings after 6:30 PM. Lights out at 5:30 PM every Wednesday spend more time with your family and your kids because even schooling is happening from home now. In the anticipation of COVID, we increased the health covers we doubled our death benefits overall from a minimum of 10 lakh we made it 20 lakhs because we found that the front line sellers are most exposed though their salary let’s say 2.5 to 3 lakh in a year. and a cover of 10 lakh seems adequate then, we said it is not adequate when we got close and doubled it to 20 lakhs. Similarly, all the family benefits on health all will continue in. Call centres and migration of the Call centres was very interesting we must follow Uber calling because no longer people working in our offices so when you want to make a call, the call centre will ping go through VoIP go to the call agents’ home, and then the call will be made. Both the caller and receiver's numbers are masked for privacy reasons.

Thanks to all the interventions we took time but now I am happy that we can manage. Future-ready in such a situation yes, actually we have given up one floor in our home office because many people are comfortable from working from home. We are not forcing anyone but many people seem to be comfortable working from home as well. So this would be future-readiness actually because we are all going through a BCP situation. A business continuity program situation.

Amity: - It has been such an interesting discussion. I wish we may go on but due to the top paucity of time, I will have one last question for you. How life insurance are looking beyond 2020 and the future of insurance in the next 5 years? Mr. V Viswanand: - I see 3 mega trends coming in the Life Insurance Sector. One is this shift to protection therefore, India is moving from land of savers to land of protectors. All the strength that you can observe especially in the last 6 months. So those insurance are the forefront will win. They will be riding this mega trend. Number two is digital, digital used to be an option, now digital is imperative and I think digital to reduce the efforts of the customer and the front line sales and service personnel can create a lot of magic for the insurance company.

The third is customer focus. From focusing on customer transactions to focusing on customer relationships and the lifetime value of the customer. So the culture changed towards customer obsession any increasing empathy I think that will be a big change.

So in our company for instance our mission is to inspire people to increase the value of their life. And we focus on three things growth, persistency and sum assured. That’s our compass almost like a GPS. So growth is what acquiring customer, persistency is what retain customers and S is the sum assured. Give them what no other sector can provide to them which is our unique differentiation. So that’s what I see in the direction of the next 5 years.

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