Analytics provides a springboard to innovation in insurance industry: Nilesh Parmar, COO, Edelweiss Tokio

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As a late entrant into the insurance market, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance is up against plenty of competition. But the life insurer is all set to beat its later mover disadvantage and ensure a place for itself in the already cluttered insurance sector.

Nilesh Parmar, COO, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance is bound and determined to reap big dividends with a well-thought-out digital strategy centered around products, platforms and customer experience.

He should know. He has spent 20 years in the financial sector handling re-engineering, quality improvement of processes, service delivery, and change management. Prior to joining Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, he worked with HSBC for 18 years in various roles in operations and change management.

In an interview with ETCIO.COM, Nilesh Parmar, COO, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance lays out the digital strategy of the company and details how IT is helping them step up their game.

Let’s begin by talking about the digital strategy you’re pursuing and how it is driving transformation at Edelweiss Tokio Life?
We, at Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, have been capturing the market share steadily through our innovative ways. We have been one of the fastest growing players in the industry with a growth rate of 40-50% over the last 3 years and are fully geared to capture the opportunities in the times to come as well.

With easier access to the internet facilities and the emergence of digital technology, life insurance industry is witnessing a paradigm shift. While the online space is offering exciting opportunities for us in terms of business acquisition; it is also providing the customers an easier access to different companies. In such a competitive environment, what will matter in the future is how we treat our associates (partners/distributors and customers) through the life cycle which begins even prior to on boarding them.

At the juncture where associates’ interfaces are increasingly getting digitally enabled, we at Edelweiss Tokio Life, are leveraging these technological advances to assure Speed (TAT and accuracy) and ease of doing business to our internal as well as external stakeholders.

Our digital strategy has three main tenets- developing right products that are easy to understand and hence, easy to buy or sell, developing the right platforms that will bring in ‘ease’ within processes and create unique customer experience that will create reasons for long-term happy association.

How are you capitalizing on technology to drive digital transformation?
We started out by enabling all the backend processes with digital capabilities. It’s been a few years since we have moved to paperless processing. This change was primarily driven by the need for being operationally efficient.

Coming to distribution, we have launched an agency partner portal for our agency distributors. This enables the agents and supervisors to track their performance and income through online access to information on business done, actions to be performed, career progression etc.
Earlier this year, we launched a Tab based application for sourcing as well. Today almost 20 percent of our sourcing business is through Tab. Both our Tab and online customer acquisition journeys come equipped with Aadhaar based KYC enablement for customer convenience so that additional documentation can be done away with.

Putting technology aside for the moment, what have you done from a product political perspective to create a spur innovation and drive business transformation?
In last two years, we have taken special efforts on innovative products that are not only easy to understand but also cater to all the ‘wants’ of our associates. They are capable of serving both, digital and conventional domains.

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