Digital kept us alive during lockdown: Bajaj Allianz MD & CEO

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August 28, 2020 12:15 AM

Customers are reluctant to meet sales agents and are increasingly preferring virtual meeting with the sales executive, but this is cumbersome as life insurance is not an easy product to understand and needs a level of human interaction

Tarun Chugh (File image)

Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company managing director (MD) and CEO Tarun Chugh said digital kept the company alive during the lockdown days. Bajaj Allianz is gaining market share in the private sector insurance business segment and has not seen any de-growth, he said.

In July, the company saw the weighted new business premium go up by 29% and it is looking at a comfortable August, Chugh said.

The company is able to see a recovery earlier expected because of the range of technology it puts into use, Chugh said. Technology has also given Bajaj Allianz the option to re-look at the infrastructure and the need for so many branches, he said.

The company will continue to invest in customer-facing technologies and solve real world problems, Chugh said. “Whatever digital we had, has worked for us.” All the digital assets were there and the company only had to add a customer layer on it, he said.

Life insurance is sold face to face and this was badly hit because of the pandemic, impacting the customer on-boarding process, Chugh said. Customers are reluctant to meet sales agents and are increasingly preferring virtual meeting with the sales executive, but this is cumbersome as life insurance is not an easy product to understand and needs a level of human interaction, Chugh said.

So, the company worked on a technology that allowed it to blend technology and the human element on a secure virtual platform offering a face-to-face kind of experience, resolving issues of social distancing in customer interaction. The sales app, Smart Assist, was piloted in Mumbai and Pune. After satisfactory results, it has been rolled out across the country to do pre-sales, sales and post-sales.

The app will not replace the sales team or agency force, but enable them to grow sales. The company continues to hire and expand the sales team. Bajaj Allianz hired 300 sales agents in the last one month, Chugh said. The Smart Assist app is being used to train its sales force, with the company launching four products in the last four months.

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