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Sourcing 70% of Business Through Digital Channels: Shriram General Insurance

The business is sourcing close to 70% through digital marketing channels by adding more tools in the cyber security covering to deal with threats amid other points where technology is being leveraged. Neeraj Prakash, MD at Shriram General Insurance insight. The intuitive utterance on ‘BFSI Tech Tales’, Neeraj Prakash, Managing Director, Shriram General Insurance, bestowed his aspects on how they formulate and execute technology. Even in Covid-19 disruption, how major developments take place with InsurTechs and cyber-security measures.

How have you strategies the technology at Shriram General Insurance?

Since commencement of the company we have executed state-of-the-art technologies for all business functions, be it Policy Servicing to customer (Underwriting, Claims and Helpdesk Management), Investment Management, Reinsurance program and Actuarial valuation. We had tied up with global technology conglomerates like Oracle, SAP and SAS for the same. However, in the last 6-7 years due to a surge in major technological trends, we are also forced to embrace the same as our counterparts have moved ahead of us. Now we can say we are on par with them as we have moved our focus completely now into Digital/Online platforms. Also we are automating our few key functional areas bringing in more AI and ML platforms. I am confident with the kind of support staff we have, we will achieve the same soon.

How does the tech ideation took place?

100% Customer satisfaction is the main ideology behind our policy servicing and claim settlement. With a dedicated customer helpdesk of the management team, around the clock proficiency is taking place. Be it Claim admission or Renewal of policy follow up with customers. And, a separate team operates customers’ feedback on claim settlement post. We have realigned tech-ideation to boost up total operational efficiency.

Q How can you assess the major developments in the last four months? What do you think? 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have forklifted our technology strength in the last four months. Implementing collaboration tools and with the strengthening of our grip on virtual platforms. Currently we are sourcing about 70% of the total business portfolio through Mobile/Online applications. We have automated our major processes online starting from Inspection of vehicles, seamless instant Policy generation and premium collections through all digital modes.

One of the milestones we acquired in this pandemic was the collaboration with Google tool to connect all employees virtually together. This made it possible to take stalk of every department to get the entire situation and condition going on, and inspiring them during the complete lockdown. This actually boosts their morale and they don’t feel isolated as we feel are working normally.

What’s your take on failures? What about the implementation that didn’t work out? What have you learnt? 

There was a time during the IOC fire tragedy in close vicinity of our corporate office, we had failures in Business continuity in 2009. At that time we had not leveraged the full capability on Disaster management. Again during the Chennai flood, we experienced such a situation in non-core applications. Those learnings on our failures paved the way for building a robust fully automated Disaster recovery system as of now and we can proudly say today all of our applications having an uptime of closure to 100%

Your insight on InsurTechs Tie-up? How’re these strategized and worked out? 

For implementation of latest technologies, SGI had tied up with Novac Technology Solutions (NTS). With NTS capability, we had automated our major business functionalities like Policy Generation, Claims Management and Customer Support systems through Digital technological platforms. We were almost on the verge of pushing all these into online platforms just before pandemic started creating menace throughout the country. We can say this was the most appropriate time for us to embrace Digital technology in totality. We are now actually operating paperless offices due to adoption of the same.

NTS is a Fintech as well as InsurTech company providing IT support to the entire Shriram Group’s four major financial companies be it Commercial Vehicle Financing, retail financing, Life, and General Insurance.

What do you think about the emerging trends in the cyber-security? How you deal with mitigating threats and attacks?

During this pandemic, we have strengthened our cyber security. And, adopted work from strategy for all our employees with contact center employees. This has empowered our entire office staffs from Underwriting, Claims, Actuary, Customer Helpdesk, Accounts and payout departments to work from home through SSL VPN tunnel through Forticlient and few users through ForticlientIPSec VPN tunnel with Forti-token two factor authentications.

Also, to make the customers and employees aware of fake bombarding we are cautiously sending safety online campaigns and mailers continually. The cyber-attacks has increased during the lockdown period globally. Hence, it was important to filter and save our employees. We have a committed watchful SOC team, who are uniformly observing round the clock through state-of-the-art surveillance systems. Moreover, we had figured new threat indicators and warnings to undertake cyber threats around COVID-19.

Conclusively, to evade any kind of glitch during and later stage of the pandemic we looked for total security aspects.

News Source: Economic Times