Edelweiss Tokio Life’s 10 years: From a global financial crisis to a pandemic
13 Jul 2021
With an unmoving focus on protecting people’s dreams and aspirations, Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance, the youngest entrant in the sector, has built a prominent challenger brand on the back of innovation, new-age technology, customer centricity, and a people-first culture during its first decade in business. These 10 years make for an interesting journey, spanning from a global financial crisis to an unprecedented Covid 19 pandemic now.
Focusing heavily on facilitating easy accessibility and creating solutions that are rooted in customer needs, the company has forged a path for itself through product innovation, multi-channel distribution capabilities, and a need-based sales approach. In the financial year 2020-21, the company posted a YoY growth of 25% in its Individual APE.
Over the past 10 years, some key elements have contributed to the company’s scale and supported its endeavor to create long-term value for its customers. Let’s take a look:
i. Diversified distribution capabilities:
Insurance has been an underrated financial instrument in the country, wherein most customers don’t proactively consider buying it. This has necessitated the company to take a broad-based approach in reaching the customer. Simply put, the company has strived to be accessible at every critical customer touchpoint. The insurer has invested in building its proprietary channels like agency, online and direct, and, also focussed on finding like-minded partners like CSB Bank, Fincare Bank, Policybazaar, etc.
The company has also been quick to identify newer distribution trends that have the potential of creating long-term value in terms of customer experience. When the pandemic struck last year, Edelweiss Tokio Life was one of the first companies in the sector to identify the potential of digital advisory in keeping business buoyant during an unprecedented event that restricted physical movement.
ii. Product Innovation:
Since its inception, the insurer has focussed on relevant, insight-based innovation in its products and services. The company has strived to identify customer’s evident as well as latent unarticulated needs when creating solutions. For instance, Zindagi Plus, a term insurance plan which offers optional Better Half Benefit. Through this benefit, individuals can buy a life cover for their spouses, especially the demographic that does not draw a structured income.
It has also brought several other innovative insurance solutions like POS Saral Nivesh, Covid Shield+, and Wealth Secure+.
iii. Customer experience:
Customer centricity has been a key differentiator for the company. Be it Vijaypath (a need-based selling approach) or structured efforts over the years in creating an organization-wide culture of customer experience, Edelweiss Tokio Life has set itself apart from its peers. In FY21, it posted a claim settlement ratio of 97% and a 13th-month persistency of 76%.
Internal Technology has been a crucial lever for Edelweiss Tokio Life to optimize cost, improve efficiency across functions and bring homogeneity in process management. While the last couple of years have been focused on building robustness in the backend to facilitate scale and agility, the company will now work towards front-end improvement over the years to come as customers will expect simplification and ease of purchase.
Technology has also played a critical role in instituting robust risk management practices for the company. Since the emergence of the digital age, the nature and number of risks have changed.
However, the company has been able to handle these risks proactively, and efficiently. For instance, it has instituted a predictive analytics model for fraud prevention. For years, fraudulent claims have been a big risk to the sector and have caused significant losses for companies. Through this predictive model, the company has been able to nip the issue in the bud, by identifying fraudulent requests at buying stage.
The company has also endeavored to create a people-first culture over the years. Over the years, it has made a substantial investment in nurturing its talent through capability building, career-pathing, and more. By instituting employee-friendly policies, the company has been able to bring lost talent pools like new mothers, differently-abled and more, back into the workforce.
More recently, the company created its Employee Value Proposition called Edge, which aims to showcase the long-term growth an individual can expect within the organization. This initiative has been built on 3 pillars – Growth, Development, and Impacting Lives. From multiple training interventions, to charting out career paths for over 350 unique roles, Edge aims to improve employee engagement within the organization.
As the pandemic changes the perception towards life insurance, the company is poised for customer-centric growth over the next decade.