• 20 MAY. 2016

    Interview with Mr. Deepak Mittal

    Life insurance customers are looking to engage with brands they trust are transparent, says Deepak Mittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance. In an e-mail interview with The Hindu, Mr. Mittal narrates the changing attitude of customers towards life insurance and the need for insured.

    What are the latest trends in the Indian insurance sector, particularly in the life insurance segment?

    The most promising trend seen currently is that life insurance customers are getting increasingly more knowledgeable and demanding about what they need. Products and companies are researched across web aggregators, trusted circle of friends and peers as well as the communication that insurance companies are putting across. Customers expect brands to understand their needs and help them compare products thus enabling them to make the right choice.

    Customers are also looking to engage with brands that they trust are transparent in dealing with them, and are able to provide a resolution in a matter of hours and not days. Keeping this in mind life insurance companies, while keeping the operating costs low, will try and surprise the customer pleasantly. Technology will play a key part in achieving this goal.

    Companies will also invest heavily in product development as well as training and development of the sales force to ensure that the sales teams are well equipped to acquire customers the right way while creating long-term loyalty.

    The life insurance category will also see an expansion in the kinds of products being offered.

    Life insurance is increasingly becoming as much about living longer in an inflationary world as it is about securing against an unfortunate event. Coping with critical illness and long term heath care, retirement planning, wealth accumulation are the kind of product solutions needed today.

    Marketing will play a stronger role in building connect with the customers. Smart use of technology, conversing with customers across relevant media and ensuring that the conversation is meaningful will be the key pillars of any good brand’s customer strategy.

    How did Edelweiss Tokio perform in this current fiscal year?

    Life insurance customers are looking to engage with brands they trust are transparent, says Deepak Mittal, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance. In an e-mail interview with The Hindu, Mr. Mittal narrates the changing attitude of customers towards life insurance and the need for insured.

    What are the latest trends in the Indian insurance sector, particularly in the life insurance segment?

    The most promising trend seen currently is that life insurance customers are getting increasingly more knowledgeable and demanding about what they need. Products and companies are researched across web aggregators, trusted circle of friends and peers as well as the communication that insurance companies are putting across. Customers expect brands to understand their needs and help them compare products thus enabling them to make the right choice.


     

    Customers are also looking to engage with brands that they trust are transparent in dealing with them, and are able to provide a resolution in a matter of hours and not days. Keeping this in mind life insurance companies, while keeping the operating costs low, will try and surprise the customer pleasantly. Technology will play a key part in achieving this goal.

    Companies will also invest heavily in product development as well as training and development of the sales force to ensure that the sales teams are well equipped to acquire customers the right way while creating long-term loyalty.

    The life insurance category will also see an expansion in the kinds of products being offered.

    Life insurance is increasingly becoming as much about living longer in an inflationary world as it is about securing against an unfortunate event. Coping with critical illness and long term heath care, retirement planning, wealth accumulation are the kind of product solutions needed today.

    Marketing will play a stronger role in building connect with the customers. Smart use of technology, conversing with customers across relevant media and ensuring that the conversation is meaningful will be the key pillars of any good brand’s customer strategy.

    How did Edelweiss Tokio perform in this current fiscal year?

    It has been a solid first half for us in the current fiscal year. As of November 2015, our new business in terms of premiums and individual policies has grown more than 20 percent compared to the same period last year. This puts us in the top quartile of all life insurance players in India.

    Edelweiss Tokio Life has been one of the fastest growing life insurance companies since inception and we are continuing to focus on enhancing the quality of our business.

    What are your company's growth expectations for the next 5 years?

    Edelweiss Tokio Life is committed to expanding its footprint across India.

    By the end of this year, we will truly have a pan-India presence with our branches spread across 70 cities.

    This makes us confident of growing at a pace faster than we have since our inception.

    The Edelweiss group is focused on growing its retail business, and being a key retail business for the group, Edelweiss Tokio Life will play a big part in this expansion plan.

    Do you see any inclination of the customer towards unit-linked insurance plans?

    Insurance and equity investments are about being committed to longer-term investment periods. We believe and the early signs also seem to indicate that the ULIP investors have matured and there is good stability in their investment irrespective of short-term market movements.

    There are 24 insurance companies in India, how will ETLI differentiate themselves in term of products?

    Customer centricity is our key differentiator. The first conversation any member of our sales team has with a customer is around understanding his or her financial goals and needs, and not on the product.

     

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