To align itself with the new age customers and new age expectations, HDFC ERGO General Insurance recently partnered with IIT Bombay. While the company already delivers online, it aims to become an AI first organisation.
“93% of all our policies today are issued digitally and our customer’s interactions are largely AI-based. We are digital but we wanted to take a step forward for more innovation. We decided a few years back to transform our digital company into an AI-first company by adopting more AI and ML techniques into all of our operations,” said Parthanil Ghosh, President – Motor Business, HDFC ERGO General Insurance.
Ghosh believes that IIT Bombay was the best to partner with. The reason being, IIT Bombay is one of the top breeding grounds for startups in the country and has a strong entrepreneurial culture.
HDFC ERGO will provide strategic investments to IIT Bombay over 5 years to institutionalize 50 high-impact projects across business verticals such as acquisition, servicing, claims, renewal, underwriting, actuarial practices, and operations.
IIT Bombay will provide strategic business solutions to HDFC ERGO by leveraging the start-ups at the pre-incubation and incubation stage.
“We are also setting up an innovation lab within IIT Powai (Bombay) campus under the brand name of HEIIT where our people will be working along with the IIT Bombay students, professors, and alumni on various projects. The lab will facilitate interactions and brainstorming sessions between students, professors, and our employees,” Ghosh explained.
“When we say AI-first organization, we mean that we are building an organization for the next many years. We are looking ahead at the time to say what kind of expectations will be there from the customers and what are we going to do for them,” he further added.
The idea behind this partnership was to think ahead of time. The company wanted to think about what challenges the business would face in the next 5-10 years. And how to address the same.
Looking at the new-age customers, the company realized that their customer experience from the non-insurance sector was completely different and seamless. And when the time comes, the new generation would like to see the same experience when they buy the insurance.
Insurance is not a service that one wants to experience every day. But when that situation comes, when the customer buys one or in an unfortunate event when he files for a claim, he expects to get the same kind of experience that he would have received from the non-insurance sector.
“When we talk about the next 5-10 years, we are looking at GenZ whose expectations will be completely different from people like us. Since we are preparing ourselves for the next decades, we thought it would be good to work with the Genz of IIT Bombay,” Ghosh said.
HDFC ERGO General Insurance wanted to be at the forefront of innovation in insurance and create an ecosystem where its insurance penetration in this country goes up through these innovations.
With the partnership, HDFC ERGO General Insurance is looking to work on 5 niche areas. These include addressing the niche segments’ contextual and new age needs, data-driven innovation across value chains, services and solutions beyond insurance, enhancing customer and stakeholder experience, and finally R&D across value chains.
“We have a startup mentality in our organization. We have created our innovation department where we run various projects. But now we wanted to go to the very start of these startups. Yes, we also work with established tech players but when we talk about innovation, we want to experiment,” Ghosh said.
Ghosh believes that when we go to tech companies, we go with established models and processes.
“But here we are talking about a product, process or an experience which is not even available, we are looking at creating something new. We need to be completely flexible without the fear of failure and work with the ecosystem of startups,” he concluded.