In an interview with Mr. Subhash Nagpal, we decode the journey of Compare Policy, challenges faced by a startup in the e-insurance space and the future growth prospects of the e –insurance industry. Here are a few excerpts from the interview.
- What was the thought behind forming Compare Policy and what were the initial hurdles you faced?
When we started compare policy we were very clear of the opportunity that insurance distribution was offering. The opportunity in the Indian market for insurance was large and growing. We were convinced that given the low penetration of insurance in India, there was a significant opportunity for our company to grow and acquire relevant business. We also believed that there will be initiatives by the government that will help the industry to grow and create opportunities for newer business models to flourish. Hence we realized that the insurance distribution system will be a natural beneficiary. This was the genesis of Compare Policy.
Like all startups and new business models trying to creating a niche for themselves in the industry we knew that it was not going to be easy and we were determined to face any challenges that came our way.
- What are the challenges you faced as a relatively new company, competing with established bigger players in the market?
Established companies in the market have spent a lot of resources in creating awareness about insurance space in India. They have taken a lead in creating new approaches to selling insurance. However if you run the mathematics and compare it with the exiting business opportunities, the market has been tapped only to the tune of 1-2% of the available business. There are newer models that are evolving and market too is expanding leaving enough room for players like us to establish a presence.
- What is the USP of Compare Policy that sets it apart from other players in the industry?
In a market which is over Rs 6.0 Lakh crores of fresh premiums every year, it is not as much about USP as it is about execution. There are players in the market who are trying to build their own niche. We at Compare Policy are focused on selling life and health insurance policies by empowering our customers to take informed decisions through our technology enabled recommendation engine. We are taking steps to reach Tier II and Tier III cities by offering our customers the freedom to choose from the products listed on our website that was hitherto not available to them. Through our pioneering efforts of creating digital awareness in Tier II and Tier III cities we are extending the availability and choices for the customers.
- What are some of the key trends you foresee that will drive growth in the e-insurance sector?
Everyone knows that insurance penetration in India is abysmally low. Part of the reason is that insurance was majorly sold through the agent network all these years. Even banks sell insurance through the same agent network to their customer base. The system of operating through agent networks has its own limitations as they don’t offer the customer the freedom of choice. The insurance was bought more under obligation rather than creating a genuine need. Now through platforms like Compare Policy, we are aiming to raise digital awareness about the insurance market and its need. Through regular workshops and seminars, we try and educate people about the choice of comparison when it comes to buying insurance and help them take an informed decision basis their needs. This transparency will lead to expansion of the market.