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Balachander Sekhar, Co-founder, RenewBuy

In conversation with Sheetal Agarwal of IIFL, Balachander Sekhar, Co-founder, RenewBuy talks about the company's robust expansion plans, impact of technology on the insurance sector and its IPO plans.

September 22, 2022 6:54 IST | India Infoline News Service
Your company intends to double its number of insurance advisors by 2023 from the current level of 95,000.  What is the targeted revenue growth from this expansion over the same period?
 
Yes, we are expanding our tech infrastructure, insurance outreach, insurance advisor and consumer outreach across the country. We had almost doubled our workforce during the Covid scenario, and we are still growing. Health and life insurance categories have grown immensely in the last two years, now contributing to more than 20% of the business. This category has potential to bring in more business and profits into the organization.
 
In terms of our consumer outreach, it gives me immense pride to share that almost 75-80% of the business now comes from the Tier 2, 3, 4 markets and beyond. This is exactly what the vision of RenewBuy is- simplifying insurance and making it accessible to everyone.
 
How is technology changing the insurance sector, particularly the advisor-customer relationship? How is your company leveraging technology to stay ahead of the curve?
 
India is a country, where the demand for insurance is high but supply has always been a gap. Technology is the only way forward to reduce this gap and take insurance to those under-served consumers living in Tier 2 and 3 cities and beyond.
 
RenewBuy’s InsurTech model has been incepted with the vision of taking insurance to the smaller pockets of the country. In the last six years of the company’s foundation, RenewBuy, through its tech-based infrastructure, built a national insurance advisor network of approx 95000 advisors, across 780 districts. Our cutting edge pure digital led insurance model reaches to the remotest part of the country. Across Motor, Health Life – RenewBuy is today seen as a leading Insurtech platform using its proprietary algorithms to solve the consumer needs.
 
The entire approach has virtually made the traditional insurance branch led model redundant – completely disrupting the entire insurance industry.  In fact, this is clearly the only model that can work in Tier 2/3 and beyond to provide insurance to the uninsured. The industry over the years has failed to reach this segment by reliance on their physical distribution. This has led to RenewBuy becoming one of the most capital efficient models across InsurTech.
 
RenewBuy is constantly working towards upscaling its technology, so that the insurance process can further become seamless and simplified. The hiring process is thus, aimed at making more and more insurance advisors take insurance to the masses, and increase consumer base, especially in the smaller regions, where insurance is still not accessible. Consumer base can only increase when we have more digitally enabled insurance advisors across the country. RenewBuy aims to double the current insurance advisor network by 2023.
 
 
Help us understand the company's growth strategy
 
In the next few years, we are focused on RenewBuy’s exponential growth; in terms of tech development, product offerings, accelerated consumer outreach and insurance advisor acquisition across the country. We are moving from a pure agent led distribution to a multi-channel distribution platform, where we have recently ventured into the OEM space in the motor insurance category. The unique tech platform customised for consumers will accelerate the buying and post sales experience in motor insurance. We are also working towards AI based claim settlement process for seamless claim intimation, processing and settlement.
 
We are also developing customised insurance products, using micro consumer behaviour data, which is targeted at helping consumers in the smaller pockets. We are hopeful that the products will be ground-breaking in the smaller cities, as they will cater to the particular needs and requirements of the people there. Coverage with customised premium paying options, multiple health-based services and more which will bring in a boom in the consumer market in the coming few months.
 
RenewBuy is moving towards a massive business growth trajectory, using technology as the key enabler. This is where our AI driven, proprietary digital platform and the vital role of insurance advisors come into play.
 
What are the key challenges and opportunities facing the company? How is the company managing/maximizing them?
 
Any business is a game of challenges and opportunities. Our vision of taking insurance to the under-served in the Tier 2, 3 and 4 markets was the most challenging but game changing idea in 2015. We strived beyond the challenges, and today we are present across 780 districts and fast growing. The opportunities which lie ahead of RenewBuy are massive. We are looking at 3x growth and working on multiple tech-based projects to accelerate the growth.
 
We have recently acquired Artivatic (cutting-edge, AI- Artificial Intelligence based InsurTech company) and looking forward to more associations and acquisitions. Artivatic’s acquisition helped RenewBuy extend its Insurtech solutions across the entire value chain – from sales, to underwriting and claim solutions. The deep tech solutions offered by Artivatic is already helping in achieving our targeted business goals, the solutions are extensively used for seamless consumers services in the smaller cities and towns across the country.
 
How are the company's IPO plans shaping up? Have you finalized a timeline for the same?
 
We are evaluating multiple parameters for the same and will launch it when the right time comes. 

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