Technology has got us this far: Vijay Kumar, CEO, Go Digit General Insurance

With the pandemic affecting demand for motor insurance coverage, Go Digit focussed on the well being section, providing a variety of merchandise. Vijay Kumar, CEO, tells Salman SH the transfer allowed the company to register 44% y-o-y development in gross written premiums in FY21. Excerpts:

From beginning off in only a handful of insurance coverage verticals to being a full-stack retail insurance coverage participant that’s at the moment valued at over $3 billion, what explains your astonishing development in simply 4.5 years of existence?

At the time of our inception, solely a handful of insurers had recognised tech as a key business driver. We began Digit in 2017 with the intention of reworking the insurance coverage panorama by tweaking the best way conventional merchandise like motor and fireplace insurance coverage had been designed and offered. We had been capable of obtain this by leveraging know-how, proper from onboarding a buyer to settling claims to renewing insurance policies. We ensured that our goal of transparency and ease was embedded in all our processes. The thought was to establish buyer ache factors earlier than launching any new providing. For occasion, for our flight delay cover, we evaluated two years of flight knowledge to design an providing that really favoured prospects. Another instance is our Covid well being product. One of our staff recognised that there could possibly be enormous demand for Covid-specific cover, and this helped us give you India’s first Covid product in March 2020 beneath the Sandbox Regulation. This was even earlier than Covid-19 was declared a pandemic.

Most high-growth tech start-ups see funding occasions as a giant milestone, and to many, non-public VC/PE capital is the one channel of capital to broaden/develop their companies. How has Digit approached fundraising?

We had been lucky to have Fairfax again us from the very starting and this was potential because of the affiliation that our founder had with Prem Watsa, the founder and CEO of Fairfax. The Toronto-based company has many investments in India and, due to this fact, has a superb understanding of the trade. We haven’t appointed an funding banker for any of our fundraising rounds. All our different traders got here by via connections within the trade, buddies, and, in a number of circumstances, further efforts from our finish. In each spherical, our personal staff have invested within the company. When it involves fundraising, we’ve been rising at a wholesome rate as a company and have a nationwide presence. This helped us flip worthwhile (on IFRS foundation) inside 4 years of operations.

The years 2020 and 2021 had been robust for tech start-ups with a lot of them having to resort to large pay/job cuts to climate the pandemic. How did you handle to remain afloat throughout the pandemic?

The pandemic hit demand for motor insurance coverage and led to rising medical insurance claims, which impacted loss ratios throughout the trade. Demand for motor insurance coverage went down because of the state of the economic system in addition to a scarcity of semiconductor chips. So, we pivoted to well being as a class and focussed on enhancing our choices beneath this section. Our Covid-specific well being product was an enormous success. We grew by 44% in FY21, notching a premium of Rs 3,243 crore, whereas the general trade development stood at about 5% final year. In the primary half of FY22, we recorded gross written premium of Rs 2,196 crores,as in opposition to Rs 1,312 crore within the first two-quarters of FY21, which was development of 67%.

Insurance is a tricky business, particularly in terms of meeting regulatory necessities/compliance requirements. Could you elaborate on the way you navigated these challenges, particularly within the regulatory house, but managing so as to add a number of product strains in a brief time frame?

At Digit, we recognized fairly early on that our prospects are on the lookout for simplified processes and we knew that leveraging tech was the one manner to make sure that. Through the Sandbox initiative, the regulator has inspired insurers to make use of know-how to innovate and develop merchandise/options. We have been extraordinarily clear in terms of our merchandise and processes.

Could you clarify how Go Digit implements new applied sciences/strategies that simplify buy of merchandise and settlement of claims?

Technology is the spine of Digit since its inception in 2017. The use of Big Data for business intelligence and knowledge analytics has helped us shut the hole between knowledge, insights, and actionable options. We have constructed ‘smartphone-enabled inspections’ for fast motor insurance coverage pre-inspection utilizing AI and ML. This has eradicated the necessity for bodily inspection and made the method environment friendly. We even have a system that helps us detect frauds through the use of picture analytics, AI, and ML. Our built-in API answer on cloud helps set off automated declare notifications for journey insurance coverage prospects if their flight is delayed past 90 minutes. The reception to tech-integrated options has been phenomenal and has helped Digit achieve a agency footing within the trade in a span of simply over 4 years.

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