In the interview column for this week, Analytics India Magazine connected with KV Dipu, Head – Operations & Customer Service at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. Dipu drives digital transformation and industry leadership as the head of operations, communities and customer experience at one of Asia’s leading general insurance companies.
Before joining the insurance industry, he worked at GE Capital (financial services as well as cards) for 20 years, fusing digital transformation, and Six Sigma to redesign business models. During this interaction, KV Dipu talks about the leading technology trends in the BFSI industry, including how Bajaj Allianz has been leveraging technologies such as AI, analytics, and Blockchain, among others.
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AIM: How would you define your role at Bajaj Allianz in terms of the innovation you are driving?
KV Dipu: I work in partnership with stakeholders and partners to leverage technology and re-imagine the process to launch industry-first solutions for our customers and enhance their experience with the company. My forte has been to combine digital transformation with deep domain expertise, and Six Sigma rigour to redesign the business model for operational excellence and customer delight.
AIM: What are the most significant technology trends you see in the insurance industry?
KV Dipu: Technology is transforming the entire insurance value chain where insurers are working towards meeting customer expectations and staying relevant to their evolving needs. I feel RPA, AI and ML are – and will continue to – play a critical role in insurance, which will enable new channels and better data processing capabilities. This will lead to better customer experience, given that customers today are looking for instant resolution of their queries and personalized experiences, catering to their specific needs.
Additionally, with the connected devices market poised to grow substantially soon, Advanced Analytics and IoT will enable insurers to customize solutions for their customers. Premiums will become highly personalized, considering usage-based data from sources like mobile-enabled apps, telematics, wearables etc.
AIM: How can data analytics solutions help the insurance sector gain more profound levels of insight into customer behaviour and needs?
KV Dipu: Insurers today have access to voluminous data or ‘Big Data’ which has been reshaping the industry. We are seeing a shift in the way products are being designed. Customer engagement level has also been increasing, and the process of claim settlement has become quicker as well. All of this is possible by leveraging data in hand to understand the needs of customers. This has been helping the industry move from prescriptive to predictive models.
Predictive Analytics can help insurers gain customer loyalty by introducing products customized as per their requirement. Actionable insights from data through predictive modelling can help the insurer understand an individual policyholder’s behaviour, and accordingly, offer better services and tailor the processes.
Beyond helping insurers to become more efficient, data analytics is also aiding insurers to tackle fraudulent claims. This is done through predictive modelling of claims, profile, and analyzing information from significant data points. This not only helps in identifying consumers/entities that are potential moral hazards, but it also helps prevent anti-selection of risk.
AIM: How can technologies like AI and ML help in simplifying insurance processes? How can insurers adopt a more customer-centric approach using data, rather than focusing on selling products?
KV Dipu: AI and ML are a must-have for any industry. We are leveraging these technologies to simplify various processes for our customers. For instance, we have a customer service chatbot ‘BOING’ which addresses customers’ queries 24/7. This bot is available on our company website and can be accessed on Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Motor OTS feature on our self-service mobile app – Caringly Yours – allows customers to self-inspect their claims, and the claim is settled within half an hour. Such customer-centric initiatives not only resolve customer worries instantly but also instil a sense of trust amongst them. They are assured that their insurer is there to help them in their hours of need.
AIM: What are your views on utilizing value from blockchain technology and smart contracts in the insurance sector?
KV Dipu: I feel Blockchain can improve the way insurers record risks and increase efficiencies in the process. Insurers can collaborate with an extensive ecosystem to simplify the customer experience. Coming from an operations background, I feel Blockchain can help in the management of third-party vendor contract terms, master service agreements, and vendor optimization/complexity reduction. It can also help in fraud prevention, wherein sharing data across multiple third parties can help detect potential fraud.
Additionally, it can also help in simplifying the claim process wherein the claim is auto-reported, validated through smart contracts, and the claim is settled in a predefined account of the customer. There are many such use cases for Blockchain in the insurance industry. However, its adoption and acceptability in India is at a nascent stage, considering the worries around data security. It will be interesting to see how India adopts this technology.