Narasimha Raju

CXOToday has engaged in an exclusive interview with Mr. Byju Joseph, Chief Technology Officer, Future Generali India Life Insurance

At FGILI, Successful digital transformation requires integrated business and Technology Management. Approach and no silos with strategic spend allocation.  It is paramount that we remain focused on the goals we aim to achieve, rather than just the technologies we need to implement.

 

  • How has the India Insurance sector evolved since the covid era?

The sector has witnessed an increased influence of digital-assisted modes for insurance purchases.  It has precipitated a surge in demand for insurance products, be it in guaranteed returns, protection, health, or annuities. Embedded insurance, real-time bundling, and the sale of insurance when a consumer purchases a product or service at the point of sale are seen as easy nudge products.

There is a sharp rise in demand for cyber covers due increase digital adoption resulting in costly data breaches, ransomware, and other security attacks though they are making for pricier cyber security insurance premiums.  The uncertainties that surfaced into our existence have made insurance a nudge product rather than the push product we have normally considered it to be, and every customer is now highly aware of the insurance options available to them. They will no longer see these covers as an expense but as a necessity so there’s a lot of headroom for every insurer to grow.

 

  • How has the advent of technology helped the insurance landscape?

Customers and distributors increasingly prefer simplicity, transparency, and control in their interactions with us. We must adapt accordingly, offering technology experiences that are faster, more engaging, intuitive, and tailored to distributor and customer needs. Technology will eventually take over traditional operations. Indeed, most insurers are spending increasing amounts on technology.

Simplicity in product design and the overall financial need analysis and onboarding experience is clearly a major change. There is an apparent inclination towards personalization, data mining, automation, and cloud computing in the Insurtech space.

Partnerships between insurers and insurtechs have the potential to enable more personalized online distribution, predictive underwriting, and more efficient claims management.

With the help of modern technologies, insurtechs are driving to facilitate the audit process, accelerate customer service, and bolster regulators’ supervisory capabilities. Insurtech companies empower us to address many areas ripe for innovation.

 

  • Does FGILI have a technology-first approach to business? Has it helped FGILI grow?

All too often, technologists can get caught up in trying to adopt the latest and greatest innovations, without identifying how these will deliver business benefits. At FGILI, Successful digital transformation requires an integrated business and Technology Management Approach and no silos with strategic spend allocation.  It is paramount that we remain focused on the goals we aim to achieve, rather than just the technologies we need to implement.

Our current business’s first, tech-forward transformation focuses revolve around.

  • Digitising distributor and customer experience
  • Scaling data platform and analytics use cases
  • Enhancing IT Architecture to the platform as a service to support the scale
  • Transforming cyber security practices

We are becoming more agile—that is, we are working and giving or receiving feedback in short sprints to better respond to frequently changing business requirements. As this shift occurs, product, technology, and operations teams are working together.

 

  • What are some technology trends you foresee for the Indian insurance segment in 2023?

Technologies such as cloud, edge computing, machine learning, metaverse, web3, robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, and more are all advancing at an incredible speed that is very hard to keep up with.

Artificial intelligence and natural language processing enable insurers to create personalized customer experiences by processing massive amounts of consumer data automatically. These technologies not only improve servicing turnaround cycles but also fundamentally change the entire underwriting process.

As blockchain becomes more widely adopted, it will help insurers more effectively manage customer data in a safe and consistent manner and simplify current issues such as identity management and verification. Zero-trust security and similar approaches will help carriers create resilient networks that protect against cyber intrusions.

 

  • How has technology helped you in reducing the overall turnaround time in insurance procedures?

Covid has been a testimony to this fact – how digital accelerated the turnaround time for insurance companies. More and more insurance companies adopted the digital way during these times. Insurance advisors could reach out to 20 percent more consumers within the same time frame (They would have reached out to, in case of face-to-face meetings and offline documentation). This helped consumers immensely in receiving insurance services, and claim settlements easier, rather than waiting for days.

Insurance companies are using artificial intelligence and data analytics to create accurate individual risk profiles. All these supports the underwriting process, and, at the time of claim, the risk profiles can be verified quickly, dramatically reducing the turnaround time for claim settlements.

Emerging cloud technology ecosystems and its integrations are today, helping us with ease in operations, risk-based personalised automated solutions, and risk and fraud intelligence which are the need of the hour for increasing the insurance penetration in the country.

 

  • What are some of the notable tech initiatives by Future Generali India Life Insurance company Ltd that have helped customers and the growth of the business?

The past few years have seen the emergence of core technology trends that are affecting a multitude of technological advancements and shifting the way we deliver products and services.

While we have experimented with AI in some areas of the key process, few have truly scaled their capabilities across the enterprise. We are focusing more on fundamentally reengineering core processes to be more predictive in nature.  We believe AI will disrupt distribution, underwriting, claims, and service as core processes become AI-enabled.

We have yet to fully realize the potential of the data assets, in addition to reengineering core processes and ecosystem APIs, we will use the advent of AI to create better services based on data and analytics.

Being cloud-native will be best positioned to act as an ecosystem hub among customers, distributors, and insurtech. APIs are the enabler, and we place API Architecture at the Centre of Business and Technology Strategy.

Partnerships and Collaboration with insuretech/fintechs to explore co-developed product opportunities and Double-Down on Cybersecurity Mesh Architecture. We are trying to transform the technology delivery model built for flexibility and speed.

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