The new normals in a world where Covid-19 unfortunately is becoming a part of our life will bring about many changes in the way businesses will be conducted, and more importantly the way we live our life.
In the this story of Back to Business, we speak to Dhirendra Mahyavanshi, Co-Founder, Turtlemint (InsurTech Company)
Read on to know Turtlemint’s Back to Business plans!
How are you coping with the impact of Covid-19 on Turtlemint? How effectively have you used the lockdown period?
Along with other sectors, COVID has impacted our business as well and we have seen an overall decrease in volumes. However, since insurance is an essential product and with health insurance gaining tremendous impetus in the last few months, our new business and renewals are more or less on track.
So, before the lockdown happened, although we operated from the office, most of our work was anyways being taken care of by technology. However, since March, we have been operating from our respective homes and interestingly, productivity has gone up.
We have given about 1,100 + employees with a Work From Home (WFH) facility. We have equipped all our employees with Desktop/Laptops, Data connectivity / Wi-Fi facility for uninterrupted internet connection. We have effectively used technology to enhance the productivity of each and every employee and yet keep them together and engaged. From video conferencing to effective usage of the HRMS (Human Resource Management System), from e-training to employee engagement, everything has been taken into consideration to increase the participation and the morale of the employees.
Even new employee onboarding has been effectively implemented with Zoom Interviews and e-Onboarding with digital enablement.
Also, our insurance partners have been handheld for digital enablement.
The quest for a solution to a particular crisis helps invent new business opportunities and sometimes leads to a revision of existing business models … What sort of innovation has or will the Covid-19 pandemic bring to your brand/industry/category?
Since we are an InsureTech company all our employees in other locations (Majorly sales teams) have been equipped with Laptops from day 1 of their joining. For the rest of the backend team eg: Operations, Finance etc. we were well prepared before the lockdown. We had already made arrangements of Laptops / Desktops & other equipment to their respective houses of employees so that their productivity is not compromised. In fact, we ensured that our employees had multiple internet service providers at their house, in order to have uninterrupted connections. The smartphones of all our employees have been enabled so that they can seamlessly access the data at any point in time by ensuring data privacy and security of the customers by the IT Team.
Being an InsurTech company, we have invested a lot of time and effort into developing a technology platform for our PoSPs. This is our primary business, i.e. to leverage technology in order to ease the life of our insurance partners. Our key objective is to empower our Insurance Partners (PoSPs) with technology so that they can continue their business from anywhere. We have also strived hard to decode insurance for them and thus make selling easy and completely seamless and hassle-free.
However, with COVID, the PoSPs have finally started effectively using the application and exploring its benefits thoroughly. We have been continuously innovating and improving the app and our services and these initiatives have been well appreciated by the advisor community especially during the lockdown period since their business has definitely not been hampered. In fact, we have enabled them to reach out to their clients digitally and thus close the sale.
Note: In fact, there has been a 1.5 times rise in our online business in Q2 (AMJ ‘20) as compared to Q1 (JFM ‘20).
PoSP training and certification can surely be done online and with lockdown, they had the opportunity and mindset to explore the online training options in order to upskill themselves, along with the constant support of the employees! Our sales team members do not need to meet the advisors face-to-face, as was the case in the pre-COVID era. Now, all they need to do is connect with over 100 prospects in a single Zoom or Google Hangouts call and take them through the procedure and benefits of working with Turtlemint. We have seen a steady rise in PoSP onboarding through the digital channels in the last quarter as compared to the previous ones. Thus, there has been an effective improvement in the efficiency of the overall process along with saving time, effort and money.
While some parts of the country have become Covid-19 free, cities like Mumbai and Delhi are still in a lockdown situation. How are you planning to resume business across cities that are not in the Red?
We have started operating some of the branches as accordance with the Government regulations from time to time, but attending office is not compulsory. For teams where productivity has not hampered due to remote working facilities, will continue to operate from their homes till such time the scenario is not completely normalized.
We are not in a hurry to get back to the office culture, primarily because the safety of our employees is our primary concern and being a technology-enabled company, we will continue to operate super efficiently in the digital space without any change in productivity.
What will be your communication strategy post the opening of the lockdown? Understandably bringing customers back to you would be difficult… What will be the objective of the communication/marketing strategy?
Our strategy of working has always been educating our partners and customers and enabling them with technology so that they can continue to operate via our platform; seamlessly from any part of the world. With COVID, our communication will focus on spreading awareness of the situation, while advising the most suitable solution for each and every individual.
In fact, we have seen a steady increase in people who are searching for coronavirus related information and COVID-specific health insurance plans.
For example, there has been a significant increase for a query on “COVID insurance” between April 2020 and June 2020. Even searches like “health insurance corona” and “COVID-19 insurance” has risen by 3 and 4 times respectively in a similar period. Enquiries about comprehensive health insurance plans have also been steadily on the rise. Thus, we are focussing more on the video content and blogs to educate the end-user so that their immediate requirements are met.
How did you keep the morale of the employees during this lockdown period? On a personal note, what kept you positive?
We have tried to keep the morale of our employees high by multiple employee engagement activities during the lockdown period like team quizzing and gaming, departmental training and multiple interactions through webinars. We also have regular inter-departmental communication through an all-hands meeting wherein we get an update about the various departments as well and communication is smoothened between them.
We have a strong focus on employee health and hence had organized effective yoga and meditation sessions as well, to enhance their mental health and keep them motivated and strong during crisis period.
What are some of the post-lockdown business strategies that you will use to bring the business back on track or at least get it in the right direction and also create demand for yourself?
We have been very successful in creating awareness through education about insurance to our insurance advisors and their clients. Helping them to choose the best plan for their requirements is our primary objective, whether it is corona-related or a protection plan for themselves.
We have seen that advisors who used our platform were able to sell insurance 2.5x more than the traditional way. Our endeavour has always been to provide the right insurance plans one side and educate them with the relevant content and recommend the right product to their customers.
With an eye on the future, we plan to continue adding more relevant products like Aarogya Sanjeevani Plans to our portfolio to meet the requirements of the customers.
Thus, our overall strategy is to be a tech-led digital platform which is unbiased and trustworthy and provides the best information about the products with maximum possible options to choose from.