Sudesh Bainsla, Vice President- Technology Sudesh Bainsla is the Vice President, Technology at RenewBuy. Based out of Delhi, he is a technology leader with about 18 years of experience inarchitecting, building and managing large scale systems and teams. Prior to this he was with Quovantis Technologies where he headed the Open Source Technologies business vertical. He has also been associated with Globallogic, Infosys and Sify in his earlier stints. He studied at NSIT, Delhi. He is skilled in Engineering Leadership, Software architecture, Agile based product development, Technology budgeting and Product delivery. He likes incrementally building software products at enterprise scale using cutting edge technologies.
Could you tell us something about RenewBuy and how you are positioning RenewBuy in the Indian market?
India is a country where the demand for insurance is high, but supply has been a gap. RenewBuy was established with the sole purpose of mitigating this insurance demand supply gap. The company rides on a technology led, insurance POSP agent (Point-of-Sale-Person) model to take insurance to the masses. RenewBuy’s digital platform enables its insurance advisors connect with consumers without any insurance branch; the digital platform in itself acts like a branch.
With 35 plus insurance companies onboarded with RenewBuy, the insurance advisors guide consumers and offer them the best insurance policy, which suit the latter’s needs and requirements. Users are thus able to select from a choice of insurers, compare prices and features and receive advice from trained, certified insurance advisors who educate and support consumers during every step of their journey. The entire experience is natively digital and therefore paperless and contactless, with a policy issued instantly. The unique end-to-end digital experience has been helping consumers immensely in availing insurance, especially in the smallest towns and cities, where consumers have been under-served for years.
In the last six years, RenewBuy has been able to reach out to 3 million plus consumers, with 60,000 insurance advisors, across 750 plus cities. RenewBuy is seen today as a leading InsurTech platform, which is solving consumer needs across the country.
How RenewBuy works for its customers in its different regional markets of India?
The core model, as mentioned above, is based on the digital led, insurance (POSP) advisor network. The model works in the similar way for all regional markets. RenewBuy’s model has been helping solve consumer challenges, specially in Tier 2, 3 cities and beyond.
Availability and accessibility of insurance for consumers, is one the biggest challenges that the sector is facing even today. By empowering its insurance advisors digitally, RenewBuy is making insurance available in every nook and corner of the country. Our consumers do not need an insurance branch to avail insurance products, services or claim settlements.
Another challenge is, consumers, even today do not understand insurance products fully and have many questions, which stalls their purchase decision. Every customer has different needs when it comes to insurance, this has been highlighted in the current Covid period when the consumer interest peaked but there was no standardized advice or solution available. RenewBuy’s digital platform, which is used by 60,000 plus POSP advisors is giving customized advice to consumers. Along with this, the advisors also provide convenience, choice of leading insurers, instant policy as well as servicing of policy including claim
assistance. Everything is contactless.
RenewBuy’s model is also helping build consumer awareness in the smallest towns and cities, where awareness about insurance has also been a big challenge for ages. 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.
Tell us more about your POS partners and the concept of the Hyper Localization model of Insurance? What exclusive benefit do you get with this model of business?
RenewBuy’s insurance advisor model is based on the POS partner model, wherein the insurance (POSP) advisor is eligible to sell the insurance of more than one company. The POS partner model is entirely different from the tied insurance agents who can sell the insurance of only one company. RenewBuy is associated with leading insurance companies that offer life insurance, health insurance, and motor insurance. Our certified POSP advisors can offer insurance as per the consumer needs, as the advisors have numerous options to offer.
RenewBuy’s Mobile App can recreate fully what an insurance company branch can do. And the technology infrastructure is being now upgraded at an accelerated speed to increase our outreach and expansion. We are strengthening the platform’s capabilities through micro service architecture, data architecture, agent finder model. RenewBuy’s digital model also ensures claim assistance, where consumers not only receive insurance policies but also get services in claim settlements.
We are also introducing a special model based around hyper-localization, which will enable consumers virtually connect with the best, digitally enabled insurance advisors in their vicinity. This concept is nascent and fresh, and it is expected to bring in a revolutionary change in the way insurance is bought, sold and serviced.
RenewBuy was part of the funding round some time ago. How do you plan to invest it in the technology at RenewBuy?
Yes, we recently raised funds in the Series C round of funding. A large portion of the funds is being implemented into doubling down on technology. We are meticulously working towards technology upgradation, so that we can increase our footprint rapidly. Newer tech innovations are being introduced, as mentioned above. For strengthening our tech infrastructure, we are looking at hiring more tech professionals in the organisation; the next phase of growth will be largely led by tech innovations.
We are also investing capital on talent acquisition across multiple roles and functions. This is not only concentrated in the head office, but we are looking for talent across our 47 offices in the country. We also envision to empower local talents across the tier 2/3 cities. We are also looking at increasing our insurance advisor network, which is instrumental for consumer acquisition across the country. Along with these, we have plans for rapid expansion, nationally as well as internationally.
How do you envision the Indian market after the 2020 & 2021 pandemic years, and what kind of opportunity do you foresee for 2022?
The pandemic has given a huge push to the insurance sector since it created a lot of awareness amongst consumers who previously did not consider availing insurance. Consumers began to understand the importance of insurance and how it can benefit them in case of any unforeseen event/crisis. People without health insurance were adversely impacted as they had to shell out large amount of money from their life savings to cover their medical expenses, during the Covid pandemic. This truly enabled them to understand
the significance of insurance.
While accessibility is still a question when we consider it on a large scale, it is certainly improving. In terms of the opportunity, the insurance segment has plenty of scope for growth, and this will only increase further in the coming years. The insurance market is projected to reach a massive USD 150 billion by FY26. More and more companies are joining the InsurTech bandwagon, and with increased awareness, progress is sure to occur.
And lastly, a general question, is dependence on technology good or bad for customers? What is your message to the customers who are buying insurance online?
Digital is the way forward in the times to come, not just for insurance but for many other industries. Dependence on digital is good for consumers as digital has been solving the problem of availability and accessibility. However, when it comes to the insurance space, there is an overload of information which often tends to confuse consumers. Thus, in insurance, digital should not be used as the only source of information for understanding and buying insurance policies. Insurance should be driven by digital and insurance advisors as, insurance advisor guidance, even today is utmost important to make a consumer understand and guide in buying the right insurance policy. Every consumer has a different need and (only) digital cannot help in buying the accurate product which will suit their specific needs and requirements.