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COVID-19: Max Life sells over twenty four thousand policies using the digital-offline combo

Using a combination of offline and digital medium, Max Life sold more than twenty four thousand policies in the last week of March. The salesforce has come to speed with digital selling and the company is also investing more in upskilling them, says Suhail Ghai, EVP & Head – Information Technology, Max Life Insurance to EC’s Abhishek Raval

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Max Life Insurance is the fourth largest life insurer in the country. Recently Axis Bank’s board approved to acquire 29 percent stake in the company. Due to the lockdown, Max Life has renewed the focus on digital sales and has trained approximately thirty five thousand employees on digital sales.

Max Life Insurance has historically invested in remote infrastructure. A secure VDI, VPN infrastructure was already operational. Secondly, in a pre-emptive action, the company had procured additional digital assets, in the background of the way the coronavirus was spreading globally. “Thus as soon as the lockdown was announced, we were able to get over seven thousand employees to work from home, with close to three thousand concurrent connections,” says Suhail Ghai, EVP & Head – Information Technology, Max Life Insurance.

The backend links were upgraded to support the surge in the number of employees accessing the network remotely. A novel way was employed towards that end. “We used the DR and datacentre links to almost triple our existing capacities. Over six hundred laptops were procured and home delivered to the employees and all of this was done in just 4-5 days,” informs Ghai.

The financial year end is in the month of March and the proactive approach resulted in achieving over eighty percent efficiency with respect to the business transactions in the same period. The company’s partners – both working remotely and inhouse were also enabled appropriately with implementing their BCP. The shared services team worked effectively with them – be it about getting the epasses or about shipping them the right devices.

Servicing customers 
The customers can be viewed in two ways – customer servicing and new business acquisition. As with other businesses, Max Life too faced difficulties in adapting to a situation, which involves a complete breakdown of physical interaction between the customers and the company. However, the agents were able to quickly adjust themselves to the new reality. “Using a combination of offline and digital medium, we sold more than twenty four thousand policies in the last week of March. The salesforce has come to speed with digital selling and the company is also investing more in upskilling them. On the customer servicing side, the total transactions have increased on the digital channel by over fifty percent since the lockdown. The customer queries are addressed through WhatsApp, IVR, chabot and the website,” informs Suhail.

The company’s swiftness in procuring digital assets and the salesforce to be able to get a hang of digital selling quickly helped in making the rebound. Moreover the data processing centres were unaffected because of proactive steps taken with the outsourcing partners to work on their BCP. For certain users, data cards were also procured because they didn’t had a good last mile bandwidth.

Going forward
Companies will try and optimise costs in keeping-the-lights-on infrastructure and investments will flow more into the digitisation efforts and the associated platforms. “We will invest more in the digital assets to engage with the customers. Whatever skills are required to fulfill the strategy, will be hired,” says Suhail.

When asked about organising the necessary initiatives to keep the information security and privacy intact, Suhail says all the necessary action will be taken for securing the digital assets.

How various insurance companies respondend to COVID-19
ICICI Lombard
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
ICICI Direct
Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance
PNB MetLife Insurance
SBI General Insurance
IndiaFirst Life Insurance
Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance
Shriram General Insurance

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