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How Turtlemint is driving insurance penetration

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While insurance industry’s penetration in India has been relatively low, compared to the western world, the onslaught of Covid-19 has proved to be a boon to the sector. 

Despite the economic disruption brought by the pandemic, the demand for insurance has picked up. It has become a necessity, rather than a mere choice, according to recent reports. IANS spoke to Dhirendra Mahyavanshi, Co-Founder & CEO, Turtlemint – an insuretech platform that is empowering insurance advisors with the right digital tools to pitch the apt insurance products to their clients. 

Q: India’s insurance penetration was pegged at 4.2 per cent in FY21, according to Swiss Re. With the huge untapped opportunity ahead, what does your business growth trajectory look like 4-5 years from now? 

A: Inarguably, insurance is an essential risk mitigation tool that should be prioritised by every individual. While insurance penetration in India is fairly low at 4.2 per cent in absolute terms, it is also low relative to the global average of 7.4 per cent. Clearly, the opportunity to scale up and drive insurance penetration in the country is immense. Correspondingly, Covid has underscored the relevance of having the right risk mitigation tools since it made all of us realise that life and health-related challenges are unpredictable and can have a significant impact on our journeys. We are very optimistic about the demand for insurance in the coming 4-5 years and beyond. 

To optimally capture this demand, we believe it is important to ensure that people have access to the right advice and the right insurance policies. We understand that insurance advisors are the most important segment in the insurance market and drive approximately 80 per cent of the sales. Technology, with its ability to reach the grassroots level and make insurance buying a seamless process, has inevitably become an important part of our solution. 

Thus, by empowering insurance advisors with the right set of digital tools, we aim to create 1 million financial advisors by 2025 and holistically drive insurance penetration in the country. We have already successfully embarked on this journey and in just five years, we have onboarded approximately 1.4 lakh insurance advisors who are spread across the length and breadth of the country in 14,000+ pin codes. 

Correspondingly, we have onboarded approximately 34 lakh customers, sold around 42 lakh policies, and processed claims more than Rs 30 crore. Through our TurtlemintPro app, advisors can access a wide array of digital tools that can help them upskill, digitally onboard clients, and recommend the right policies to the right people. 

Q: One of the main reasons why consumers are shifting their insurance buying online is because it offers transparency in plans, removes difficulties in claim filings and promotes education in helping them make better decisions. Please tell us about such specific initiatives at Turtlemint? 

A: Consumers today are well-informed and aware of what they want and how they want their products and services to be delivered. They do extensive research before buying any product or service, compare prices and platforms, and then make the purchase decision. This is true for insurance as well. To cater to a more discerning consumer, Turtlemint has established several offerings.

Firstly, Turtlemint has more than 45+ insurance companies and hundreds of products from which consumers can choose. 

Secondly, Turtlemint makes an effort to understand the profile of the consumer by asking a few simple questions depending on the insurance product the consumer wants to buy and recommends the suitable product via the policy recommender. There are also features to sort the recommended products based on the premium rates, include add-ons in the products, understand the list of network hospitals who offer cashless hospitalisaton for health insurance and much more. 

Thirdly, the insurance advisor can leverage the TurtlemintPro app to make recommendations, seamlessly onboard clients, and engage with the clients via SMS or email. Our advisors and customers can access scores of educational videos and text content to upskill and make more informed insurance decisions respectively. Further, Turtlemint also offers advisors lead management tools and marketing tools to promote themselves and grow their business. Most importantly, Turtlemint offers claim assistance to anyone who needs help irrespective of the policy being bought via Turtlemint or not. 

Q: The insurance advisor has a pivotal role to play in the insurance ecosystem. How have you empowered the insurance advisor? 

A: Advisors are the most important segment of the insurance ecosystem. They act as a conduit between insurance companies and consumers and are well-positioned to drive insurance penetration in the country. Thus, we understood early on that to achieve universal insurance, we must empower the insurance advisor with the right set of digital and educational tools. Our custom TurtlemintPro app enables advisors to optimally leverage technology and sell multiple insurance products of multiple companies through one single and multi-lingual application. Further, we have digitised the entire process of training, licensing, and verification, thereby enabling advisors to onboard customers in an efficient manner. 

AREAS OF VALUE ADDITION INCLUDE Help advisors share customised recommendations with their clients by taking into consideration their nuanced requirements. Built a comprehensive online skill development program for insurance advisors. The programme offers more than 70+ courses ranging from insurance advisor certification to personality development courses, sales skills, podcasts, etc. Support the advisor in business growth by providing access to a complete suite of products and information required to become a great insurance advisor. The TurtlemintPro app also provides relevant analytics and information on lead management and shares marketing tools like brochures, posters, own profile, etc. 

Q: What did cloud technology enable you to do that you couldn’t do before? 

A: AWS has been powering all our technology-related activities. It is both efficient and agile and allows us to seamlessly integrate all our technology solutions and activities. As a firm, we are witnessing exponential expansion and AWS has holistically been able to meet our growing demands. 

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India sets sights on $12 billion seafood exports in two years

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India is setting ambitious targets to bolster its seafood exports, aiming to reach $12 billion within the next two years, up from the current $8 billion, according to government officials. The focus will primarily be on high-end markets such as the United States and Europe, where India has already emerged as a significant supplier of seafood, particularly frozen shrimps.

The Commerce Ministry revealed that India has become the largest supplier of seafood, particularly frozen shrimps, to the United States, with exports doubling over eight years to reach $2.6 billion in the fiscal year 2022/23. Total frozen shrimp exports surged to $5.6 billion during the same period, as estimated by the Commerce Ministry.

Government officials emphasized the intention to prioritize value addition and supply to high-end markets, while also emphasizing good labor and environmental practices among exporters. They noted that shrimp farming presents a significant opportunity, providing employment to nearly 200,000 workers, primarily women in the Southern states like Andhra Pradesh. However, they cautioned that global demand for shrimp could remain subdued in the current fiscal year.

While acknowledging the emergence of China, the European Union, Southeast Asia, Japan, and Middle Eastern countries as major markets for India’s frozen shrimp, officials also highlighted the increasing popularity of other seafood products such as frozen fish, octopus, and cuttlefish among international buyers.

Addressing concerns raised by a report on exploitative labor practices in the shrimp export industry, officials dismissed the allegations as “baseless” and possibly driven by trade rivalry and interests within the U.S. industry. They assured that the Commerce Ministry would engage with seafood exporters and state governments to ensure compliance with buyer expectations and overseas consumer standards.

To address any lingering buyer concerns, officials suggested the possibility of conducting an independent study on working conditions within the industry. Additionally, the Federation of Indian Export Organization (FIEO), representing top exporters, reiterated that shrimp exporters were adhering to food safety and quality norms to meet the stringent requirements of importing nations, including the United States.

Overall, India’s seafood export sector is poised for significant growth, driven by targeted efforts to tap into high-value markets and ensure compliance with international standards, while also addressing concerns related to labor practices and quality assurance.

In conclusion, India’s ambitious plans to expand its seafood exports signify a promising trajectory for the nation’s economy. With a strategic focus on high-end markets and a commitment to value addition, the country is poised to capitalize on its growing dominance in the global seafood trade. Despite challenges such as fluctuating global demand and concerns over labor practices, Indian authorities are proactive in addressing issues and ensuring compliance with international standards, thereby bolstering the reputation and competitiveness of the nation’s seafood industry.

Looking ahead, the success of India’s seafood export ambitions will depend on sustained efforts to enhance product quality, foster innovation, and maintain transparent and ethical business practices. By leveraging its strengths in shrimp farming and diversifying its seafood offerings, India can solidify its position as a leading player in the global seafood market. With continued support from government agencies, industry stakeholders, and a focus on sustainability, India’s seafood export sector is poised to contribute significantly to the country’s economic growth and international trade footprint in the years to come.

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Global Capability Centres in India bullish on ESG agenda: Report

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Global Capability Centres (GCCs) in India are playing a pivotal role in advancing the environment, social and governance (ESG) agenda for global entities with 52 per cent of GCCs actively embracing the ESG agenda, while 70 per cent of these are advancing the tech agenda for ESG implementation. The EY India’s inaugural ‘ESG GCC Report 2024 with insights gathered from over 45 GCCs, highlights that GCCs are establishing dedicated teams to collaborate with global organisations for ESG initiatives, with major areas of support being in the enablement of processes, data and technology. Unveiling pivotal trends shaping the integration of ESG capabilities within these centres, the report highlights that 67 per cent GCCs are in the process of establishing internal sustainability strategies aimed at enhancing their ESG performance.

The centres are embedding ESG focus across capabilities such as project management, supplier risk management, reporting, technology, and analytics for their global entities. Arindam Sen, Partner and GCC Sector Leader finds GCCs take yet another step up the value chain. “With a robust commitment to ESG priorities, GCCs have the potential to drive transformative change and establish sustainable practices,” says Sen. The report emphasises that with global regulatory authorities prescribing ESG regulations, such as corporate social responsibility directive (CSRD) in EU and climate change disclosure rules in US, there is an immediate need for global companies to report on a broader set of ESG metrics and with greater accuracy. Over half of India’s GCCs are proactively adopting the ESG agenda, signalling a pivotal shift towards sustainable innovation and responsible growth.

The first ever edition of the EY ESG GCC Survey 2024 saw participation from 45 plus GCCs during the period December 2023 – January 2024. The survey was designed to assess key trends which are shaping how GCCs are anchoring the ESG capability. The study was conducted in two parts – the first part focused on gathering inputs from GCCs through a digital survey along with one-on-one interviews with select GCC leaders. This was followed by extensive data analysis coupled with insights from EY practitioners.

Among other key highlights from the report, is that GCCs are housing the global ESG agenda by anchoring essential functions such as reporting, risk management, project management, technology development and implementation, vendor management, business process excellence and automation. Close to half of the GCCs, constituting 48 per cent, are actively involved in sustainability reporting, project management and technical support. The report reveals that 70 per cent GCCs are partnering/intend to partner with technology related support and data analytics. This entails not only refining existing IT systems but also reimagining data integration methodologies to accommodate ESG considerations effectively.

The survey underscores four critical challenges that GCCs must address to successfully materialize ESG initiatives — ambiguity in ownership, lack of global stakeholder buy-in, scarcity of in-house skill sets, and inadequate know-how. Building strategies to overcome these challenges will be pivotal for GCCs’ ESG journey, the report suggests.

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Adani Green becomes first Indian company to surpass 10,000 mw renewable energy capacity

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AGEL’s 10,934 MW operational portfolio will power over 5.8 million homes, significantly reducing approximately 21 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

Adani Green Energy Limited (AGEL), a prominent player in India’s renewable energy sector, has achieved a significant milestone by surpassing 10,000 megawatts (MW) of operational portfolio. This achievement cements AGEL’s position as India’s largest and one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, as highlighted in a company statement released on Wednesday.

AGEL’s operational portfolio of 10,934 MW is poised to deliver reliable, affordable, and clean power to the national grid, thereby powering more than 5.8 million homes and contributing to a substantial reduction of approximately 21 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually.

The company’s Chairman, Mr. Gautam Adani, expressed pride in AGEL’s accomplishment, emphasizing its pivotal role in driving India’s transition towards clean, reliable, and affordable energy. He underscored AGEL’s commitment to facilitating this transition at a rapid pace, stating, “In our drive towards 45,000 MW by 2030, we are building the world’s largest renewable energy plant in Khavda—a 30,000 MW project unparalleled on the global stage.”

The Khavda solar park in Gujarat is a testament to AGEL’s commitment to scaling up renewable energy infrastructure. Spanning across 538 square kilometers, the plant is a monumental endeavor, equivalent to five times the size of Paris and nearly as vast as Mumbai.

AGEL has demonstrated its prowess by operationalizing 2,000 MW of cumulative solar capacity within a mere 12 months of commencing work on the Khavda project, showcasing its efficiency and project execution capabilities.

Furthermore, AGEL’s operating portfolio is distinguished by its adherence to sustainable practices. The company’s commitment to enhancing natural and social capital is reflected in its certified ‘single-use plastic free,’ ‘zero waste-to-landfill,’ and ‘water positive for plants with more than 200 MW capacity’ operations.

The company’s unwavering focus on sustainability aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, water stewardship, waste management, circular economy, biodiversity management, and climate action.

AGEL’s success story is not just limited to achieving operational milestones but also encompasses its ability to set industry benchmarks and redefine standards. Leveraging the collective strengths of its subsidiaries and strategic partners, AGEL continues to drive innovation, efficiency, and sustainability across its operations. As India’s largest renewable energy company, AGEL’s achievements underscore the country’s commitment to accelerating the adoption of clean energy and combating climate change. The company’s ambitious targets and relentless pursuit of excellence position it as a global leader in the renewable energy sector, with the potential to catalyze transformative change on a giga scale.

In a nutshell, Adani Green Energy Limited’s remarkable achievement of surpassing 10,000 MW of operational portfolio underscores its pivotal role in India’s renewable energy landscape. With a steadfast commitment to sustainability, innovation, and efficiency, AGEL is not only driving India’s clean energy transition but also setting global benchmarks in the renewable energy sector. As the company continues to scale up its operations and pursue ambitious targets, its impact on mitigating climate change and promoting a sustainable future for generations to come is undeniable. AGEL’s success serves as a testament to India’s potential to lead the way towards a greener and more prosperous tomorrow.

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TVS Motors posts highest ever sales in FY24 at 41.9 lakh units in March

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Chennai based TVS Motor Company registered a 12 per cent yoy growth in wholesales in March 2024, increasing from 317,152 units in March 2023 to 354,592 units last month. During the fourth quarter of the financial year 2023-24, two-wheeler of the company registered a growth of 23 per cent with sales increasing from 8.40 lakh units in the fourth quarter of financial year 2022-23 to 10.32 lakh units while during the financial year 2023- 24, the company registered a growth of 14 per cent with total sales increasing from 36.82 lakh units in FY 2022- 23 to 41.91 lakh units.

In March 2024, total two-wheelers registered a growth of 12 per cent with sales increasing from 307,559 units in the month of March 2023 to 344,446 units in March 2024. Domestic two-wheeler registered growth of 8% with sales increasing from 240,780 units in March 2023 to 260,532 units in March 2024. The motorcycle segment registered a growth of 22 per cent with sales increasing from 141,250 units in March 2023 to 171,611 units in March 2024 and scooter a growth of 2 per cent with sales increasing from 128,817 units in March 2023 to 131,472 units in March 2024.

The company achieved the highest Vahan retails in March 2024. Electric vehicle dispatches are moderated for smooth transition into the new EV incentive scheme from the Government. The EV recorded sales of 15,250 units in March 2024 as against sales of 15,364 units in March 2023. Three-wheeler sales of the company registered a growth of 6 per cent with sales increasing from 9,593 units in March 2023 to 10,146 units in March 2024. On the international business front, the company’s total exports registered a growth of 23 per cent with sales increasing from 75,037 units in March 2023 to 91,972 units in March 2024.

Two-wheeler exports registered a growth of 26 per cent with sales increasing from 66,779 units in March 2023 to 83,914 units in March 2024. During the fourth quarter of the financial year 2023-24, three-wheeler of the company registered a growth of 4 per cent with sales increasing from 0.29 lakh units in the fourth quarter of financial year 2022-23 to 0.30 lakh units in the fourth quarter of the financial year 2023-24.

Total exports registered a growth of 40 per cent with sales increasing from 1.85 lakh units in the last quarter of FY 2022-23 to 2.50 lakh units in the current quarter. In FY24, two-wheeler sales of the company registered a growth of 15% with sales increasing from 35.12 Lakh units in FY 2022-23 to 40.45 Lakh units in FY 2023-24. Three-wheeler of the company registered 1.46 lakh units in FY 2023-24 as against 1.69 Lakh units in FY 2022-23. Total exports registered 10.13 lakh units sales in FY 2023-24 as against 10.68 lakh units in FY 2022-23.

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APSEZ handled 420 MMT cargo globally, domestic ports +408 MMT in FY24

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Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ), has handled 420 MMT cargo in FY24 — an increase of 24 per cent yoy – and this includes international ports, with domestic ports contributing over 408 MMT cargo. The company has also handled its highest ever monthly cargo volumes (including international ports) of over 38 MMT in March 2024. Ten of its ports and terminals handled record cargo volumes — Mundra 180 MMT, Tuna 10 MMT, Hazira 26 MMT, Mormugao 5 MMT, Karaikal 12 MMT, Ennore 13 MMT, Kattupalli 12 MMT, Krishnapatnam 59 MMT, Gangavaram 37 MMT and Dhamra 43 MMT.

During FY24, more than one-fourth of all India cargo volumes was routed through APSEZ ports, a mark of its active role in driving India’s growth trajectory. It also shows that India’s largest port operator comfortably surpassed its cargo volume guidance of 370 MMT – 390 MMT provided at the start of the financial year. According to Karan Adani, Managing Director, APSEZ, while it took 14 years for the company to achieve the first 100 MMT of annual cargo throughput, the second and third 100 MMT throughputs were achieved in 5 years and 3 years and the latest 100 MMT mark has been achieved in less than two years.

“This is a testament to our ongoing commitment and efforts towards enhancing operational efficiencies,” said Adani. A key approach was partnerships with customers which has ensured long-term associations with key stakeholders. Supported by investment in world-class infrastructure that has delivered a high level of operating efficiency and a business model focused on providing an end-to-end solution through last mile connectivity, APSEZ has managed to successfully win customers and improve its market share.

These were achieved despite multiple challenges, such as the global trade disruptions caused by the Red Sea crisis, the Russia-Ukraine conflict and issues at the Panama Canal, and disruption of operations due to cyclone biparjoy and cyclone michaung. This year saw APSEZ achieving various new operational milestones. Its flagship port Mundra became the first in India to handle 16 MMT cargo in a single month (October 2023). Its container terminal CT-3 achieved a milestone of becoming the first in India to handle 3 million TEUs during the year and around 3 lakh TEUs in a single month (November 2023).

It berthed the largest-ever vessel at any Indian port (around 399 m-long and 54 m-wide) and handled the highest number of TEUs (16,569) on a single ship, MV MSC Livorno, surpassing the national best of 16,400 TEUs. It handled over 4,300 vessels, crossing its previous record of 3,938 vessels. In the container segment, the ports at Mundra, Hazira, Kattupalli and Ennore handled record volumes. Around 44 per cent of the containerized seaborne cargo in India moves through APSEZ ports.

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Indian IT Sector Set for AI-Driven Global Advancement: Experts

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to revolutionize the Indian IT sector, propelling it to new heights in global services, asserted Prakash Jain, the Executive Chairman of Inspira Enterprise India Ltd, during his address at the Lokmat Global Economic Convention in Singapore on Thursday. Jain emphasized that AI would constitute the most significant transformation within the Indian IT sector. He highlighted that the sector had exported services worth USD 270 billion the previous year, attributing this success to robust government backing for technological industries, which has streamlined business operations in India.

Speaking at a panel discussion titled “Taking India to the pinnacle of World economy – A Road Map,” Jain underscored India’s increasingly educated and skilled workforce, particularly in cutting-edge technologies. He emphasized that providing the right skills to people also unlocks numerous opportunities. Jain’s cyber security company, with offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Dubai (UAE), Dallas (US), and Manila (The Philippines), is engaged in big data analytics, AI, and cybersecurity. Jain commended the rapid digitalization in India, citing advancements in technology and manufacturing that enabled tech giant Apple to export mobile phones worth Rs 1 trillion in the last 12 months.

He projected a potential increase in Apple exports to Rs 5 trillion in the upcoming year, fueled by India’s semiconductor companies venturing into chip-based manufacturing for advanced technologies. Vishal Chordia, Director of Suhana Pravin Masalewala, echoed Jain’s sentiments, asserting that AI would permeate every aspect of life. Chordia dismissed concerns about AI eliminating jobs, predicting that AI implementation would empower workers with comprehensive knowledge and information. Expounding on India’s economic progress, Chordia highlighted the global promotion of millets as a healthy food option since its introduction on the international stage last year. India proposed the International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023, which was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

The government has been at the forefront of celebrating IYM, according to the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. Chordia emphasized the joint efforts of brands and the government in promoting millets by disseminating information about healthy foods. He cited the increased awareness leading to greater consumption of millets globally, positioning millet as a staple food choice. Chordia noted that young Indians are increasingly health-conscious, considering dietary preferences while selecting food, making millets a preferred food option in the coming years. Regarding the prospects of the food industry in India, he mentioned that his company, Suhana Pravin, is experiencing an annual growth rate of 26-30 per cent.

Jain commended India’s accelerated pace of digitalization, citing advancements in technology and manufacturing that enabled tech giant Apple to export mobile phones worth Rs 1 trillion over the past year. He also highlighted the potential for further growth in Apple exports, particularly as India’s semiconductor companies venture into chip-based manufacturing for advanced technologies. During a panel discussion themed “Taking India to the pinnacle of World economy – A Road Map,” Jain underscored India’s growing pool of educated and skilled workforce capable of driving innovation in top-tier technologies. He emphasized that empowering people with the right skills also brings forth numerous opportunities. Jain’s cybersecurity company, operating from key locations such as Mumbai, Delhi, Dubai (UAE), Dallas (US), and Manila (The Philippines), specializes in big data analytics, AI, and cybersecurity. Vishal Chordia, Director of Suhana Pravin Masalewala, echoed Jain’s sentiments, asserting that AI would become ubiquitous in people’s lives in various forms. Dismissing concerns about AI’s job displacement effects, Chordia predicted that AI implementation would equip workers with comprehensive knowledge and empower them.

Expanding on India’s economic progress, Chordia emphasized the global promotion of millets as a healthy food option since its international debut last year. India’s proposal for the International Year of Millets (IYM) 2023, accepted by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), has played a pivotal role in raising awareness globally, as acknowledged by the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare. At a global economic convention held here on Thursday, a senior official from a cybersecurity firm expressed confidence that Artificial Intelligence (AI) would propel the Indian IT sector to new heights in global services. Prakash Jain, the Executive Chairman of Inspira Enterprise India Ltd, emphasized the transformative potential of AI within the Indian IT landscape.

Speaking at the Lokmat Global Economic Convention in Singapore, Jain highlighted the substantial contributions of the Indian IT sector, noting its USD 270 billion worth of service exports in the previous year. He attributed this success to robust government backing for the technology sector, which has significantly eased business operations in India. Chordia highlighted collaborative efforts between brands and the government in promoting millets by disseminating information about healthy foods. He anticipated that increased awareness would drive higher consumption of millets globally, positioning them as a staple food choice.

Additionally, Chordia noted the growing health consciousness among young Indians, who prioritize nutritional factors when choosing food, making millets a preferred option in the years to come. Regarding the food industry outlook in India, he mentioned that his company, Suhana Pravin, is experiencing robust annual growth ranging from 26% to 30%.

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