How leap-frogging technology can help reshape the insurance industry in India – S. V. Ramanan, CEO-CAMSRep

10-second takeaway: Technology is evolving rapidly and many insurance organizations are challenged to keep up the pace.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce & Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) held the 10th edition of their Global Insurance Summit on the 22nd of September, 2017. This event was held at the Hotel Taj Land Ends, Mumbai, and hosted key stakeholders and thought leaders in the insurance industry. The discussions held at this event aimed to highlight the impact of technology on the insurance industry.

S. V. Ramanan, CEO-CAMSRep was part of a panel discussion at this event where they discussed “The impact of technology on the life cycle of products, lead generation, acquisition, KYC and service settlement”. This discussion was also attended by R. M. Vishakha, Samrat Das, Trevor Bull and Srinivasa D (Moderator). This panel discussion focused on how technology has disrupted the insurance industry impacting their product lifespans, lead generations and service standards. Technology is growing by leaps and bounds, and industries such as insurance need to be prepared to adapt to these developments. Innovations such as these would require the vendors to modify their offerings and would improve the expectations of their customers.

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During this panel discussion, S. V. Ramanan highlighted the pace at which technologies have evolved and how many insurance organizations are now being challenged to keep up with these changes. Further into the discussion, he spoke about how insurance repositories have turned into a platform which would help insurers underwrite better and identify gaps much faster. Along these lines, not only has CAMSRep has worked on improving Customer Service and Claims, it also has deployed predictive analytics to help improve persistency for life insurance companies.

In simpler terms, it helps companies simplify the customer on-boarding process. He further added that CAMSRep makes the most optimal use of current technologies rather than awaiting potential future developments. We have all seen success in cases where social media has helped allocate agents to potential customers. A similar focus helps these agents have conversations with customers beyond insurance products, in turn, building a level of trust and a better bond.

In the end, the key takeaway from the panel discussion was that technology is evolving rapidly leading to process improvement while opening new avenues for customer engagement. It is critical for insurance organizations to keep up with these developments so as to ensure customer centricity and business growth.

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Cafémutual Confluence, 2017 – Anuj Kumar, COO – Asset Management Services, on how there is a need to improve the number of distributors

10-second takeaway: There is a dire need to better train the distributors to understand and utilize the technology at their disposal to better meet constantly evolving customer expectations.

Cafémutual Confluence is the largest mutual fund distributor conference in India, attracting close to 400 distributors, and many other thought leaders and stakeholders across the industry. The sixth edition of the event was held on September 22nd at the Sahara Star, Mumbai with “Play big, think bold” as the central theme. The deliberations aimed to set the agenda for AMCs and distributors to work together to expand the industry and set new standards.

Anuj Kumar, COO-Asset Management Services, CAMS participated in a panel discussion at this event. The topic of this discussion was “Reinventing Distribution – Top distributors will look at how regulatory actions, evolving customer expectations, and technology will require a re-engineering of the distribution/advisory model”. This discussion was also attended by Dhruv Mehta, Jignesh Desai, Nitin Singh, Rajesh Krishnamoorthy, Suresh Sadagopan and Sanjay Sapre (Moderator). The focus of this discussion was the decrease in the total number of serious intermediaries and the dire need to have a mechanism to improve the number of distributors. The need to improve this solely rested on the vacuum that exists due to the availability of data but the lack of actionable insights. Revamping the distribution model to attract and train smarter distributors would help AMCs and other stakeholders improve the sales of their offerings. In short, there is a dire need to better train the distributors to understand and utilize the technology at their disposal to better meet constantly evolving customer expectations.

During this panel discussion, it was noted that inflows were coming in primarily from existing investors and a few newly added investors. Some of the suggestions made to increase the number and quality of distributors were:

  • Create an ecosystem comprising of the AMFI and the IFA which promoting it as a full-time profession.
  • Engage with the government and introduce mutual fund distribution in commerce and economics courses.
  • Highlight the enormous potential the business holds, to prospective entrants.
  • Instill a sense of pride in distribution – ensure that distributors understand that they are delivering an important service and that they are engaged in a ‘noble profession’.

During this panel discussion, Anuj Kumar underscored the need for a ‘superior enablement’. He went on to further highlight that this would entail imparting the right training and providing distributors with intelligence as to where the wealth and surplus lay. This training would comprise improving distributors’ ability to sell, developing their presentation skills, and ensuring they get the right inputs and pointers to succeed in the field. This would ensure that distributors not only feel more confident but also realize that they’re well appreciated by the IFA community.

72% of life insurance policies are not continued beyond five years: Know why

For the insurance industry as a whole, persistency ratio is crucial from the standpoint of customer retention and profitability. Persistency rate is the percentage of the insurer’s total insurance policies that remain in force without being lapsed. In simpler terms, it is the total percentage of all written policies that are renewed by the insured annually. For insurers, the effect of policy lapses is much larger. The lower the persistency ratio, the higher the operating expense ratio. The problem of low persistency is deeply entrenched and requires addressing product design, customer relationship management, and agents’ selling practices.

In 2015-16, the average persistency rate for life insurance policies in the 13th month was just 61% according to the IRDAI. This is quite an alarming state as compared to the global average of 90% for the same time period. This rate reduces to just 28% in the fifth year indicating the sharp decline in renewals on these policies. This low persistency rate is acutely low and is clearly hurting insurers. However, the influencers of persistency rate are all three key stakeholders: insurers, agents and customers. The question that arose next was about how we can improve the persistence rate in our offerings.

CAMSRep’s iCARE is a proprietary solution that was built to improve persistency for the life insurance industry. It enables the upload of data from insurer systems, analytics, seamless call centre operation and campaign management.  Its feature-rich tools provides insightful dashboards and real-time metrics to the operations team. The inbuilt communication engine/capabilities ensures updated to policy-holders through their choice of channels. This solution helps CAMSRep’s clients improve their CRM and identify areas of development. With the power of real-time data, insurers can now modify their offerings and services to provide the best experience to their customers. It provides analytics that help identify customer segments that aid in call prioritization and offers the customer’s unique history with the particular insurer. This further funnels into database enrichment and MIS, helping manage productivity and customer satisfaction. But the functionality of this solution is not just in identifying areas of development and offering solutions, but in helping resolve them directly with the customers. The communication channels currently offered by iCARE are SMS, email, phone calls and letters. The choice of medium rests with the client.

The revolutionary and industry-leading capabilities of CAMSRep’s iCARE was nominated and won the award in the Best Newcomer category in the recently held Asia Insurance Technology Awards, 2017.

CAMSRep is an IRDAI licensed insurance repository offering its services to a large number of insurers in India. With over 8 years’ experience in this field, CAMSRep helps policy holders buy and keep insurance policies in electronic form. In addition to this, CAMSRep also offers its expertise as a business solutions partner to large insurers.

 

Suresh Kuppuswamy, CEO, Sterling Software, speaks about the future of Bitcoins, Blockchain and Distributed Autonomous Organizations at TiE event.

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A TiE-Chennai event titled “Bitcoins, Blockchain and Distributed Autonomous Organisations” was held on 24th May, 2017 at IITMRP. The event was moderated by Mr. Suresh Kuppuswamy, CEO, Sterling Software Pvt Ltd (a CAMS subsidiary). The focus of the event was to discuss:

  •   The evolution of blockchain and bitcoin
  •   The reasons for a transition from centralised
    organisations to distributed autonomous organisations
  •    Applications of the blockchain beyond Fintech
  •    Future of organisations and the role of
    Blockchains

 

The two blockchain technologies experts in
attendance were:

  •  Mr. Karthik Iyer, India Ambassador, P2P Foundation
  •  Mr. J Mohamed Zahoor, Software Developer, Ethereum Foundation

 

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and digital payment system that has attracted the attention of financial systems worldwide and sent ripples across the financial sector. This system was created in 2008 by an anonymous person identified as Satoshi Nakamoto and was released as open-source software in 2009. According to a recent research by Cambridge University, there are between 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin. The transactions take place between users directly and do not rely on a central repository or single administrator. Instead, these are verified by network nodes and recorded on a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Due to this, bitcoins have become the first decentralised digital currency.

 

The event first addressed the concepts of bitcoins and blockchains, and mapped their impact on a larger scale before moving on to the importance of distributed ledger systems and how they might affect the centralised systems in existence today. Bitcoin, blockchain and other decentralized data technologies are not just changing the way some people transact and share data but could also transform the way global data is stored, shared and consumed. Their emergence and proliferation into the mainstream is set to create a radical shift in business, the social web and even in digital governance.

 

Sterling Software is a leading technology and software solution provider, largely for the mutual fund industry in India and overseas. They design software solutions and products to keep pace with today’s changing market place. Its software applications and products, support all participants in the MF industry, be it the fund house, the distributor and/or the investor. In addition to that, Sterling Software has a large pool of in-house expertise to regularly develop appropriate and advanced technology requirements. Their products have won various awards, including three consecutive “Best Financial App” from the Global Mobile App Summit & Awards for “myCAMS”.

 

About Sterling Software

 Sterling

Sterling Software Pvt. Ltd. is a software enterprise based in Chennai, India, offering products and services in a range of industries, with its specialty being finance and mutual funds. It is an associate of Computer Age Management Services (P) Ltd. (CAMS), India’s premier mutual fund transfer agency trading over 60% of mutual fund transactions in India.
Sterling Software is the company behind the software innovations offered by CAMS in the mutual fund space in India. The same technological expertise that powered the mobile apps, business analytics tools, lean software, transaction processing capabilities of more than 15 resource-intensive, mission-critical and time-sensitive mutual funds are now available for your business.

CAMSRep CEO leads a discussion on the power of creating your own market at the 2nd Annual Insurance India Summit and Awards 2017

 

For the insurance industry to evolve, it needs to cater to the needs of the digitised population. Of late, insurers have derived growth mainly by improvising product offerings as per people’s aspirations, adopting vibrant distribution channels and reaching out to potential customers through targeted promotional activities. Some of the factors expected to propel the growth of this industry are the ever-growing middle class, expanding working age population and increasing disposable income levels. Additionally, the Government of India’s initiatives that work towards attaining financial inclusion are expected to further offer support for this growth.

 

Given the increased focus on the customer, the “2nd Annual Insurance India Summit and Awards, 2017” held in Mumbai served as a platform for industry stakeholders to discuss how they can realize the potential of the sector in the digital age. The theme for this summit was “Future crafting the Insurance Industry” which covered several themes including:

  •  The ongoing changes in the 3C’s of the insurance industry – cost, customer and competitors
  •   Consumer values
  •   Re-insurance
  •   Technological disruptions
  •   Digitisation

 

These points of discussion were evaluated from the insurance industry’s perspective to help key players build operational excellence and work towards developing new products.

 

A key highlight at the event was a panel discussion on “The power of creating your own market-marketing and innovation, when two worlds collide”, moderated by Mr. S V Ramanan, CEO, CAMSRep.  The eminent panellists discussed a wide spectrum of topics such as

  •  Having a digital marketing presence that sells
  •  How to make competition irrelevant – rethinking marketing strategy
  •  Increasing investments in technology and digitization to create a harmonious ecosystem for all stakeholders
  •  Evolution of business from survive to thrive in a disruptive marketplace

 

The panel comprised distinguished industry experts such as  Shalabh Saxena, Chief Operating Officer, Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance,  Gunjan Ghai, Senior Vice President – Brand & Marketing and Product Development, SBI General Insurance,  Anamika Roy Rashtrawar, Senior President, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, Ashish Rao, SVP & Head – Customer Service, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance and Mr.  S. V. Ramanan, CEO & MD, CAMSRep who moderated the discussion.

 

Other prominent guests at this event included:

  •   Vinit Goenka, CMO & CRIS Centre for Railway Head – Digital Information System
  •   K Sanath Kumar, CMD, National Insurance Company
  •   Tapan Singhei, MD & CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
  •   Ashish Mehrotra, MD & CEO, Max Bupa Health Insurance
  •   Krishnan Chatterjee, Head of Marketing, SAP Indian Subcontinent

 

About CAMSRep

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CAMSRep is an Insurance Repository that helps policy holders open unique eInsurance Accounts (eIA), letting them hold all their policies in electronic form, under a single account. Electronic policies are convenient and safe, eliminating the risk of damage and loss of documents.

CAMSRep also acts as a single point of service for all ePolicies held by a policy holder, making it convenient to get service on demand – policy holders don’t really need to go to multiple agents or insurance companies for their service requirements in respect to each of their ePolicies.

Apart from repository services, CAMSRep also provides outsourcing services to multiple Insurance Companies in accordance with IRDAI regulations. We serve some of the leaders in the insurance industry and our service excellence has helped our clients deliver superior service to their customers.

Opex in BFSI Summit 2017

Recently, Senior Vice President – New Business Mr. Abhishek Mishra was invited as a panelist at “Opex in BFSI Summit 2017” which concluded on 22-23 of June 2017 at Holiday Inn Mumbai International Airport Hotel.

At the event, Mr. Abhishek reiterated how CAMS, as a solutions partner to the BFSI industry for over 2 decades, has been focussing on design and development of technology solutions/interfaces that reflect the changing expectations of the retail customers. He also discussed how the BFSI eco system is likely to evolve over the next few years, given the convergence of technology, e-commerce practices, fintech innovations and the strengths of traditional BFSI players.

The Distinguished Guest List

Other eminent guests at the event:

About Abhishek Mishra, Senior Vice President

Abhishek has 20+ years of multinational experience in the business services industry and leads the Banking/NBFC, Electronic Payment Systems and other emerging B2C growth areas at CAMS.

He has handled key leadership roles in Change and Strategy, large Profit Center Operations, Business Development, Finance and Transformations. Abhishek is an Engineer with a MBA from IIM Lucknow, Certified PMP and Six Sigma Black Belt. He has worked with ISGN, Accenture, Washington Mutual Bank, GE and Indian Railways.

About CAMS:

CAMS Logo High Resolution

Computer Age Management Services (CAMS) is India’s premier Mutual Fund Transfer Agency serving over 62% of assets of the industry across 15 Mutual Funds. Leveraging superior technology, CAMS brings several innovative services to Mutual Fund investors and distributors. CAMS is also a service partner to leading Insurance Companies, Banks, NBFCs and Alternate Investment Funds. To know more visit www.camsonline.com

CAMS Business Intelligence presented at the MicroStrategy Summit

Technology and Business Intelligence have become integral to enabling growth in major industrial sectors in the country and the Indian Mutual Fund industry is no exception. Keeping In line with the rising interest in BI, US-based leading analytics technology platform MicroStrategy, recently organised an international MicroStrategy Symposia Series. The Symposia spread across the globe, served as a forum for experts to share industry insights and best practices.  Anuj Kumar – Chief Operating Officer, Asset Management Services, CAMS and N. Ramakrishnan – Chief Information Officer, CAMS represented the organisation and delivered the keynote address at the Bangalore edition of the symposia series. The event was attended by the crème de la crème of the Information Technology and Business Intelligence industry, including Michael J Saylor, CEO MicroStrategy.

BI services for the MF industry

Computer Age Management Services (CAMS), as a pioneering organization in technology based Mutual Fund investor & intermediary services space in India, had the scientific insight to envisage the business advantage of leveraging data trends in the Mutual Fund industry, early on.

Focused on building several layers of value over and above the core RTA service to bring about a unique value delivery model, CAMS instituted Business Intelligence services derived via Aggregated Data Repository, that compute and interpret valuable industry insights.

MFDEx CAMS data bureau services

MFDEx CAMS data bureau services, which tracks about 92 per cent of the MF industry, has been providing seamless services availed not only by CAMS serviced funds but also those served by competitors, setting new benchmarks for BI services in the MF industry.

Technically, MFDEx is the most comprehensive Data Bureau service designed to present rich, accurate Mutual Fund data in an intelligent structure using multi-dimensional parameterisation.

CAMS deploys MicroStrategy for BI services owing to the former’s good mobile capability and strong mobility strategy, transaction write back facility, outstanding visualization capability and good, flexible partner network.

CAMSsmart

Powered by MFDEx and MicroStrategy, CAMS has moved on to provide ‘CAMSsmart’ a customised BI service that transforms raw data into actionable insights. Some of the services provided by CAMSsmart include:

    • Business performance tracking
    • Sales Team performance monitoring, reporting, benchmarking
    • Incentive administration
    • Predictive Analytics; What-if scenarios
    • Sales forecasting

CAMS mfCRM+

mfCRM+ fundamentally a powerful mobility solution combining the power of CRM and Analytics, is yet another innovation from CAMS’ BI services suite. It has been implemented with 450+ users with a large AMC and soon to go-live with 2 mid-sized AMCs.

What next – the road ahead

With flourishing prospects for the MF industry, CAMS is now working towards next-gen BI services that are focused on cutting-edge technology offerings that are to benefit distributors, sales and selling strategies.