Marsh India CEO says Indian Market is Touted to be #1 Growth Driver in Entire APAC Region
Spending 16 years heading a company as its CEO is a feat full of self-discovery and learning.
Sanjay Kedia, the Country Head and CEO of Marsh India Insurance, who has been at the helm of Marsh India since 2002 spoke to Entrepreneur Asia Pacific to talk more about Marsh India’s work and the crux at which India’s insurance industry stands, waiting to match the world.
How the Ecosystem Looks Like
Kedia believes in India, brokers have the opportunity to be a trusted advisor and start truly representing the customer and its emerging needs while globally, broking channel is a dominant channel and brokers have been adapting to changes in customer needs to maintain their relevance. This includes maintaining highest standards of professionalism, evolving their operating model, expanding service offerings, creating niche and new markets, focusing on technology and operational efficiency, and exploring new avenues of growth.
In this scaling digital economy, the risks faced by policyholders are changing thinks Kedia.
“Creation of innovative solutions that keep pace with emerging risks is the need of the hour. Competitive pricing is no longer the only criterion for policyholders due to a growing emphasis on quality of service offerings and add-ons. This clearly emphasizes the need for brokers to expand their role as Trusted Risk Advisors,” says Kedia.
According to him, the creation of value for the policyholder lies at the core of the insurance business. This changing insurance landscape demands for innovation from brokers and insurers on various aspects like policy wordings, claims management, technology platforms etc that can benefit the policyholders in terms of contract certainty, increased efficiency and transparency in the claims management process.
How Will Indian Insurance Industry Flourish
The Harvard graduate believes the insurance industry in India is at a critical juncture, with potential for significant growth and this potential can only be realised by proactive and collaborative actions by all the stakeholders — insurers, brokers, regulator and others.
The role of all the stakeholders in an increasingly multi-channel distribution environment has become more critical and challenging. Consequently, collaboration of all the players can be a key to address those challenges and devise a roadmap for future growth keeping customer satisfaction and protection at its core.
He feels insurers and brokers need to collaborate at different levels and different ways in order to optimize the value chain and leverage their respective assets to maximize value to policyholders.
Only by working together insurers and brokers will be able to best address policyholder needs. A broker partner will not only help an insurer accessing policyholders’ current and evolving risk management needs, but also in designing innovative and customized insurance solutions to meet most of those needs.
Insurers are the ones who invest in tools and technology to support future industry growth, but along with brokers, they also strive to maximise the value proposition for policyholders. Thus better collaboration will ensure that the industry as a whole evolves and innovates, to develop new products and services to address the fast-changing needs of policyholders some of which are captured below:
Lastly, if the principle of free market is encouraged then it would be more policyholder centric and will keep the rates competitive which is imperative for a thriving industry.
The APAC Win
He believes huge opportunity lies for Reinsurance which opened up in India since 2017.
With its ideal location at the heart of Asia and in close proximity to the Middle East region, Southeast Asia and Chinese markets, it can take on the role of a reinsurance hub for Asia. By allowing foreign reinsurers to set up branches, the IRDAI will have better control over the working of reinsurers as well as make available the technical skills for assessing the risk to the foreign reinsurers’ local outfits.
As on July 2018, over 10 foreign reinsurers including Lloyd’s have opened their operations in India.
According to Sigma report, in terms of premium income India ranks 15th among the non-life insurance sector and 10th for life insurance sector globally.
India is one the fastest-growing economy in the world hence it will remain a very important market in APAC region thinks Kedia.
However, having said that India ranks 31st in the world in term of insurance penetration, with non-life insurance it is 0.93% and for life insurance it is 2.76 per cent. India is expected to grow by over 7 per cent in the next two financial years; hence considering the low penetration of insurance, the Indian market is likely to be one of the key growth drivers in the entire APAC region.