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Omnichannel Strategy Strong on Policybazaar's Mind: Yashish Dahiya With insurance having traditionally been a physical meet-and-greet industry, the new players are nailing the tech side, but know the value of not taking the age-old system lightly

By Paromita Gupta

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Yashish Dahiya, Chairman & CEO, PB Fintech

"For the last 16 years, all we have done is educated people to buy more health insurance, buy more term insurance, because if, God forbid, the worst happens, nobody will help you like insurance helps you," shared Yashish Dahiya, Chairman & Group CEO, PB Fintech PIC with Entrepreneur India. This focus on its core concerns rather than the tag it gets has made the 2008-founded startup have an m-cap of INR 48,763.81 crore. Since inception the startup has been working towards offering end-to-end insurance and credit solutions to consumers.

And now, Dahiya and the team are looking to further strengthen Policybazaar's omnichannel presence for its customers. Having started his career in industrial sales, he knows the value of personal touch, "If I knew five decision-makers who were gonna buy some industrial machinery, I would like to meet or talk to all five of them."

With insurance having traditionally been a physical meet-and-greet industry, the new players are nailing the tech side, but know the value of not taking the age-old system lightly. "Other people are meeting you anyway. So if we don't meet you, we will lose 80% of our sales," he adds.

The insurance industry has seen catapulting growth in the past two decades. As of February 2023, it is valued at INR 59 lakh crore , according to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).

PB Fintech launched its first flagship brand Policybazaar in 2008 with the aim of responding to consumers' need for more awareness, choice and transparency. And in 2014, it launched Paisabazaar to transform how personal credit was accessed by Indians.

In 2021, it launched the offline business and opened 15 retail stores across India. Back then, it reported to be wanting to expand to 100 stores. In the Q3FY24 earnings, it officially stated having 45 insurance centres in 37 cities.

Its revenue from Core Online Business and New Initiatives grew 2.4x in 2 years. Consolidated revenue touched INR 871 crore, growing YoY 43%. PB Fintech also turned profitable with INR 37 crore PAT. Its cash position also improved by INR 204 crore YoY to INR 5,150 crore in December 2023.

It turned Adjusted EBITDA positive in December 2022, and for the last six quarters it's Adj. EBITDA has improved by INR 500 Cr each quarter.

"When did you go to buy insurance at an insurance company? Store insurance people always come to you. That's exactly what we have to do. See, what we realized was if you just had the website, you'd use 80% of the customers you create, you would've put in the effort on the marketing, you would've put in the effort on getting them here, you would've put in the effort on the research, but you will lose 80% of them simply because somebody will meet them physically and give them more comfort than you are able to through a website," he concluded.

Dahiya believes the employees will play a key role in this expansion, rather than agents "What does an employee worry about? Losing their job. What do Agents worry about? How much money can they make? It's a very important differentiation between an agent and an employee. So while an agent is a more effective way of selling, it's also a more effective way of mis-selling and an insurance mis-selling is a very critical problem."

The insurance industry is pegged to grow at a CAGR of 7.1 per cent in 2024-28 in India. As per IRDAI, the country's insurance space is expected to reach USD 222 billion by 2026 and become the sixth-largest insurance market globally.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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