Customer sharing data the next transformative idea: Vibha Padalkar

CHENNAI, August 14: The life insurance business models have changed over the last decade driven by the customers/policyholders.

“If we now build a robust customer consent architecture, we would see businesses moving into the next generation of customer-centricity,” Vibha Padalkar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, HDFC Life Insurance Company Ltd told IANS.

Padalkar, qualified as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales in 1992, and is also a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Prior to her appointment at HDFC Life, she worked in varied sectors, such as global Business Process Management, global FMCG, and in an international audit firm.

With India set to celebrate 75th Independence Day on Sunday, Padalkar shares her big ideas of transformation relating to her sector in an interview.

India will be celebrating its 75th Independence Day. How do feel about it?

August 15th arguably marks the most patriotic day we celebrate together as a country. The idea to see a free India was a transformative one that gave birth to the independence struggle and changed the lives of Indians forever. On the occasion of our 75th Independence Day, it is only fair for us to think of the next generation of transformative ideas in our respective domains as we look to build a promising future for our nation.

What is your transformative idea for the life insurance sector?

When I look at transformative ideas from the perspective of the life insurance sector, I would unequivocally vote for customer centricity. It is an idea that has already shown its disruptive power in many sectors and I believe the insurance industry is also at the cusp of leveraging it to transform itself. Customers today are different from their predecessors. Their demands are shaping the course of businesses � the higher extent of personalization, digital purchasing platforms, door-step delivery, 24/7 servicing, amongst others.

What is happening at HDFC Life on this aspect?

At HDFC Life we had already started the fundamental transition from being product-centric to becoming customer-centric. We recognised that we needed to put the customer at the center of our business model, leverage the vast amounts of customer data that is being generated and provide specific offerings suited to their unique needs. And in addition, we needed to be available anytime-anywhere — which implied our services needed to be built digital-first!

And how was this made possible?

All of this became possible since technologies have matured, there is an explosion of customer data, and legacy problems are being tackled by both insurers and insurtechs working in tandem.

On looking forward…

Now, as we look ahead, one of the transformative ideas that can now help propel customer centricity to the next level is a customer consent architecture that cuts across sectors. Imagine the customer as the sole authority who decides when, how and with whom to share her data.

This could be data related to her health, her finances, her identity, her location, her driving records and anything else that is being generated (only) basis her consent. While multiple authorities and entities could be acting as the custodians of this data, they are not the owners – that power would rest solely with the individual.

With such an architecture, insurers would be able to personalize, price better and even serve better!

A customer who gives an insurer access to her medical data on an ongoing basis can be given rewards for improving her health metrics or maintaining her health metrics better than the average customer.

Similarly, someone who shares her driving data can look forward to discounts on motor insurance on the back of her safe driving. The insurance industry is awash with such use cases that would fructify overnight if we are able to get this idea to reality!


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