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Bridging the Gap between Social Enterprises and Social Impact Investors

socialentrepreneurship-2-1

Recently, I got the opportunity to participate in Bangalore CSR Roundtable hosted by Brillio & Equal Innovation in partnership with India CSR on May 3rd 2017.

Some key points from this event I want to share with you all. Before that let me put some light on what is Social Entrepreneurs and Enterprises (SEE) and how this is related to this event.

Social Entrepreneurs and Enterprises (SEE)

It is an initiative of IITK AA, organised and now carried forward in association with IITKGP AA and supported by PAN IIT, IIMA, PAN IIM and ACB.

SEE started as an event and the first SEE focused primarily on awareness and scaling models for Successful Social enterprises. It had speakers and participants from all sectors. During the first edition of SEE one message came out very clearly that there is an increasing gap between social enterprises (not-for-profit or for-profit) and CSR funds/investors.

Second edition of SEE focused on Healthcare and Education. This edition also looked at setting up the framework so that Alumni from IIT’s can effectively engage and contribute to the critical sector.

It brought various social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, thinkers and enthusiasts under one roof. The event allowed great interactive sessions where on one hand the participants got inspired by conviction-led work by speakers and on the other hand various corporate discussed the challenges and their insights. Mr. Paritosh Segal, Co-Founder Sahyog Foundation, led the curation for the event.

After intensive research on challenges faced by social enterprises and impact investors, a framework was launched during the event by Mr. Pradeep Bhargava, President, IITK AA & IITK AA BLR.  Core objectives of the framework is to identify sectors that may be relevant and that may produce visible outcome, list the key impact areas and the key measures, understand and share the feasibility and impact data, build the stakeholders connect as part of SEE ecosystem which comprises financial institutions, CSR, Angel investors, VC’s, mentors, incubation with IIT and partners and entrepreneurs in the impact space.

We discussed on various aspects of CSR funding and pain-points of corporates as well as social enterprises. It was very enthralling for me to know that all these common problems faced by both entities can be resolved through SEE platform.

I would like to highlight a few key challenges and would like to emphasise on the role of SEE framework in resolving these issues:

Lack of trust between corporates and social enterprise world:

It was evident that corporates are willing to release CSR funds for social enterprises, but whom to trust for measurable impact has become a challenge for them. I strongly believe that SEE body can recognise and validate shortlisted social enterprises who genuinely have good model and thus help them sustain and scale. Corporates can have concurrence and decide where to invest.

Impact assessment of social enterprises by corporates:

Second evident challenge for all corporates is to measure the impact created by the social enterprise. One of the solution which was proposed is to have a set template by corporates where social enterprise can fill their outcomes. But the problem with such template is that there are several different enterprises all cannot be measured with the same template. SEE framework can play a crucial role in impact assessment by providing customised template.

Industry standard reporting by social enterprises:

Another point which was brought into discussion was reporting structure and the quality of report. Corporates feel that there is a need for social enterprises to improve on reporting but the fact that social enterprises many a times are not trained to publish their reports in a professional way. It becomes really challenging for corporates to go through the document and validate the report. We at SEE aim to create a pool of identified experts in different domains with social sector background as mentors. These mentors shall bring guidance to social enterprises and shall organize hands-on training sessions on impact measurement, impact assessment and impact reporting. This shall have positive outcome by reducing frustrations for both corporates and social enterprises.

Identifying the key focus area of corporates by social enterprises:

One of the biggest challenge which almost all social enterprises face invariably is to find out the corporates who have same focus area as their own. I recently faced a problem in identifying a CSR who invest in healthcare area. There is no common platform where corporates list their focus areas and social enterprises list their work.

Participation as SEE evangelist

SEE platform has planned to create a database on SEE website for all participants. This is going to ease the very first step of corporate and social enterprise to find the best match.

Social Enterprises

All these and many more benefits can be obtained by signing up for SEE Framework. SEE as a part of Alumni framework is not chargeable. Please register to be part of the SEE ecosystem and all benefits.

Investment community and CSR support from Corporates

They can leverage the curated social enterprises. Investors and CSR teams may share the success stories, the impact areas of their interest and the measures they use in identifying the right enterprise to support.

Accelerators, Incubators, and Mentors ( AIM)

AIM participants work together with the SEE team to ensure high probability of success for the individual enterprise but also contribute to ensure a higher percentage of successful SE. Commercial engagements are also possible after the initial success is registered.

Look forward to you all being part of SEE

 

 

 

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

Chart, line chart

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

Chart, sunburst chart

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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