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Key Takeaways of 4th Insurance India Summit & Awards 2019

Innovation and Disruption are causing a paradigm shift in the Indian insurance industry today.

The industry is expected to touch USD 280B by 2020. With the advent of InsurTech, Blockchain, Big Data, AI, IoT, AR amidst changing consumer preferences — there has been a holistic approach to insurance automation, challenging the traditional concepts making insurance a battleground of the old and the new.

The insurance penetration in India is only 3.7% as a percentage of GDP compared to the World average of 7%. However, changes in the demographics, technology and business models have opened up a plethora of opportunities for the Indian insurance industry which is growing at a rate of 11% annually. This has marked the beginning of breaking out of an emerging state into broader impact and use, enabling insurers to expand into more ecosystems than ever before.

The recently concluded “4th Annual Insurance India Summit & Awards 2019” with the motto of “Integrating Technology & Big Data to Enhance Distribution Channel, Marketing Strategy & Customer Experience” — aimed at having robust and key focused area discussions on the inherent insurance challenges. IISA creates a platform for one of India’s largest gathering of Insurance leaders and Innovators. 

Let’s have a look at the key takeaways of the 4th Insurance India Summit and Awards 2019.

Key takeaways of 4th Annual Insurance Summit and Awards 2019

PHYGITAL is the New Wave in Insurance  

There is still a trust deficit between the customers and insurance companies, primarily due to highly suspect products with unrealistic returns being sold in the past decade. Customer Expectations are very different online and offline for the same customer. 

In such a moment of crisis, the focus on Digital cannot be limited to just customer acquisition, as Customer engagement is the key

Phygital, i.e Physical + Digital, is the concept that brands and businesses are using as a sales strategy to amplify the yield. Phygital as a paradigm is challenging the cascaded approach of traditional insurance and bridges the gap between both the worlds effortlessly.

With the help of data visualization, one can help increase customer interactivity, analyze product performance, understand data consumption objectives and thereby improve customer experience. The objective is to provide the ultimate 360-degree experience. This includes a focus on relationships, lifecycle, and even life stages.

Click to know more on, ‘Scope of Phygital in Insurance‘.

The New Product is About Customer Journey:

Customer Expectations have changed significantly over a short period of time. The forecasted move to real-time interaction is indeed here. 

Source: SMA white paper

Customer journeys in insurance are often complex. It involves multifaceted relationships, multiple locations, and various insurance needs. Due to these complexities, 70% of Indians working in rural areas generate 40% of India’s income but have much lower access to the products and services.

Insurance companies are looking at creating efficiency across the Value Chain. Thus they are now also looking at creating or leveraging existing eco-systems e.g. E-Commerce, to widen the footprint. Instead of the focus being on removing agents and selling directly, Insurance companies are now focused on empowering agents.

According to recent SMA research, 85% of insurers report that customer experience and engagement is a top strategic initiative, ranking it as #1 – a significant shift from #4 and #5 in past years. This is good news for the industry, as it points to determination and focuses to place the customer first.

Cognitive RPA to Ease Insurance Problems:

Data is a vital ingredient for going Cognitive. The cognitive insurance business is the one that allows underwriters to be equipped with a repertoire of AI-enabled tools, empowering them to make better and more informed decisions about their customer.

RPA tools currently occupy the Peak of Inflated Expectations in the Gartner Hype Cycle for Artificial Intelligence, 2018. 

Cognitive RPA is widely adopted in various industries, insurance included. “End-user organizations adopt RPA technology as a quick and easy fix to automate manual tasks,” said Cathy Tornbohm, vice president at Gartner. In the insurance industry automation of the day-to-day tasks would potentially reduce cost, time consumption and increase accuracy, quality, and competency.

Miniaturizing of Insurance — Microinsurance

Insurance coverages are the greatest aid against the consequences of risk exposures and also provides support for the insured’s credits. However,  65% of Indians below the age of 35 don’t want to buy Health Insurance

In order to provide “insurance for all”, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) has a specialized category of insurance policies called micro insurances. It promotes bite-sized insurance coverage among Gen-Y and the economically vulnerable sections of society.

Click here to know if ‘ Microinsurance actually works for the economically vulnerable sections of India.

Micro-insurances are easily affordable over the bulky insurance schemes. Recently MaxBupa, a standalone health insurer partnered with Mobikwik, a fin-tech platform to promote affordable and convenient microinsurance products. Priced at an annual premium of ₹135, their product, HospiCash will offer ₹500 per day hospital allowance for up to 30 days in a year. 

Click to know more about how ‘ AI can help bridge customer gaps for microinsurers


The non-partisan agenda of the Summit was to explore challenges and their deterrents like technology integration in insurance, customer engagement, and customer experience. The discussions were designed to draw out clear outcomes for the industry together – in order to realize growth, customer satisfaction, profitability and deliver definitive business value.

Mantra Labs was proud to be the business development partner at the successful Summit. We were honored to partake in the insightful conversations and gather appreciation for presenting ‘FlowMagic’ – our Visual AI Platform for Insurers, from all the insurance industry experts present.

We hope to see you again, in the next edition!

To know us in person, drop us a Hi at hello@mantralabsglobal.com 

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The ‘Cyber Attacks’ Winter is Coming — straight for small firms in India Inc.

5 minutes read

Cyber intrusions and attacks have increased exponentially over the last decade approximately, exposing sensitive information pertaining to people and businesses, thus disrupting critical operations, and imposing huge liabilities on the economy. 

Cybersecurity is a responsibility that employees and leaders across functions must shoulder simply because it is the gospel truth – you cannot protect what you cannot see. As organizations have shifted to the work-from-home model due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s increasingly important to keep your company’s data secure. 

While the pandemic has led to near or complete digitalization of operations amongst financial institutions, it’s also increased the potential for cyberattacks that lead to adverse financial, reputational, and/or regulatory implications for organizations. 

According to Accenture, cybercrime is said to cost businesses $5.2 trillion worldwide within five years. “With 43% of online attacks now aimed at small businesses, a favorite target of high-tech villains, yet only 14% prepared to defend themselves, owners increasingly need to start making high-tech security a top priority,” the report continues.

A recent McAfee study shows global cybercrime costs crossed US$1 trillion dollars in 2020, up almost 50% from 2018.

India too saw an exponential rise in cybersecurity incidents amid the coronavirus pandemic. Information tracked by the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) showed that cybersecurity attacks saw a four-fold jump in 2018, and recorded an 89 percent growth in 2019.

The government has set up a Cyber Crisis Management Plan for countering cyber-attacks effectively, while also operating the Cyber Swachhta Kendra (Botnet Cleaning and Malware Analysis Centre).

Banks and Financial Institutions (FIs) are some of the highest targeted market sectors. An analysis by FitchRatings in collaboration with SecurityScorecard reveals that banks with higher credit ratings exhibited better cybersecurity scores than banks with lower credit ratings. 

Bharti Airtel’s chief executive officer for India, Gopal Vittal, in a letter to the telco’s 307.9 million subscribers, detailed out how Airtel is carrying out home delivery of SIM cards and cautioned subscribers from falling prey to cyber frauds. He cautioned them against the rapid rise in cyber frauds, highly likely via digital payments. “There has been a massive increase in cyber frauds. And as usual, fraudsters are always finding new ways to trick you,” he added in the letter. 

Barcelona-based Glovo, valued at over $1 billion, that delivers everything from food to household supplies to some 10 million users across 20 countries, came under attack recently when the “hacker gained access to a system on April 29 via an old administrator platform but was ejected as soon as the intrusion was detected”, according to the company.

The attack came less than a month after Glovo raised 450 million euros ($541 million) in funding. 

According to Kaspersky’s telemetry, close on the heels of coronavirus-led pandemic and subsequent lockdown in March 2020, saw a total number of meticulously planned attacks against remote desktop protocol (RDP) jumped from 93.1 million worldwide in February 2020 to 277.4 million 2020 in March — a whopping 197 percent increase. In India, the numbers went from 1.3 million in February 2020 to 3.3 million in March 2020. In July 2020, India recorded its highest number of cyberattacks at 4.5 million.

The recent data breach at the payment firm Mobikwik, affected 3.5 million users, exposing Know Your Customer (KYC) documents such as addresses, phone numbers, Aadhaar card details, PAN card numbers, and so on. The company, however, still maintains that there was no such data breach. It was only after the Reserve Bank of India’s intervention that Mobikwik got a forensic audit conducted immediately by a CERT-IN empaneled auditor and submitted the report. 

Security experts have observed a 500% rise in the number of cyber attacks and security breaches and a 3 to 4 times rise in the number of phishing attacks from March until June 2020.

These attacks, however, are not just pertaining to the BFSI sector, but also the healthcare sector, and the education sector.

Image Source: BusinessStandard.com

What motivates hackers to target SMBs? 

Hackers essentially target SMBs because it’s a source of easy money. From inadequate cyber defenses to lower budgets and/or resources, smaller businesses often lack strong security policies, cybersecurity education programs, and more, making them soft targets. 

SMBs can also be a ‘gateway’ to larger organizations. As many SMBs are usually connected electronically to the IT systems of larger partner organizations, it becomes an inroad to the bigger organizations and their data. 

How can companies shield themselves from a potential cyberattack: 

As a response to the rising number of attacks in cyberspace, the Home Ministry of India issued an advisory with suggestions on the prevention of cyber thefts, especially for the large number of people working from home. Organizations and key decision-makers in a company can also create an effective cybersecurity strategy that’s flexible for adaptation in a changing climate too. Here are a few use cases: 

  • CERT-In conducted ‘Black Swan – Cyber Security Breach Tabletop Exercise’, in order to deal with cyber crisis and incidents emerging amid the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting from lowered security controls. 
  • To counter fraudulent behavior in the finance sector, the government is also considering setting up a Computer Emergency Response Team for the Financial Sector or CERT-Fin.
  • Several tech companies have come forth to address cybersecurity threats by building secure systems and software to mitigate issues like these in the foreseeable future. For example, IBM Security has collaborated with HCL Technologies to streamline threat management for clients through a modernized security operation center (SOC) platform called HCL’s Cybersecurity Fusion Centres. 

Some of the ways through which companies can mitigate potential risks include: 

  • Informing users of hacker tactics and possible attacks
  • Establish security rules, create policies, and an incident response plan to cover the entire gamut of their operations
  • Basic security measures such as regularly updating applications and systems
  • Following a two-factor authentication method for accounts and more

While these measures are some of the ways to be on top of your game in the cybersecurity space, they will also help in sound threat detection while helping gain better insights into attacks and prioritizing security alerts so that India is better prepared for an oncoming attack and battling any unforeseen circumstance that might result in huge loss of data, resources and more. 

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