Try : Insurtech, Application Development










Dev Ops(2)

Enterprise Solution(20)




AI in Insurance(24)


Product Innovation(34)


Augmented Reality(7)

Customer Journey(7)


User Experience(21)

Artificial Intelligence(93)



Cognitive Computing(7)

Computer Vision(6)

Data Science(13)


Intelligent Automation(25)

Machine Learning(43)

Natural Language Processing(10)

A Sandbox Approach in Insurance

The insurance industry has reached an evolutionary crossroad. The fast-evolving world of InsurTech mandates that insurers become digitally agile. With Fintech solutions becoming more common, a responsive approach would enhance the ability of promising insurance innovations to develop and flourish.

There are various technologies stepping into the value chain to enhance and disrupt the way insurance businesses used to function earlier. The industry should consider testing their products in a controlled environment or a ‘Sandbox’. This approach can provide certain advantages such as allowing insurers to launch unconventional products on a pilot-basis before seeking necessary approval.

A sandbox approach in insurance can be used to carve out a safe and conducive space to experiment with innovative Insurtech solutions. It is a process of experimenting on a limited scale initially, where the consequences of failure can be contained before finally being adopted; consequently not allowing regulation in being a constricting force in their innovation journey.

Sandbox approach, a global affair:

Implementation of the sandbox to test customer’s interest is now a global call. It is being implemented in most region’s financial hubs including UAE, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Switzerland, and the UK.

The FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) the UK, the British financial regulator was the first to launch the Fintech sandbox, back in 2016. The FCA reported 90% of firms that completed testing in the sandbox are continuing towards wider market launch.

Under the FCA Cohort System used in their Sandboxes, the focus of current testing includes; Blockchain-based payment services, Reg tech propositions, general insurance, AML controls, Biometric Digital ID and know your customer (KYC) verification.

One of the most surprising aspects is the growing number of countries that have proposed the sandbox approach to remain competitive with those already on board. These include countries such as Indonesia, Israel, Russia, Taiwan and the USA.

First launch in India:

“In the recent past, new Insurance companies and Insurance intermediaries have carried out technological innovations in their products and services,”

“The authority encourages companies to develop such new technologies to add value for customers, increase efficiency, and better manage risks.”

 S C Khunita, IRDAI chairperson, was quoted as saying by the Times of India.

NITI Aayog had organised a day-long Fintech Conclave on 25th March 2019, with the objective to shape India’s continued ascendancy in Fintech. It featured representatives from across the financial ecosystem. Mr Shaktikanta Das, RBI Governor; confirmed that the RBI will come out with the necessary regulations for the sandbox in the Fintech sector within two months to ensure regulatory compliance.

IndiaFirst Life insurance company was the first to launch an insurance plan under the sandbox approach; on 12th April 2017 and got approval for the launch on 27th November 2017. The plan was called “Insurance Khata”. It was directed towards those with seasonal incomes, mostly belonging to the underserved sections of Indian society. It lets buyers pool multiple single insurance plans into an account and allow payment of premiums as per the user’s convenience.

” Use a Sandbox approach to test customer’s interest ” was one of the key takeaways of The Indian Insurance Summit & Awards 2019.

sandbox approach in insurance infographic

Eligibility Criteria for Insurers or Insurance intermediaries to apply for Sandbox in India:

A 10-member committee comprising IRDAI officials and representatives of Insurance companies and the World Bank has been set up to regulate the sandbox process. The panel has been asked to dwell on the key regulatory issues Fintech poses across the insurance value chain.

Despite recent advances, insurance remains a tough industry for innovation. However, the fast-growing interest in “Insurtech” is reflected in its popularity as a google search term since 2016.

Insurance penetration in India is only 3.69% of GDP against a global average of 6.2%; the Sandbox Approach for testing the new products can help improve these numbers. The “Sandbox Approach” offers a plethora of opportunities for the Insurance Industry to set out on a journey and expand their reach into more ecosystems than ever before.


Knowledge thats worth delivered in your inbox

MantraTalks Podcast with Parag Sharma: Delivering Digital-first Health Experiences for Patient Care in the New Normal

6 minutes read

The healthcare industry took the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic from the very beginning. It was, and still is, a humongous task for hospitals to deal with the rising number of COVID patients as well as handling the regular consults. 

To delve deeper into the state of healthcare in the COVID times, we interviewed Parag Sharma, CEO, Mantra Labs Pvt Ltd. Parag shares his insights on how technology can help in delivering digital-first health experiences for patient care in the New Normal.

Parag is a product enthusiast and tinkerer at heart and has been at the forefront of developing innovative products especially in the field of AI. He also holds over ten years of experience working in the services line and has been instrumental in launching several startups in the Internet & Mobile space. His rich domain expertise and innovative leadership have helped Mantra climb to the top 100 innovative InsurTechs in the World – selected by FinTech Global. 

Catch the interview:  

Connect with Parag- LinkedIn

COVID-19 and Its impact on Healthcare Organizations

Considering the COVID situation, according to you how has COVID-19 impacted the IT & service operations among healthcare organizations?

Parag:  Since the onset of COVID-19, the healthcare sector has been deeply impacted. Institutions are facing a serious crunch in manpower. IT support systems which were usually manned and managed by a large team of IT professionals are not available in the same strength. Resource allocation’ is one of the biggest concerns due to physical and mental exhaustion of the healthcare workforce. 

Hospitals are facing issues such as operational disruption due to staff quarantine, supply-chain delays and sudden decline in patient footfalls, difficulty in sustaining fixed costs, etc. People are not comfortable getting out of the safety confinements of their homes due to the rising risk of getting infected with the virus. Hospitals will have to reassess their future strategy and budgets in light of the uncertain economic situation.

Preparing for the Future

What can hospitals do to ensure the continuity of their customer-facing operations in the wake of a second Pandemic wave?

Parag: There are many things that hospitals can do to manage themselves in this hour of crisis. Being more digital than what they are would be one step forward for all of them. They can bring their IT systems to the cloud so that the person can access data and manage their work remotely. They can enable their patients to book appointments and enquire about services through apps and chatbots which won’t require them to call the reception or come to the hospital. These are some of the services which hospitals can provide to their customers with minimum physical contact. 

Related: Manipal Hospital’s move to a self-service healthcare mobile application

Hospitals can extend Telehealth services to their patients. Recently, telehealth has proved to be useful especially when there is asymmetry between the number of patients and healthcare providers. I think it will be very useful for healthcare institutions to deploy telehealth solutions to provide medical facilities to people who have so far been outside the benefits of healthcare.

New Expectations in Health Experiences

Is consumer behavior defined by the ‘new normal’ going to change the way we access healthcare from this point on?

Parag: Yes, people will expect a completely different way to access healthcare services from now on. Hospitals should gear-up and rise to this occasion. The pandemic has also provided a new opportunity to adopt a completely different approach in the way healthcare is delivered. They always felt that medical care cannot be provided remotely but now this is happening and people are appreciating remote healthcare services. Hospitals and healthcare institutions are convinced that telehealth and remote care will be more successful soon.

Technology in Healthcare can Bridge Operational Gaps

What are the operational challenges, as far as digital capabilities go, that hospitals are facing currently? And, what steps must they take to bridge these gaps?

Parag: Operational challenges are not just digital challenges. But a lot of these challenges can be addressed with technology. For example, Electronic Health Records which hospitals manage within the premises can be moved to the cloud so that the person can access these records on the cloud itself and need not come to the hospital. 

Related: Medical Image Management: DICOM Images Sharing Process

Secondly, if you deploy telehealth and telemedicine solutions, irrespective of where your patients are or doctors are, hospitals can deliver the required care to its patients. You can even extend your diagnostics services to your patients by giving them an application through which they can seamlessly book appointments for consults, diagnostics, or pathological services and resolve their queries, etc. Simply by giving a seamless interface either through bots or applications can go a long way in providing better health experiences to the customers.

Role of Chatbots in Superior Customer Experiences

According to you, what role does chatbots powered by Artificial Intelligence have in the Healthcare CX landscape?

Parag: Chatbots are the simplest example of the implementation of AI-based technology in healthcare. There are a lot of things which bots can do simplistically. For example, if a patient wants to book an appointment with the doctors, instead of going through a complex web applications and interfaces, what if I can simply write “I want to book an appointment with the doctor Dr. XYZ at 4 pm” and the bot can figure out in case the time slot is available with that particular doctor, it will confirm the appointment followed by a payment process if the payment has to be made upfront. 

Apart from this, you can extend your bots to provide e-consultations where doctors can do remote consultations via audio and video features of a chatbot. So there is a huge scope for bots beyond answering routine queries by customers or booking appointments. It does not stop just there. You can extend chatbot functionalities to support functions such as admin, HR, finance, and business process efficiency so that they can provide better services to their customers.

Related: Healthcare Chatbots: Innovative, Efficient, and Low-cost Care

Chatbot Use Cases in Healthcare

Could you tell us some possible bot use cases for delivering better customer experiences to digital health users?

Parag: Apart from booking appointments and resolving customer queries, these bots can conduct remote consultations, internal processes, health symptom checker, out-patient video consultation, second opinion consultation, ordering medicines, psychological counseling & mental wellness, scenario-based risk advice, Heroism Recognition for employees, etc. Also, it can be further extended to help patients enquire about health insurance related queries, and all the interactions between insurance companies and hospitals can be provided to the patient. 

Related: Healthcare & Hospitals Use Cases | Digital Health

The Road Ahead

COVID-19 has forced hospitals to revise patient support strategy with limited operational staff that is bringing every day a new challenge. A way out is to heavily rely on digital innovation.

In India we have a disparity between the no. of healthcare providers and care seekers. Without technology, I don’t think there is any way healthcare institutions will be able to scale to a level where they can provide meaningful services to such a large number of people. Hospitals can invest in setting up an information exchange; making the process as seamless as possible; and removing all possible inefficiencies from the supply chain through technology.

Future growth for hospitals will come from digital technology because patients will opt more for digital platforms. And it is up to hospitals to catch up with the pace at which modern technology is developing. We, at Mantra Labs, have achieved several use cases including hospitals/diagnostic centers that are able to deliver superior health experiences.


Knowledge thats worth delivered in your inbox

Loading More Posts ...
Go Top

May i help you?

bot shadow

Our Website is
Best Experienced on
Chrome & Safari

safari icon