Analytics Grant HDFC Life A Fresh Lease of Life

HDFC Life was aspiring to be a leading insurance company in India a few years back. But its aspirations were shackled in obscurity and misinformation – a problem which was eventually solved with the deployment of analytics

HDFC Life, one of India’s leading private life insurance companies, offers a range of individual and group insurance solutions with about 500 branches in India touching customers in over 900 cities and towns. A joint venture between Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited (HDFC) and Standard Life, HDFC Life’s product portfolio comprises solutions, which meet various customer needs such as Protection, Pension, Savings, Investment and Health and the company currently has 25 retail and 9 group products in its portfolio.

Strategic planning enhanced with analytics

A few years back, HDFC Life was endeavoring to gain marketshare and enhance its reach in all parts of the country. The biggest bottleneck in gaining marketshare was the lack of insights into the data that could allow the senior management to take appropriate decision. Most of the decision which the company management was making were based on the primary assessment. Hence it was not helping the company to increase its reach and marketshare. V Ananthanarayanan, AVP, Business Insights, HDFC Life recalls, “Our major challenge was data inaccuracy which influenced the senior management’s ability to take informed decisions. Every department worked in silos, generated and stored information seperately. The process was cumbersome and cost-heavy.”

The solution was to store information centrally which could lead to better insights. It was not easy as HDFC Life required an analytics solution which could enable the management with true and effective insights. Ananthanarayanan and his team began to look out for a new business discovery solution which is capable of improving data storage and delivering valuable insights to positively
impact sales and marketing operations. The team shortlisted, evaluated, reviewed several potential business intelligence solutions in the market and narrowed their options down to three solution providers. One of the three options was Qlik. After reviewing all the applications and concluding that Qlik solution matches their expectations, the company decided to roll out the solution in their organization.

Ananthanarayanan shares, “The results of the proof of concept made QlikView11 our clear choice. While the rest claimed that they could deploy on the fly, the QlikTech team proved it by delivering the proof of concept within a mere 10 days. The ease of using the interface, and the strength of the system integrators with the QlikTech team convinced us that QlikView could help us achieve our rightful position in the market.”

Quick deployment

While deploying an enterprise grade solution takes months, HDFC Life got the deployment done in a limited and short timeframe. The insurance company was keen to roll out the analytics solution across the company in the lesser time possible. While the estimated timeline for this deployment to be completed was kept as 30-45 days, within 27 days the team was able to deliver dashboards on QlikView to 250 strategic decision makers of four major business functions – marketing, sales, operations and customer relations, claims the company. In this way, the rollout was really way too fast.

Ananthanarayanan explains: “The fact that we were able to go to market with a simple, logical and powerful solution in less than 30 days impressed us. With QlikView, in a month, we were ready to address the problem of mediocre information flow and analysis which did not align with the organization’s objectives. If the deployment is done in time, the cost does not overshoot.”

Optimization of resources

Since information previously existed in isolated silos, each department required support to integrate their information with that of other departments, and this was a time consuming process which had an impact on accuracy, speed and portability of information. By centralizing value information generation and flow, HDFC Life managed to redeploy talent and employees to more appropriate roles.

Ananthanarayanan adds: “We were clear about using QlikView for strategic purposes only, due to the functionality it offers. With a central repository of information, predictive models, pattern deductions for fraud analysis etc– we are able to get more accurate inferences compared to when information resided in disparate sources.”

As a result, senior management now has clearer visibility into costs and revenue streams and by taking steps, such as the redeployment of human resources along with others. HDFC Life claims to have achieved significant cost savings over a period of two years.

Reduction in customer response time

Due to the lack of centralized information, HDFC Life was experiencing a lack of visibility in exact reasons for delay in processing and delivering promised service levels to customers. “We needed an end-to-end perspective of the processes of our customer facing services. With the availability of end-to-end information through QlikView, we managed to establish strategic performance measures to drive lean cell management, and we are now able to respond to our customers in half the time it previously took,” reveals Ananthanarayanan.

The applications integrated with the analytics solution are not just benefiting employees, but also HDFC Life’s channel partners in measuring their performance efficiencies – a pronounced mark of success especially in the services industry.

Improved decision making

With the solution being compatible with mobile devices, all 250 strategic decision makers of the organization have QlikView dashboards available at their fingertips and are able to make time-sensitive business decisions. They are able to get true and real-time insights about their business functions.

Ananthanarayanan says: “Analytics has given our senior management a holistic view of our business. Decisions are now made time-efficiently based on concrete evidence. As a result, our business has grown significantly over the last two years. We are now among the top insurance
companies in India.”

With BI proving successful in delivering strategic insights to HDFC Life, the organization is planning to extend the use of analytics to impact operational decision making as well. Ananthanarayanan concludes: “We want to enable this value information flow across the operational side of the business as well, and are looking to extend analytical capability to other areas in the future.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *