Digital Strategy should be in sync with the changing customer behavior- Sandeep Ghosh, MD and CEO, Bharti AXA Life Insurance

Prerna Sharma
New Update
Sandeep Ghosh Bharti AXA Life Insurance

With today’s customers demanding an always-on and seamless user experience across all touch points, going digital is no longer an option but a default for enterprises. More and more organizations are realizing this and embarking on their digital transformation Insurance firm Bharti AXA Life is one such company that is aggressively pursuing digital to transform customer experience and gain a competitive edge. To know more about the company’s key digital initiatives, Dataquest caught up with Sandeep Ghosh, MD and CEO, Bharti AXA Life Insurance. Excerpts

What are the fundamental aspects of your digital strategy?


The digital revolution in India has dramatically changed the rules of business. And the ‘early adopter’ of this change is the customer himself. As this revolution is poised to gain further momentum, it is imperative that our organization’s digital strategy is in sync with the changing customer behavior. With this in mind, we at Bharti AXA Life, have committed ourselves to the journey of digital transformation.

How would you describe your digital strategy and what does it encompass?

Our digital strategy envisages the creation of different digital assets, which will enable our customers to buy a new product or service with their existing products, either directly or via the distributor. We have mapped the complete customer cycle and have framed our digital strategy around it. The relevant digital assets in the form of websites, portals, and mobile apps are aligned to the customer’s life cycle.


To give a complete secular experience to the customers of our digital acumen, we have designed our digital processes around the distribution team. The sales force is equipped with handheld devices backed by robust systems that not only improve the efficiency of our sales team but also speeds up the process.

How have these digital initiatives helped?

As the first step in our digital journey, we began by enabling our sales force with several digital assets, which have improved their overall efficiency and productivity. We strongly believe that a company’s sales person acts as a guide and can greatly influence the customer’s decision during the buying process.


This in turn led to the birth of the digital advisor, who is digitally empowered with several digital assets to positively impact the sales process and truly transform the experience for the customer.

Please share insights about key digital initiatives which have delivered measurable benefits for your organization.

We have taken many digital initiatives during the past few years. Some noteworthy ones include:


Leads Management System (LMS): This is a cutting-edge mobile application that uses geo-based technology for real-time allocation of leads. Leads are auto-allocated to a sales person through an algorithm, which takes into account his proximity to the customer, his availability, his performance so far, and his capability/skillset. The LMS has an in-built power analytics module, which displays all the relevant leads funnel metrics, on a real-time basis. This enables timely intervention by the supervisor and drives efficiency within the process.

Within three months of the pilot launch, we saw a very significant improvement in the two key metrics of meetings (increase of 29%) and conversion (increase of 20%).

Needs-Based Selling Module (SWITCH): ‘SWITCH’ is an interactive sales tool in the form of an Android app that allows the digital advisor to do a comprehensive needs-based sale for every prospective customer. It recommends a product or a combination of products, which are best suited to meet the customers’ needs. The high degree of customization allows the customer to evaluate multiple illustrations and calculations, before deciding what suits him best.

By the end of the pilot launch, ‘SWITCH’ had helped improve the efficiency and productivity of the digital advisors. YoY sales productivity improved by 16%, and the number of first meeting closures increased by 120%.



BHARTI AXA IN-MY-POCKET is a suite of mobile apps,designed for the Bharti AXA sales force. This suite of tools is designed to empower the digital advisor to cater to the customers’ needs in a more effective and real-time manner, and in turn, boost their productivity. It is a ‘first’ in the Indian insurance industry and puts Bharti AXA Life high on the map, for digital and mobile innovation. With the Scan & Upload App, multiple visits for collecting documents has reduced, thereby saving time for the sales person.

We believe in giving complete control to the customer when it comes to management of their policies. Our customers have the option to research for the policy, purchase it, and manage the policy post purchase online from the comfort of their home. Our online sales portal allows a customer to calculate the right life insurance amount for him and purchase it online. The self-service website allows the customer to manage the policy-related queries and requests online.


What are the key challenges that you have faced in your digital journey?

The key challenge lies in managing the change in the distribution team. Getting the sales personnel to adopt the new digitally-enabled sales process required a high degree of engagement, involvement, structured training, and convincing them of the benefits.

The solutions that we were suggesting had to address their pain points and clearly showcase the benefits that they could derive, by going digital. Besides the challenge of change management, the technology challenge had to be handled effectively as well. The new digitally-enabled sales process had to be easy, convenient, and intuitive to use, without intimidating the sales person. The other challenge was pertaining to the standardization of thesoftware platform and the hardware. To begin with, we decided to standardize our apps on the native Android platform, which automatically covered between 85-90%

of our sales force. And to ensure the best quality output, we standardized on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 (8”) as the preferred device.

Another challenge that we face is the limited interaction the customer has with the insurance company post purchase of the policy. The first preferred option of interaction for the customer is agent and then the company call center. This limits the scope of our digital strategy as we have to continuously encourage customers to interact with us more on our online platforms. We currently run campaigns to increase the usage of the self-service portal.

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