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The disruptive rural insurtech set-up

Digital disruption has been propelling people to seek far and wide digital experiences since digitalization took every industry by storm. Just like any other industry, the insurance space has been under the huge influence of digital waves. India is well-acclaimed as the second-largest insurtech market in the world, but despite this, rural populations are still untouched by the revolutionary digital financial services. Today, when rural India is in dire need of consistent insurance penetration, an Insurtech startup- DigiSafe Broking has pitched in as the local digital insurtech provider for economically weaker sections of the Indian population.

Though it has registered itself in the market in November 2020, the Hyderabad- based firm, having a corporate office at Pune has chalked out some simplified products of Motor, Health, Life, Livestock and Crop Insurance with its physical presence by October 2021. With its adamant motto-e-securing rural India, the enterprise has envisioned to add considerable value to the lives of the rural population.

DigiSafe is the brainchild of five passionate young entrepreneurs – Mallikharjun Kukunuri, Suman Roy Choudhury, Anupam Shrey, Rajat Dhar and Ashwin Arora who have been actively operating in rural India. Hailing from different geographies across India, these dedicated corporate professionals yearn to be substantive to the villagers who live in underprivileged conditions.

Here, they are introducing a set of varied skills with a single minded zeal to provide customized and swift insurance solutions that have been broadly curated for rural households. At the core of the venture propers an ideology to uplift the living standards of Indian farmers to accompany them in better decision-making, enhanced employment and improved revenue generation.

For this phenomenal cover story, we sat down for a virtual coffee session with Suman Roy Choudhury and Anupam Shrey who proclaimed to be ushering in the insurtech field with a series of unequalled products and services. Here, they have spotlighted intriguing industry acumen and discerning capabilities that gave us some food for thought to ponder over. Both of them have extensive experience in the rural insurance verticals where they happen to acknowledge the nuances of this area and the existing gaps too! Strikingly, after calling off from their ‘high-heeled’ jobs, the ‘white-collared duo’ embarked upon the journey to become entrepreneurs.

This detour in trajectory was based on the founders’ in-depth research and understanding of the insurtech industry where they were able to fathom several pain points. Now, DigiSafe is all set to co-creating an exemplary insurtech product line and network of agents to make a difference to the masses in need, that will be launched in a couple of months.

Delivering efficient solutions backed by ceaseless research and study, the founding members have been exploring the diverse scope of crop insurance segments from the past decade across different Indian states. All of their efforts concluded in the observational analysis of a localised survey under the Agri Insurance Scheme, PMFBY. Reminiscing the inspiration that led to the establishment of DigiSafe, the duo revealed that a scenario had them waiting when the respective farmer had to complete the survey where as per the time constraints he happened to reach a couple of hours late to experiment.

“When we inquired what happened, we got to know that the farmer went to the RTO office to renew his motor insurance policy with an insurance agent. It expedited the realisation where we recognized this huge gap existing in the system and brainstormed for hours to come up with the effective solution to avoid this hassle of travelling to such vast distances,” enunciated Suman Roy Choudhury.

Thereby, they ideated as well as executed the formation of an exclusive platform that could prevent the commute time and allow the insurance agents to reach people’s doorsteps instead. For all the luminaries, this out-of-the-box offering has been envisioned to be revolutionizing.

Undeniably, all the aspects mentioned earlier will make it a steadfast service provider with a comprehensive ecosystem to serve its customers with proficiency. End-to-end services as per customers’ needs have been their priority so far that reflects the brand’s customer-centric approach and ingenuity. Moreover, sheer transparency to the channel partner will be their core focal point once the operations begin with full-swing.

DigiSafe’s thoughtful strategy to stimulate a new era of Rural Insurtech where multiple underwriters can render efficient policies for daily necessities along with a reasonable range of products spanning across the verticals such as motor, health, crop and livestock insurance accompanied by life insurance segments pose a great scope of growth in favour of the rural populace.

The founders claim that the prowess of the workforce to be relentlessly supportive to the rural people to make informed decisions backed by robust Agritech data and community data is their competitive advantage. Amplified profits and mitigated risks are the add-on benefits of their persistent services. Furthermore, One village, one entity motive endorsed by their ‘1 Gram Insurance’ is the ‘secret sauce’ for them to offer efficacious insurance services to every household in every remote village across India. Along with commencing a small insurance policy for uplifting the living scenario for villages, the budding enterprise also began offering financial aid to the customers by employing a huge population of native villages.

“We heartily intend to establish an intricate connection with the rural space while creating appropriate awareness pertaining to insurance services and similar services to help them derive maximum benefits to living a better life,” affirmed Anupam Shrey.

The diligent luminaries are now converging on to launch ONE (Our Network Entrepreneurs) which is an exclusive partnership program hosted by DigiSafe and its channel partners. It has been formulated to identify, train and develop an adept team of certified point-of-salesperson (PoSPs) for effortless insurance distribution via physical and digital modes. This IRDAI regulated model is anticipated to establish an emotional connection and sense of union with DigiSafe’s vision to eradicate the impediments being faced by the end-users.

Owing to this unique offering, the start-up foresees a rapid expansion at PAN- India level, especially across rural areas. Steadily, they will be extending the reach of ONE to Tier 2 and Tier 3 semi-urban markets to maximise their impact scale in the country. Aspiring to support its all channel partners to become entrepreneurs on their own, the company is determined to cater its services to the clients with pre-sales, post-sales and allow them to claim insurance services with the assistance of adept executives.

Talking of their Unique Selling Propositions, DigiSafe’s founding team takes immense delight in unveiling its 1 gram- small insurance cover for an entire village that is acclaimed to be a phygital model. It is an exceptional offering that aligns concurrently with government schemes like Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY); and will be inducing a noteworthy reform across the market. Additionally, in line with the business roadmap, the startup is committed to establishing a virtual portal naming-Mera Assistant App that will be a smart assistant to the targeted masses in making informative and organized decisions in terms of some crucial activities such as farming, crop selection and insurance for motor, health, etc.

A dynamic decision support system for rural India is how the chieftains describe this lucrative application. It is apt in gathering relevant information from the field, community and agricultural data and is predicted to be an integrated platform where the pastorals can derive the data regarding weather, crop advisory, predictive analysis insurance dashboard and government initiatives, contributing heavily to their holistic growth.

Suman and Anupam both affirmed the prominence of the R & D process saying that all of their flagship projects have been the absolute outcome of incessant research. Ease of transaction in the insurance area promised by their products came from the dedicated efforts of the R&D and IT teams, explained Anupam.

“We wish to make DigiSafe – the encyclopedia of rural insurance in India that will prove quite advantageous to the Indian commonalities where insurance products could be bought in just two minutes,” quoted Suman.

Being the leading figures of the company, we couldn’t help but ask them about their perception of leadership, to which Anupam responded, “A leader should know how to motivate and propel every team member towards a common objective. He has to be adept at perfecting a balance between personal and professional life where he must also make instrumental steps towards holistic growth of the individual in his organization.”

“Suman disclosed his insights by stating, “I believe in establishing achievable goals and ensuring perseverant efforts in the same direction. Moreover, for me, an adamant vision is imperative to attain success and I strain every nerve to surpass my envisaged goal by putting maximum amount of time, energy and resources into it.”

The impact of their stewardship could be justified by the fact that most of their colleagues from the previous institutions have joined hands with them to add substance to the growth of DigiSafe. The founders have ingrained some outstanding values in the cultural principles at the workplace where everyone has the liberty to take responsibility for the situations and express their ideas and innovations with the senior executives. To sum it up, Suman articulated that our leadership is equally approachable and inclusive that works towards the comprehensive growth of the company, workforce and society.

When questioned to impart some information about the future outlooks of the leaders for DigiSafe, they assert that all the attempts are to carve a reputation as the most reliable brand for the provincial populace. Conjointly, the venture plans to align most of its time and energy with the Honourable Prime Minister’s vision- Vocal for Local. To be relevant to the rural populace efficiently, DigiSafe aspires to commence its business operations with 7 major states – Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and West Bengal before tapping into other states, ensuring countrywide footprints.

“We strive to connect the dots and fill the vacuum between urban and rural space by launching curated insurance products for commonalities living in the countryside,” concluded both the zealous entrepreneurs, elucidating their future endeavours for DigiSafe”

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