Policy Bazaar.com is an aggregator website (1) that assists consumers in researching and comparing the features of various insurance plans in a given category. It allows people to make wise decisions when choosing a strategy. The company has partnered with insurance brokers to obtain details from them directly, such as price, expense, and insurance coverage, for consumers to compare. The customer then selects the best choice based on the details given. Customers are not charged anything for this operation. Policy Bazaar makes money by creating leads for insurers, selling advertisements, and selling insurance policies.
It is advised that you insure yourself against life’s unforeseen events and emergencies. An insurance policy’s whole purpose is to provide financial protection against accidental risks. It is easier to handle risk and cash flow volatility if you are insured. It’s also regarded as a viable investment choice. However, insurance brokers struggle to provide consumers with comprehensive coverage options. They withhold sensitive policy-related knowledge from unsuspecting people, whether consciously or unknowingly. Rather than prioritizing the customer’s needs, these agents often market meaningless policies for their gain and commission.
Because of the insurance industry’s secrecy, a large portion of a saver’s money goes to fattening the agent’s pocket. Customers are hesitant to purchase insurance from agents because of these reasons. Yashish Dahiya (2) created PolicyBazaar in 2008 to add clarity and accountability to the Indian insurance policy market. PolicyBazaar is India’s largest forum for evaluating, comparing, and purchasing insurance based on price, quality, and other prominent features.
The business, which was founded in 2008, initially compared insurance policy rates and provided insurance-related information. PolicyBazaar now offers assistance with policy cancellations, renewals, and lawsuit settlements. Policy Bazaar is a one-stop-shop for all of your insurance needs. It provides life insurance, health insurance, automobile insurance, travel insurance, and group insurance, among other things. On its website, the company has over 250 insurance policies and about 50 insurance brands. Visitors can conveniently compare insurance policies and purchase those critical to their needs thanks to its design.
To improve the customer experience, the organization is continuously adding new features and technologies. A few years ago, the company launched a ‘My Account’ feature. Customers can easily download policies, lift tickets, request clarification, and update policies using Policy Bazaar’s ‘My Account’ feature. For the revival of lapsed motor insurance, the company launched a self-inspection video feature. To boost customer satisfaction, PolicyBazaar implemented Amazon Polly and created PBee, an in-house AI chatbot. In 2015, PolicyBazaar released a smartphone app. The software works with both Android and iOS devices.
Yashish Dahiya, the founder of PolicyBazaar, graduated from IIT Delhi with a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1994, a postgraduate diploma in management from IIM Ahmedabad in 1996, and an MBA from INSEAD (2001). He became a consultant for Bain & Company shortly after that. He then moved on to ebookers.com as managing director in the UK. He founded First Europa, a multinational Online Insurance Broker, in 2005 and was in charge of leading the company’s global growth and overseeing the company’s business across nine geographical locations. He’s already a national-level triathlete and swimmer. PolicyBazaar’s founder, Yashish Dahiya, is also an investor and the founder of paisabazaar.com (3).
From its inception until February 2020, Yashish was the CEO of PolicyBazaar, later, Sarbvir Singh (4) was appointed CEO of PolicyBazaar in February of 2020. Before joining PolicyBazaar, Sarbvir Singh worked as the Managing Partner at WaterBridge Ventures. Sarbvir is a graduate of IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad and has worked for Emerson Electric, Citibank, HomeShop 18, Network 18, and JP Morgan Private Equity Group. He also co-founded Hercules Capital, a firm that invests in the Indian equity market on behalf of institutional and private clients. In 2006, Sarbvir left Hercules Capital (5).
Alok Bansal, the co-founder and director of PolicyBazaar is an IIM Kolkata alumnus. Before joining PolicyBazaar, he worked at First Europa as a finance officer, Mahindra & Mahindra as a senior manager – Corp Strategy, and iGate Global Solutions as a company manager. Avaneesh Nirjar, a co-founder of PolicyBazaar, is an IIT Kharagpur alumnus. He graduated from Birla Institute of Technology with an MBA. He worked for Marico Industries, AT&T India, GE Capital International Services, Heroites, Cendant ISO, and First Europa before joining PolicyBazaar (6).
The COO of the company is Sharat Dhall. Sharat was the COO of Yatra Online Pvt. Ltd. before joining PolicyBazaar. He worked for Hindustan Liver Limited as the Business Head, Indiatimes.com as the Vice President of E-Commerce, Expedia as the Managing Director (India), and TripAdvisor as the Managing Director (India). He also acts on the Advisory Committee of CreditEnable, a global provider of credit insights and technology solutions. According to LinkedIn, the PolicyBazaar team numbers about 5,000 people. In 2019, PolicyBazaar owner Yashish Dahiya announced that the company planned to hire 2,500 new members, taking the total number of workers 6,000.
Competition in the sector
As business associates, the startup has reputable firms in the auto insurance, health insurance, life insurance, corporate insurance, and travel insurance markets. Aegon Life, Aviva Life Insurance, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, Royal Sundaram General Insurance Cigna, DHFL Pramerica Life Insurance, Edelweiss Tokio Life, HDFC Life, ICICI Prudential, Liberty General Insurance, HDFC Ergo Cholamandalam General Insurance, PNB Metlife, Max Life, SBI Life Insurance, TATA AIG, Future Generali, Apollo Munich Health Insurance, IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance.
The online insurance market is a fast-paced and competitive environment. To stay relevant, insurers must ensure that their pricing is competitive and demonstrate value for money to consumers. Digital networks level the playing field by increasing clarity in product features, costs, and services. Traditionally, the challenge to online policy aggregators like PolicyBazaar has come from other similar players who provide similar services by offering the platform but not owning the actual product. However, players like Coverfox and Acko, who own the insurance and are full-fledged online insurance brokers, make space much more difficult to compete.
To stay ahead of the competition, market leaders are rethinking and realigning their business models and strategies to meet current customers’ needs and the demands of potential target groups that will be their new customers in a few years. Furthermore, with conventional products losing their relevance and the number of consumer touchpoints declining, it is critical to reinvent current insurance product offerings to meet changing customer behavior and needs. Ecosystem services can help you not only create loyalty but also grow profits over time (7).
Although India’s insurance landscape is changing, conventional methods remain very important, and convincing customers to go online remains an arduous task. According to a PWC survey, 27 percent of insurance customers still rely on word of mouth, 22 percent on agents, and nearly half of users still go online for their insurance needs. Just 20 percent of customers use online aggregators like PolicyBazaar, and the remaining 50 percent of the market is highly fragmented. These 20 percents are shared among all market participants.
PolicyBazaar must build a future-ready plan and continue to evolve by taking a careful look at the macro-level disruptions in the Indian insurance sector and changing customer behavior as digital technologies become more prevalent year after year, they lower entry barriers such as prohibitive costs and allow on-demand scaling of operations.
PolicyBazaar currently has a 50 percent market share in the online insurance space and a 25 percent market share in India’s life insurance, and a 7 percent market share in India’s retail health insurance industry. PolicyBazaar has raised 476.6 million dollars in 8 rounds from 15 different investors, with five serving as lead investors when it comes to investment. In May 2018, PolicyBazaar raised 200 million dollars from investors such as Softbank and Info Edge. It recently raised 130 million dollars in a Series G round of funding. PolicyBazaar’s revenue in 2018 was 21.67 million, up from 6.67 million dollars in the Fiscal year 2017 (8).
Tencent Holdings (9) Ltd. has purchased a minority stake in PolicyBazaar to penetrate the insurance market. PolicyBazaar is a startup that will disrupt the insurance industry by enforcing strict regulatory controls. Tencent’s investment will most likely be used to launch the new company in the coming months. The new venture will focus on financial services to expand these companies and verticals. India’s burgeoning internet economy has given the country market conditions close to, if not better than, China’s, with increased mobile internet penetration and consumption levels. Tencent’s investment activity has shifted to a more international focus as it expands beyond its home market and looks for opportunities across Asia.
Building an IPO
In India, online insurance marketplace According to people familiar with the matter, Policybazaar plans to file a draught prospectus for its Mumbai initial public offering as early as next month. The IPO could raise 500 million dollars. According to the people, the SoftBank Group Corp.-backed startup is looking to go public before the end of the year. They asked to remain confidential because the information is confidential. According to the sources, new stocks and secondary shares from existing shareholders will be included in the sale, which could value Policybazaar at more than 3.5 billion dollars. According to the sources, discussions are still underway, and information such as size and timing can change (10).
Policybazaar, backed by Tiger Global Management and Temasek Holdings Pte., maybe one of India’s first mega startups to go public this year. Bloomberg News announced that online food delivery service Zomato and online beauty care service Nykaa E-retail Pvt. Some of the country’s tech companies are preparing to go public on the local market. Financial behemoths have poured billions of dollars into India’s burgeoning tech sector. Though Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos has said that “the 21st century is going to be the Indian century,” Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are pouring money into partnerships with local operator Jio Platforms Inc (11).