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Published in Yourstory on 19th April 2012
SecureNow, established in February 2011, by Abhisek Bondia, Kapil Mehta and Amit Sinha is a full-service insurance broking firm based out of Delhi. Abhishek is a CA and CFA with experience of having worked with Mckinsey. Kapil and Amit are both IIM-A alumni with a luminary record. Kapil was previously the MD of DLF Pramerica Life Insurance while Amit was the president of Indicus Analytics. The three together form a very competent and sound core team.
SecureNow was set-up as a result of the resentment the founders underwent when they saw disgruntled insurance customers who had been mis-sold insurances. The founders also had a deep conviction that the quality of insurance selling in India needs to be dramatically improved. Over the past few months, SecureNow has notched up over a 100 clients and is growing fast.
Annual insurance sales in India are USD 22 billion and growing at 15% each year. “Despite this large size, penetration levels are poor. Brokers as a distribution channel in India are less than 15% of the market and very small.” says Kapil. “It has been only 12 years since insurance got privatized in India. We have a long way to go before people are well insured with the right insurances.” he adds. The largest insurance broker in India may have revenues of about USD 20 million.
SecureNow works with corporates and individuals. On the corporate side they leverage their in-house proprietary benchmarks and risk knowledge to speed-up the price discovery with insurers, thus enabling companies save lakhs of rupees. On the individual business they focus on term and health insurance which are the fastest growing segments in the country and have been increasing at 40% per annum. Term and health insurance are highly underserved segments.
Revenue Generation and Marketing Model
SecureNow earns a commission from the insurance products that it sells. It is also open to working for a fixed fee in lieu of commission. Talking about marketing, Abhishek says, “Insurance is largely a push based product. Customers realize the value of Insurance once they have seen the adversity very closely.” Giving an illustration for this he mentions, “After the Satyam scam got exposed, the sales of Directors and Officers liability insurance suddenly spiked”.
Value Proposition
“For corporate customers our value proposition is quite straightforward – we reduce their costs by atleast 20%. In most cases we do this with an increase in benefits.” says Abhishek. While for individuals, Amit says, “we provide them with low-cost ways of insuring themselves through term and health insurance.” He mentions. Other distributors shy away from these products because of the low margins involved and this works in favor of SecureNow.
SecureNow has an extremely competent core team and to find new talent matching the levels they expect is turning out to be a challenge. The scope for this sector is humongous but increasing the reach is cost intensive. “Also, since the products they deal with are low-margin, it is necessary to keep acquisition costs low.” concludes Abhishek.