Mumbai, November 4
Private sector life insurer Bajaj Allianz Life is planning to allow a good portion of its over 10,000 employees to work from home (WFH) going forward, as lockdown and the resultant remote working have honed their skills enough to “efficiently deliver the services”.
The whole country was put under a strict lockdown in the last week of March to contain the spread of coronavirus. Since then, the virus has killed over 1.24 lakh and infected over 8.3 million. The lockdown led to companies building their digital capabilities to continue their business.
Bajaj Allianz Life said that by allowing more of its employees to work from home, it can save as much as Rs 100 crore annually by way of travel, power bills and other overhead and admin charges.
Its Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Tarun Chugh said that WFH “has been very, very efficient to the extent that we are happy to continue the WFH format even after the lockdown”.
“We are reducing the size of our over 600 branches, as people and staff need not visit branches every day. We will let the staff work from the office once or twice a week,” Chugh told PTI in a recent interaction.
He added that as part of extending the WFH format, the company is promoting our mid-to senior employees to have the gig ecosystem.
“We are keen to have more of our women employees to be part of this extended WFH format and to facilitate this further we’ve already hired 25 specialist women.”
On the savings side from continuing to work from home, he said they will save Rs 25 crore on travels annually, Rs 15-17 crore on infrastructure and administrative costs and Rs 9 crore on electricity bills. “Overall, we should be saving around Rs 100 crore annually by WFH.”
Chugh said during the lockdown months, the company developed a digital tool that allows group browsing—up to four people, the agent, one/two executive from the underwriting side and the customer—so that there is better clarity on sales commitment and more importantly less miss-selling.
Through this co-browsing app, they have held over 50,000 sessions and sold nearly 10,000 policies since it went online late August, he said.
Chugh added that since the beginning of the lockdown, all services and 15 per cent of sales have been online. Online sales have jumped a full 95 per cent over the same period last year, he added.
And, Chugh expects digital interactions, sales and service to grow further going forward. As part of its digital push, they launched an industry-first app for hiring agents, called i-Recurit, in May. With this app, the company can now on-board an agent in a fortnight. The company has a sales force of over 75,000.
Its other digital tools include i-Serve, Whatsapp, chatbot Boing, Life assist mobile app and a customer portal.
Bajaj Life’s assets under management stood at Rs 64,367 crore in the September 2020 quarter. — PTI