Max Bupa COO Gujral, IT News, ET CIO
Bangalore: In an interview with ETCIO, Vikas Gujral, Director and COO of Max Bupa Health Insurance, discusses organizational IT strategy and business operations, the importance of cloud, mobility and information security in the transformation digital and much more.
Gujral is responsible for the development and execution of Max B
upa’s operational strategy, service delivery capability and technological automation. He has nearly two decades of industry experience and in the past has worked with leading organizations including Max Life Insurance, Bharti Airtel and GE Capital.
Edited excerpts …
Q1). Tell us about the organization’s overall IT strategy and business operations?
Max Bupa places a strong emphasis on using technology to deliver best-in-class service and an exceptional experience to its customers, partners and employees. Max Bupa had made significant investments in its technological capabilities, including its internal development and support team to ensure agility and responsiveness to changing business needs.
Max Bupa’s IT strategy is based on 3 key pillars – âcustomer experienceâ is the first pillar and focuses on excellence in the end-to-end customer experience across touchpoints. This is the largest area of ââtransformation in which we are advancing by leveraging digital and upcoming technology capabilities in various areas of customers and operations. In this area, we are building an omnichannel experience for our customers and innovating on the way services are provided and consumed by our customers. This is where we invest in aggregations, digital ecosystems, compelling channel experience, mobility and other experiential capabilities to differentiate ourselves.
The second pillar is called ‘decision guidance’, which indicates our emphasis on analytical-based decision-making capacities in several areas. We invest in building analytical capabilities, including big data analytics, from customer profiling to product positioning and risk management. This helps Max Bupa put technology at the heart of all decision-making processes and brings a unique culture to the organization.
The third pillar is what we call ‘Safe and Secure’ and it refers to all of the strengths that we are developing in our landscape to ensure scalability and sustainability. As we continue to take advantage of emerging technologies and transform various parts of our operations, we must ensure that security is not forgotten. We invest in areas of professional infrastructure management to bring predictability to IT operations, creating real-time scanning capabilities to secure our landscape in an ever-changing digital world.
We have made significant efforts to strengthen security at multiple layers: perimeter, network, servers, applications, data, information, and users. Our idea is to ensure end-to-end security of operations and automations, which is increasingly becoming an imperative for growing businesses given concerns about cybersecurity paradigms. Max Bupa ensures that we are fully prepared to meet challenges and protect our core IT assets while allowing the business to grow seamlessly.
While continuing to advance our IT strategy, we ensure that Max Bupa’s IT systems are architecturally robust, highly scalable, and hosted on Sun and Intel multi-server platforms in state-of-the-art compliant data centers. to ISO 27001. Max Bupa’s management has a very clear roadmap to ensure that the technology stack always maintains its competitive edge.
We have solutions in place to automate basic processes such as new business, complaints, healthcare provider enrollment, agent licensing and renewals. Together, these solutions have improved the customer experience through improved interactions and reduced customer response times. We have also enabled some of these key features on mobile platforms and in doing so; Max Bupa became the first insurer in India to introduce a mobility app in its customer acquisition process.
Q2). What are the main IT or technology initiatives that have been deployed in recent times?
Max Bupa makes sure that he always follows the development of technology and, therefore, makes continuous investments to stay ahead of the competition. Max Bupa recently developed a specialized OTC application for agents, called âInstaInsureâ, which issues a policy almost instantly. The app facilitates the otherwise long and tedious documentation work process that was previously required by the traditional method. Unlike this, the app also allows an insurance agent to speed up and facilitate documentation work, which will save travel time and reduce the risk of human error.
The company also successfully launched ‘SARAL’, an integrated end-to-end digital sales platform, for our bank insurance partners, which enables instant and hassle-free policy issuance for bank customers, at the counter in less than two minutes. The platform allows Max Bupa to reach customers of its partner bank through branches and create customer enjoyment at the point of sale.
Customer focus is at the heart of everything we do. We need to own the end-to-end customer experience – at the point of sale, claim or renewal. It is important to generate trust among our target audience at key moments of truth when they need us the most, especially at the time of the complaint.
Our effort in this direction was to introduce pre-authorization of cashless claims within 30 minutes. When the client needs to be admitted to the hospital, we cannot keep them waiting. We try to make sure that we help our clients in times of crisis by making the cashless claims approval process smooth, simple and fast. Today, we process 94% of cashless complaints within 30 minutes. Over the years, we have strengthened our position as an IT leader in the industry and such initiatives open up a range of opportunities to enable new business through innovative and responsive technology.
Q3). How well is your organization taking advantage of cloud computing and mobility technology?
Driving efficiency, effectiveness and business growth are the top business priorities for insurance companies today. The transition to a digital business can help insurers develop new business models to cope with disruptive changes occurring in economic, social and technological environments and drive profitability and growth.
Max Bupa is fully prepared to embrace upcoming technological advancements, especially in digital fields. We are in the process of setting up our own private cloud to take advantage of the benefits of scalability and elasticity. We are also investing in innovation pilot projects around the SDN and NFV domains in collaboration with our key partners to assess the evolution of the technology and how Max Bupa can benefit from it. We are also looking to move to a hybrid cloud setup in the future where for some non-core areas we will use public cloud offerings and save time in the market for some automation, especially around productivity.
Mobility is a key area and we are adapting a âMobile Alsoâ strategy where we are developing automation on the mobile channel for areas such as handling new cases and issuing policies. As we move forward, we are committed to better understanding our customers and having their lifecycle interactions on the mobile channel. Overall, I’m very excited to use mobility as a channel to innovate customer experience in the direction of consumerization.
Q4). Being in the insurance business, how do you deal with data and cybersecurity? Can you enlighten us in terms of the information security mechanism within the organization?
We view information security as a critical platform for our growth and all business initiatives. To ensure that all aspects are covered, we have created a robust framework for information security that spans 7 layers where constructs are applied. It is as shown below:
At present, we are working on various initiatives around information security, including the creation of a secure infrastructure landscape (with advanced threat protection capabilities) to create secure networks and mechanisms. access based on multi-factor authentication.
We are also implementing a robust framework for information security that will bring the desired processes and governance for the same. And finally, we examine data and information-level security through DLP controls and policies that provide us with real-time analysis and decision-making capabilities for Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM). .