Leveraging emerging technologies we have already implemented a few innovations like the Self-Inspection video feature for renewing lapsed motor insurance, while new projects in the pipeline include Self Cashless Claims feature, asserts Jayant Chauhan, Chief Product Officer, Policybazaar.com.
Digital India Mission of Government of India is a well-articulated policy intended to ensure last mile connectivity in the country. To what extent has this policy been implemented? Your views.
Governments focus on digitization augurs well for the overall health of our economy and is a step in the right direction, particularly because 67% of our population resides in rural areas.
Furthermore, our demography coupled with the sheer size of India makes it virtually impossible to affect change at the grass route levels because achieving last mile connectivity through traditional approaches is not pragmatic. However, our ability to leverage tech intelligently holds the key to us realizing our true potential and offsetting the limitation relating to last mile connectivity/delivery.
The digital India mission can be termed a success in terms of where we were prior to its initiation and where we are today. According to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, we have witnessed a 200% rise in the digital transaction since demonetization and the transaction value has crossed the USD2.8 trillion mark. In fact, transactions through BHIM UPI amounts to the tune of USD 10.3 billion. Thus, success has been achieved and giant strides have been made in moving to a digitized India.
However, the stakeholders pushing for digitization cannot rest on their laurels as the battle is half won. In my opinion, to hasten the pace of the digital initiative and increase digital consumer base it is imperative that the government starts incentivizing consumers opting for digital transactions. Until that happens, blanket implementation of the mission will not be possible. It is also critical that there is a bigger push to showcase from time-to-time the progress being made in the smart cities initiatives, and how all the innovations there are being incorporated in the government’s realm and processes
India’s Digital India Mission is an expansive network of concepts. Has India’s Digital India Mission been able to create sufficient jobs in the country? Please share your views.
The digital mission has certainly fostered growth in the country as it is contributing to the overall financial integration of our nation. In fact, by 2025, the digital sector will contribute up to USD 435 billion towards the GDP of the country, which speaks of the opportunities and potential the digital India mission presents.
The initiative has led to the creation of roughly 3 lakh new jobs and has the potential to create 50 – 75 lakhs jobs over the next five to ten years, which in itself is huge.
However, I would refrain from making a sweeping comment on whether the digital India mission has created sufficient jobs because what may be sufficient for one may not be sufficient for others. However, it will be accurate to state that it is making a huge positive impact on the growth of the country.
What is your view on the Data Protection Bill?
A comprehensive Data Protection Law is the need of the hour to truly ensure a person's privacy in today's digital age. The proposed legislation is a good move and should inspire confidence among the people who have been apprehensive about data privacy or have been at the receiving end of data theft.
The bill will make India Inc. more accountable towards its consumers, which is good for business and allows them to establish trust with their consumers.
Having said that, I would also like to add that emerging technologies like blockchain are already being adopted extensively by corporates to secure the consumer data. The bill will simply strengthen this further.
What major challenges do you observe in the Indian ecosystem for the successful implementation of the Digital India Mission? What methods of mitigating these challenges should be adopted?
Digital India Mission is the beginning of a positive social change in the country.
The mission will allow the citizens to access all services electronically, even in remote areas, by improving online infrastructure and by increasing Internet connectivity. The initiative has one objective. i.e. - To ensure last mile delivery of essential services and enabling financial integration of India and enhance transparency. However, it is easier said than done as many roadblocks exist in the way of successful implementation of the plan.
For example Poor digital illiteracy, lack of adequate supporting infrastructure, low internet speed, lack of coordination among various departments, not incentivizing digital users through tax cuts and data protection. In order to address the impediments relating to successful implementation of digital India mission, we should undertake the following:
Massive awareness program is the need of the hour to enhance poor digital literacy. There is a pressing need to educate and inform the citizens, especially in rural and remote areas, about the benefits of internet services to increase the growth of internet usage. PPP models must be explored for sustainable development of digital infrastructure to address the issue of poor supporting infrastructure. To encourage PPP initiatives, the private sector should be incentivized through tax cuts to set-up infra in rural areas. To improve data protection and prevent data theft, knowledge relating to cybersecurity is a must. We can look at introducing cybersecurity courses at graduate levels revolving around adopting best practices that minimize data theft.
How is policy-bazaar implementing strategies in lines with the Government of India’s Digital India Mission?
We are aligned with the government's endeavor to promote an inclusive India through digitization.
As the scope of India’s digital mission expands and internet penetration increases the pool of potential Policybazaar.com consumers is also increasing.
Thus, we are focusing on taking advantage of the increased internet penetration and widespread smartphone user base to educate India about the need for protection against the 3Ds – Death, Disease and Disability.
As a showcase, our integrated strategy with India digital mission has ensured that we control 25%+ of India’s life insurance market.
What major projects are in pipeline with respect to digital transformation in BFSI sector?
AI, Internet of Things, Blockchain, etc. have taken the BFSI sector by storm and enabled the development of tech innovations never seen before.
Leveraging emerging technologies we have already implemented a few innovations like the Self-Inspection video feature for renewing lapsed motor insurance, while new projects in the pipeline include Self Cashless Claims feature. Both the initiatives are aimed at enhancing the last-mile services rendered to Policybazaar.com consumers.