We are looking at 30% growth this fiscal year: Max Bupa chief
The standalone health insurer is also filing a health and wellness product that will cover the outpatient department.
Standalone health insurance company Max Bupa Health Insurance is looking to drive growth by enabling customers to stay healthy. In an interaction with M Saraswathy of Moneycontrol, Ashish Mehrotra, MD & CEO, Max Bupa talks about their business strategy and future growth prospects. Edited excerpts:
Earlier this year, you had inked a deal with Swiss Re and GOQii to create a health and wellness ecosystem. Will that be your focus?
We believe that this will help drive and incentivise right behaviour. This partnership will help create a comprehensive health ecosystem and help customers embrace a healthier life and drive more activity. Since this is still a nascent market; Swiss Re will help us with the data. We will file one on health and wellness that will also cover OPD.
One big trend which is coming on is that people are becoming more conscious of their health in both larger and smaller towns. Medical inflation is high. Consciousness is emerging within people, especially since the overall penetration of health is very low and this is driving the growth.
What is your business mix and what is the growth rate that you are looking at in FY18?
Retail constitutes 95 percent of our portfolio and we are predominantly a B2C (business to customer) company. In this fiscal, we are looking at a 30 percent growth.
Is pricing the reason why you have stayed away from writing too much business on the group front?
Once the pricing settles down, we may be open to entering that space in a bigger way. That is currently not a high focus for us.
What is the strategy on the profitability front?
Our core features including lifelong renewability and lowest waiting period has now become the norm. As long as we do the right things, profitability will follow. As a tentative timeline, we are looking at December 2019 to achieve break-even.
Now, several insurers have been making regular changes in product pricing. Is that becoming a trend?
Globally, health insurance gets re-priced at frequent intervals (annually). Now, many insurers are following the step (including changing the pricing every two to three years). Otherwise, the companies will bleed since medical inflation is high.
On the distribution front, are you looking at selective products for the different bank partners?
We have a good blend of public sector banks, private banks and foreign banks as partners. We also have rural banks. Bank of Baroda is helping us reach much beyond our existing presence.
When we work for any bank, we create products tailor-made for them and the sum assured are also different. However, our aim is to have seamlessly delivered over the counter. We are also seeing good traction on our app and get 30 percent to customers through InstaInsure app on the agency front.
Since you have a life insurance company in the group (Max Life), would you be looking to offer combi products with them?We will be open and that is also the way Max Life will look at. We are working on it. We want to focus on the comprehensiveness and not fight on price.