Niva Bupa Health Insurance Company

Niva Bupa Health Insurance Company

Krishnan Ramachandran, MD & CEO, Niva Bupa Health Insurance

In India, there always have been misconceptions associated with health insurance. Due to the lack of awareness and proper understanding of the product, people associate health insurance with fear. To make health insurance an enabler for living life the way it should be lived, without any worries, Niva Bupa Health Insurance Company (formerly known as Max Bupa Health Insurance) is working towards de-jargonising the category through various customer awareness initiatives.

Niva Bupa came into being in 2010 as the third Stand Alone Health Insurance (SAHI) company to be launched in India. Over the years, Niva Bupa established itself as one of the most renowned brands in the health insurance sector by making significant contributions to the growth of the Indian health insurance industry, propelling the penetration of health insurance in the country.

Niva Bupa has a strong distribution network pan India with a reach in 350 cities with 199 branches and has the largest bankassurance networks in the health insurance segment with access to marquee banks, with distribution counter spread across 35000+ bank partner branches. At present, Niva Bupa has 7000+ employees working for them.

Paradigm Shift At Niva Bupa

I Following a change in the company’s shareholding pattern in 2019, with the withdrawal of Max India and the arrival of Private Equity firm, True North into the shareholder mix, the company rebranded itself as Niva Bupa. True North and Bupa have strong synergies and a shared goal of making Niva Bupa a widely admired, lucrative, customer-centric firm that provides lifelong customer value.

Krishnan Ramachandran, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Niva Bupa Health Insurance

Krishnan is an industry veteran and a well-recognised name in the health insurance industry. He brings over 21 years of extensive experience across the Health Insurance, Healthcare & Life Sciences industries. Known for his focus on core institution-building with varied experience in transforming health insurance operations, he is driving a high-growth distribution strategy and leveraging technology to enable business growth.

Krishnan has played a vital role in shaping the evolution of the health insurance industry in India through leadership roles in the CII Policy & Standards Committee on Health Insurance. He has a diverse experience across domestic and international markets and a track record of delivering consistent and profitable growth.

Krishnan is responsible for driving Niva Bupa’s next growth phase to realise the vision of becoming India’s most trusted health insurance company. He joined the Health Insurance industry more than 20 years ago when health insurance was at its nascent stage. Seeing the industry’s growth potential, he worked towards bringing innovations in this sector.

Krishnan started his journey as one of the founding members at Apollo Munich and then joined Niva Bupa. He holds an MBA from IIM Kolkata and a B Tech degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from IIT Madras.

En Route To Success

Krishnan joined Niva Bupa over two years back as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Niva Bupa Health Insurance. Since then, he has taken on the mantle of driving the company towards its next growth phase.

With the onset of the pandemic, there has been a sudden increase in health insurance awareness. With that, the Indian health insurance business rose dramatically by 34.2 per cent in YTD July 2022, compared to 9.9 per cent in YTD July FY21.

Niva Bupa has been consistently growing by over 40% in FY21, FY22 and YTD FY23. Aggressive expansion plans have primarily driven the growth in Tier II, III & IV markets, the launch of comprehensive and segment-specific products like ReAssure and Senior First, and robust digitisation and tech infrastructure that has automated the processes across the value chain. To support the rapid expansion, Niva Bupa is aggressively expanding its direct and digital collaborations and massive regional development.

Milestones Along The Way

A customer-centric organisation, Niva Bupa built a foundation of trust for its customers by standing by them in moments of truth. Over the last decade, Niva Bupa has emerged as one of the top health insurance companies. Their products, like ReAssure, Senior First, and AnyTimeHealth, are the first of their kind in the industry. They also have some unique services, including 30 mins cashless claims approval, coverage for up to 19 relationships in a single policy, and no TPA model.

Over the last few years, Niva Bupa has received immense recognition for its work culture and contribution to the health insurance industry across various platforms, such as Great Place to Work and ET Best Brands.

Differentiating Factors

Niva Bupa is amongst the first SAHI players aiming to bring about a change in the way consumers perceive health insurance. Their recently launched brand campaign, ‘Zindagi Ko Claim Kar Le’, conveys the message of not associating health insurance with any fear element and instead considering it as an enabler which nudges people to lead a carefree life.

At Niva Bupa, their vision is “to become India’s most admired Health Insurance company” by giving every Indian the confidence to access the best healthcare. They intend to empower their customers with knowledge, guide them with expertise, and provide them with a gamut of services that provides ease of convenience to them. Niva Bupa is striving towards democratising health insurance by making quality healthcare accessible to people across the nation.

Digital-First Approach

Niva Bupa offers several health insurance products ranging from comprehensive plans to disease-specific covers to add value to their customers. All their initiatives and services are backed by the digital-first policy adopted by the company across all the functions, including sales, claims, policy issuance, product designing, etc.

Niva Bupa was already en route to digitalisation; the digital wave intensified during Covid. Consequently, in FY21, more than 90 per cent of claims were submitted digitally. They launched Cia, a chatbot to answer basic Covid-19 and other health-related questions, and a similar service through WhatsApp. Launching the multi-functional ‘Niva Bupa Health App’ enables customers to instantly book cashless OPD, policy details, and other services. It offers instant booking for diagnostic tests at home and annual health checks, besides helping customers monitor their health in real-time.

Future Outlook

Niva Bupa is currently working towards introducing a series of health-specific policies and riders to cater to the evolving needs of its customers. They have recently launched an affordable, comprehensive group cancer plan with The Indian Cancer Society to safeguard families from cancer risk.

Their recently launched Live Well webinar series brings together medical experts and consumers on a platform to drive awareness and bust myths around common illnesses and general misconceptions related to healthcare.

By FY23-24, Niva Bupa plans to increase its reach from 350+ cities to over 600 cities. The company aims to achieve INR 5,000 crore Gross Written Premium by bringing over 10 million people to India under the ambit of health insurance by FY23-24.

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