“Today’s insurance market is extremely competitive and tough. So, you need to serve your customers in a smart and innovative way in order to have smooth sailing,” Manoj Kumar Bhattarai, CEO, Prime Life Insurance.
Established some 10 years back by reputed business professionals, the company is providing various products and services related to life insurance in the country. It seems the company is simply gaining traction by tackling various market challenges. ‘Superior products, operational efficiency, and motivated workforce, among others, have fuelled the steady growth of the company,’ Bhattarai points out.
The company is offering around 16 different insurance products in total in the market. Of these, Naari Jeevan Beema, Jeevan Dhan Sagar, Surakshit Awash, Prime Life Pension Fund and Prime Jeevan Upahar are most attractively sold in the market.
Naari Jeevan Beema is essentially a money back policy targeted towards women. Under this policy, 2.5% of sum assured will be returned in the desired occasion after completion of the first policy anniversary date. Jeevan Dhansagar is also a money back policy under which 25 percent of sum assured will be returned after every 5 years to the policy buyers.
Similarly, Surakshit Awash Jeewan Beema is a policy designed to provide security in home loans. Life insurance will be insured throughout the loan period and the clients get economic benefits according to the specialty of life insurance.
The company’s Life Pension fund is a totally new insurance policy in the context of Nepal which provides security after active work-life. Under it, at the time of maturity, the insured will get basic sum assured plus vested bonus with the option to convert into a pension plan (annuity). Jeevan Upahar Plan is yet another innovative product of Prime which is a money back-cum-endowment plan. The key feature of this product is that a policyholder gets an equal sum endowment policy at the first policy anniversary data of master policy without any cost.
Prime is also focused on ensuring operational efficiency in a cost-effective fashion as possible. For example, it has strategically adopted a horizontal structure particularly in the management of its agencies. “And this is paying off in terms of making the business processes fast and streamlined rather than being juddered along (like in vertical structure). The flat structure also demands less expense as the management does need to hire more staffers,” informs Bhattarai.
“In the very structure, you also grant employees the freedom and opportunity for personal growth without micromanagement. This way, they simply become more driven since their financial stability depends on the outcome of their performance. When you have ambitious and dedicated people and less red tape, the organizational functions are bound to be efficient and effective.”
Prime Insurance also appears serious to leverage the Information and Communication Technologies to bring efficacy in its daily functions. It has recently developed its own software named “Clas” to systematize its daily transactions in an integrated way. Previously, it used to use various software programmes for business transactions, accounting, human resources management etc. But this was a lengthy, tedious process as it involved various procedures like data transfer and interface. So, it came up with Clas to simplify this process by integrating all the activities of the organization in a single software program. ‘
Similarly, Prime is placing a high priority on its employees to smoothly move ahead. ‘It is mainly the level of skills and motivation of the human resource that determines the overall productivity of any organization. So our human resource policy is focused on grooming them in the best possible way,” Bhattarai relates. According to him, Prime is pretty proactive when it comes to imparting professional training to its employees. “We plan and execute various types of management and operations related training classes to our employees including the agents every year. One, on the one hand, the company outsources the related professionals and experts from abroad to educate its staff members on various key aspects of the insurance business. On the other, it also sends them abroad for training on the basis of their work performance.”
The company has an army of 200 permanent staffers while the number of individual agents associated with it stands at 5,000. The clients buying different insurance policies except for foreign employment one from its number around 2,60,000. The number of those buying mandatory foreign employment insurance from Prime alone is 17,00,000. It has so far signed bancassurance agreements with ten banks and financial institutions (BFIs) under which Prime is providing its products and services to the customers of such institutions.
When it comes to the physical networks, the company boasts of 138 branch offices across 74 districts situated in all the seven provinces of the country.
According to Bhattarai, his company is in good financial health due to the adoption of prudent and cost-effective management procedures. ‘The audit reports of the company over the last 3/4 years have shown a decline in operating expenses and an increase in premium collection.”
It collected a total premium worth Rs 2.45 billion in the last year, an increment of 23 percent compared to 2016. In the previous year, such collection had recorded a growth of 17 percent. This year, the company is looking to collect a total premium amounting to some Rs 3.6 billion.
As far as the arithmetic size of its life fund goes, it presents stands at Rs 6.64 billion. Some 4 years back, such size was just Rs 1.87 billion. Prime aims to increase its life fund to as much as Rs 35 billion by 2023.
In fact, the company has already articulated a five-year strategy (2018/19 to 2022/23) to accomplish its future goals in an effective and efficacious way.
“In a nutshell, the strategy is all about bolstering the company’s overall position by bringing superior operational efficiency and optimum turnaround time as well as enhancing the insurance products and services for superlative customer satisfaction,” Bhattarai divulges adding, ”After all, we are also committed to setting a new benchmark in the country’s insurance industry as a whole.”