Policybazaar takes hybrid route to next phase of growth

For all its online dominance, Policybazaar needs to go offline to expand in a market still largely unexplored. The IPO-bound aggregator of insurance policies is set to become a broker with an army of agents looking to combine its tech capabilities with traditional on-ground sales

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Pratik Bhakta

July 20, 2021

10 Min Read

Even for India’s largest online aggregator of insurance policies, there’s no escaping the agent on the ground. As Policybazaar, the latest domestic tech company preparing to file for an IPO, seeks to expand beyond its digital confines and tap India’s vast unexplored insurance market, the traditional intermediary has become a necessity.

The company, founded in 2008 and now reportedly aiming for a $400 million public share sale, commands over 60% of India’s online insurance distribution market. But less than 1% of insurance sales in the country happens online, with agents still ruling the roost.

Armed with an insurance broking license secured last month, Policybazaar has now firmed up a two-pronged strategy for its post-IPO expansion: 1) appoint insurance agents to sell policies in largely untapped tier-two and tier-three geographies; 2) target small and mid-sized businesses for bulk group policy products.

“We definitely want to expand the existing business step by step into smaller cities and tier-two and tier-three locations, where we believe there is a genuine need and demand for such products,” said Sarbvir Singh, who joined Policybazaar as CEO in December 2019 from WaterBridge Ventures, where he was a managing partner.

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