EP 62 – Yashish Dahiya – CEO Policy Bazaar – Anybody Who Owns the Customer Will Eventually Take the Value

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Michael Waitze has been podcasting with some of the best investors and business builders globally and discussing all things startup with them from an Asian perspective. Michael worked in Global Finance for more than 20 years, employed by firms like Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, primarily in Tokyo. Michael always maintained a particular focus on how technology could be used successfully to make businesses more efficient and to drive P/L growth. Michael is quite skilled at connecting people and capital to innovative ideas and is a trusted advisor to both investors and founders. Michael is a leader in the digital media space, having pioneered the concept of a podcast network in Asia while building the biggest and fastest-growing listener base in the region. His flagship website, AsiaTechPodcast.com, has listeners in over 100 countries and is available on virtually every podcast player that supports RSS feeds.

Yashish Dahiya is co-founder & Group CEO of PolicyBazaar.com. In over 12 years, Yashish has grown PolicyBazaar to become a key influencer in consumer decisions around insurance. He believes death, disease and disability products are the future of the insurance industry, as India strives towards social security. He is an avid sportsperson, and has worked in the past as MD of Ebookers Plc and consultant with Bain & Co in their London office.

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In this episode, Michael Waitze talks to Yashish Dahiya, the co-founder and CEO of PolicyBazaar. The Company started in 2009 and reached unicorn status in 2018. Tencent and the Softbank Vision Fund are among some of their prominent investors. 

Before starting PolicyBazaar, Yashish was a strategy consultant with Bain & Co. He shares why he had decided to enter the insurance space and focus on online sales, a concept not known in India back in 2008. Over the past 12 years, PolicyBazaar has grown with its customers and added new features along the way. They introduced a mobile app in 2015 that today allows consumers to handle all their insurance policies from different carriers, file claims, and renew contracts. 

Today, PolicyBazaar has a 3-5% total insurance market share in India and aims to quadruple the share and increase it to 25%. The aggressive target is fueled by the current Covid-19 pandemic which caused an increase in demand for life and health coverages sold digitally. While the business is benefitting from the current pandemic, the Company has to manage operations and work from home due to the current lockdown. Even for a digital player, it is a challenge equipping over 13,000 employees with laptops and ensuring connectivity. 

Yashish and Michael talk about the long term impact of the virus outbreak. Both believe the pandemic will be around for a while and it might forever change how we work and connect. PolicyBazaar has already decided to have a minimum of 40% of their workforce work from home after the pandemic and give people a choice to work remotely or come to an office.

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