In conversation with Amit Kalra


Swiss Re discusses the significance of Open Innovation in the Insurance sector in India….

What is the current state of open innovation in the insurance space in India ?

Open innovation is still in its nascent stage in the Indian insurance industry. Some of the leading insurers are working with the tech ecosystem in an exploratory mode. However, in general, there is huge scope for structured approach and dedicated effort towards such initiatives. There have been instances of good collaboration between the tech ecosystem and insurance companies in the recent past. Examples include telematics solution and digital insurance solutions automating claims processing. All these developments, however, are driven by individual companies and not at an industry level, and this is where we see an opportunity.

Why is open innovation important to Swiss Re?

We successfully ran the InsurTech accelerator for two consecutive years, and while we were learning from our experiences, the strategy and expectations within the global group also evolved quickly. We realized that we could deliver higher value to the group if we made our structure more flexible and were able to work with the tech players across the spectrum in a curated way, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach. This approach has to be managed through a program which will leverage synergies from both external and internal innovation ecosystem. We have now launched the initiative as InnoValue Exchange, with focus on innovation-led value creation while setting up platforms for knowledge exchange and cross collaboration. We intend to not only get closer to practical and relevant solutions, but also induce a change in the organizational culture.

What are the verticals Swiss Re is focusing on?

While our focus is to come up with innovative and differentiated solutions for our clients, we would also like to solve business problems which would enable us to improve ourselves – this may include new risk/market insights, raising efficiency, digitizing internal processes, and so on. Do note, the scope for us is, therefore, not only limited to opportunities in InsurTech, but includes innovation in healthcare, fintech, IoT, consumer-focused tech solutions, etc.

Where will Swiss Re open innovation be in five years?

We have entrenched ourselves in the InsurTech ecosystem in India, and as a result, we have been able to launch a first-of-a-kind Insurance offering called GoActive, in partnership with leading health insurer Max Bupa and tech partner GoQii. We hope to have more of such success stories and to be able to replicate these successes not just for our Indian clients but for the overseas markets to tap its full potential. We would like to continue our leading position as a key player in the InsurTech ecosystem in India through exploratory and innovative approach.