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Exclusive Interview with Santanu Agarwal, Deputy Managing Director of PAISALO Digital Limited.

Exclusive Interview with Santanu Agarwal, Deputy Managing Director of PAISALO Digital Limited.

1. Can you tell us more about PDL Program from PMJJBY and PMSBY?

Our primary objective at Paisalo Digital Limited is to empower our customers with a comprehensive understanding of finance. We firmly believe in enabling our customers to make informed decisions for their well-being. Through various communication channels, we strive to educate our customers about the diverse insurance policies offered by the government, aiding them in selecting the most appropriate plan for their specific needs.

2. The Government-backed plans, such as PMJJBY and PMSBY, are pretty interesting. How do these plans benefit policyholders and what motivated Paisalo to offer them?

As these are government programs, they require minimal paperwork for maximum cover, essentially just a savings account to access them. The premiums for these schemes are quite affordable, with PMSBY starting at Rs 20 and PMJJBY at Rs 436, making them budget-friendly for rural customers. Despite the low cost, these schemes provide substantial insurance coverage of Rs 2,00,000 ensuring that the amount proves beneficial during times of necessity.

Given the financial situation of our customers, we’ve embarked on an initiative to assist them in attaining financial stability. Making government schemes accessible to them is a crucial step in this direction. Our participation in these schemes on behalf of our customers aligns with the Government of India’s goal of making “Insurance for all by 2047” a reality.

3. Could you elaborate on the premiums and coverage provided by PMJJY and PMSBY? What sets these plans apart from other health insurance options in the market?

The Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) is available at a premium of just Rs. 436. This policy provides a substantial life coverage of Rs. 2,00,000 for each policyholder. In addition, we offer access to the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), which offers accidental death and health insurance coverage at a very affordable premium of only Rs. 20, along with a sum insured of Rs. 2,00,000.

These plans are characterized by their low premiums and simplified documentation requirements, essentially necessitating a savings bank account to enroll making it easily accessible for rural customers.

4. In the first quarter of 2023-24, Paisalo extended a significant sum insured. Can you share more details about the societal impact of this initiative and how it aligns with the company’s mission?

During Q1 of 2023-24, our efforts resulted in the extension of a cumulative sum insured under the Government Scheme’s (PMJJBY & PMSBY) amounting to Rs 4,63,20,00,000. As a result, more than 20,000 families now possess a financial safety net to rely on, ensuring their financial security in times of unforeseen circumstances.

At Paisalo, our fundamental belief revolves around empowering our customers to take proactive steps in enhancing their income. Facilitating education regarding government insurance schemes serves as an additional means for us to foster financial security, enabling our customers to remain resilient during unpredictable times.

5. What challenges do you foresee in expanding the reach of affordable health insurance, and how does Paisalo plan to address them?

Expanding the reach of affordable insurance faces certain challenges, such as the absence of a basic bank account, which can hinder the inclusion of individuals in insurance coverage. Additionally, the lack of awareness about insurance and its significance in rural areas poses a notable obstacle that requires human interaction to bridge the gap.

Paisalo addresses these challenges through its Business Correspondent model, wherein Customer Service Providers (CSPs) engage in door-to-door assistance, aiding rural customers in opening bank accounts while concurrently educating them about the benefits of government insurance schemes.

Furthermore, the limited accessibility for insurance premium submissions, particularly in areas without physical offices, is another hurdle that we tackle effectively by leveraging our local CSPs who are accessible for premium submissions or facilitating the use of auto-debit features for payments.

6. Access to affordable health insurance is a critical need, especially in challenging times. Can you discuss Paisalo’s vision for the future of this program and any upcoming initiatives or partnerships?

Paisalo remains dedicated to empowering our customers to secure a robust financial future. Our commitment to providing insurance reflects our resolve to establish a safety net for unforeseen circumstances.

We aim to maintain the momentum established in Q1 of 2023-2024, continuing to raise awareness about building a financial security net via government insurance schemes and enrolling new customers into the program. Alongside government-endorsed insurance programs such as the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY), we also extend the Atal Pension Yojana (APL) to all our customers, providing a comprehensive pension scheme.

7. How does Paisalo plan to raise awareness about the services among the potential customers?

In rural regions, our Customer Service Providers (CSPs) perform essential everyday banking services within their local communities. During their routine visits for these essential services, they simultaneously educate customers and conduct workshops to enhance awareness regarding different insurance policies and their advantages. Additionally, we employ banners at CSP service points to further facilitate awareness.

8. What role does technology play in the delivery and management of these insurance programs, and how is Paisalo leveraging it to benefit its customers?

At our CSP Points, we have a comprehensive dashboard of each customer transaction. This enables us to assess whether a customer has any government insurance products or not. Depending on this information, our CSPs guide customers in selecting from a range of government insurance schemes. We also verify if the customer has already availed of government insurance schemes through other bank accounts to prevent duplicate premium payments. The entire process of onboarding customers for government insurance is streamlined and efficient, through the integration of technology.

9. Could you highlight any plans or innovations in the pipeline that will further enhance the accessibility and effectiveness of health insurance for individuals in India?

As we extend our CSP networks, our objective is to encompass an even larger number of rural customers, concurrently promoting government insurance awareness and enabling customers to assume control of their financial stability. While government insurance schemes like Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojana (PMJJBY) and Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojana (PMSBY) have taken significant steps in making insurance affordable for rural customers, we are dedicated to enhancing accessibility through our CSP network’s door-to-door services.

About Santanu:

Santanu’s visionary leadership at PAISALO has streamlined lending processes, placing a strong emphasis on cost-effectiveness and digital transformation. He is deeply committed to facilitating positive transformation in semi-urban and rural India by leading the way in providing more accessible credit opportunities through technology. With a solid background in Forex trading across global hubs, Santanu has infused modern technology into the well-established 30-year-old Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) business.

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