Written by Richard Leftley
As 2015 begins to draw to a close, I sit here reflecting on some pretty astonishing numbers from the past year.
100,000 and 10 million; pretty big numbers in any context, but in terms of the products and services we offer, they are truly phenomenal. The most amazing thing is, for MicroEnsure these aren’t just big numbers, they’re reflective of the difference we’re making to people’s lives.
Yes these are big numbers and that’s why I’m so proud, because these are the number of people who are benefitting from just two of our products in two very different countries in this year alone!
Easypaisa crosses 100,000 subscribers
Earlier this year we worked with Easypaisa and Telenor Pakistan to launch a product called “Sehat Sahara”, specifically designed to offer health insurance to the mass market in Pakistan.
Offering a convenient way of improving access to health care by providing financial assistance for inpatient hospitalisation and disability, offering a new innovative method of health financing to those in need
I really thought it would be a ground-breaking product.
And I was right, in the first year of launch, we’ve already seen 100,000 subscribers, that’s 100,000 people (and their families) who now have access to vital health insurance who simply wouldn’t have had the opportunity, or believed in such a product before.
MicroEnsure is excited to partner with Easypaisa to bring this revolutionary product to the mass market in Pakistan. It demonstrates that it is possible to make it easy to sign up, pay premiums and make claims using the mobile phone, all without the normally laborious administration associated with a financial product such as insurance. We are excited to cross 100,000 customers that have opted to buy this product and we look forward to reaching new heights in partnership with Easypaisa.
100,000 subscribers is good, very good; but 10 million…
In September this year, Telenor India launched “Suraksha”, India’s first mass market free insurance product in partnership with MicroEnsure and Shriram Life.
And as I sit here penning this note, in just 10 weeks since launch, the product has attracted more than 10 million subscribers and is opening up new avenues for access to insurance to the masses.
This really is a phenomenal number, when we launched this product, we knew that it would be offering something that the mass market in India needed, but we could never have imagined that so many people would subscribe in just the first few weeks.
What this shows is that the mass market in India are in desperate need of good, affordable and honest insurance products, and I’m proud of the fact that Telenor Suraksha powered by MicroEnsure has been able to address this need.
As a ‘first of its kind’ initiative in the telecom industry, Telenor Suraksha powered by MicroEnsure is available for free to all of Telenor India’s existing c. 48 million customers together with all potential new customers across its six operating circles.
The scheme has the potential to empower society through financial inclusion, by offering millions upon millions of people access to vital life insurance cover, free when they top up their mobile phone.
Speaking across cultures and languages
In a countries such as Pakistan and India, we’ve faced new challenges such as scale, culture, language, geographical access and regulation which have all meant that a new, unique approach has had to be taken in order to make these products a success.
In India, what has been delivered is a multi-lingual offering, allowing users to seamlessly apply for, and manage the whole process through a mobile phone via USSD and SMS. The structure and delivery is solely through the mobile phone, meaning it is accessible to all.
There are no complicated application processes or forms and the unique underwriting means that there are no exclusions; everyone is covered.
I am proud that MicroEnsure has been able to offer revolutionary products to the mass market in India and Pakistan. They demonstrate that it is possible to make it easy to sign up, pay premiums and make claims using the mobile phone, all without the normally laborious administration associated with a financial product such as insurance.
So what’s in a number (or two)?
Well 100,000 subscribers in just one country and an additional 10 million subscribers in just 10 weeks in another are achievements that have never been seen before just go to show that with our partners, we are reaching new heights and making insurance a reality for millions upon millions of people; those people that really need it the most.