Entrepreneurship has never been considered a practical route. How can it be, without the promise of the bank balance tinkling just a little louder at the end of every month? And yet, in recent years, the unlikely tribe of entrepreneurs has grown.
At SecureNow, we’ve been part of the incredible entrepreneurial wave. And along the way, we’ve made several discoveries that have changed the way we perceive people, customers and businesses. For instance, we have established that small businesses are willing to buy insurance from someone who does not have a long standing personal relationship with them, provided the fare being offered is relevant. We have found that these businesses are not price, but value driven. We have demonstrated that fresh graduates can sell relatively complex general insurance, provided they have strong technology support. We have determined that underwriting, which used to take weeks, can be done in minutes. We have observed that a healthy dose of technology can dramatically increase access to small businesses spread across geographies and industries.
Today, the commercial insurance market in India is about 60 billion USD. Of this 60 billion USD, 85% is done with large companies that have more than 500 employees or assets of over Rupees 100 Crore. Just 15% is bought by the 30-40 million SMEs in the country. The more you talk to these SMEs, the more you realize that they do not get the insurances they deserve. They are under-served and even un-insured. The problem is that these companies need insurance most. They understand the risk, and have tried unsuccessfully to buy. So, you have this strange situation where the SMEs need the insurance and insurers have the products, but the pipes in between are missing completely and really what we want to do at SecureNow is to build these pipes so that we can get the people who need insurance the most and get it to them fast. The moniker “fintech” is really a description of how we build those pipes.
SecureNow has completed eight years. In the past 3 years the commercial insurance we have sold has increased 8-fold. There have been times of uncertainties and times of contentment. It takes years of hard work for entrepreneurs to become overnight successes. Delve into the history of any entrepreneur and you will see failure, rejection and course correction in equal measure. It takes all three to make a great entrepreneur. J.R.R. Tolkien captured this best when he said “All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.” My sentiments exactly.