Policy Bazaar Case Study and Success Story
Policy Bazaar Case Study and Success Story – Most of us have purchased some sort of insurance from Policy Bazaar at some point of time. The online Indian insurance aggregator has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years, setting an example for other similar portals in terms of funding, marketing campaigns and quality of services.
Founded in the year 2008, Policy Bazaar is a great example of how startups can make it big, despite the obstacles in the path. In this blog post, we will take an in-depth look at the success story and marketing strategies of Policy Bazaar. Let’s begin with the case study!
Table of Contents
Policy Bazaar Founders
Policy Bazaar is the brain child of 3 founders – Yasheesh Dahiya, Alok Bansal and Avaneesh Nirjar.
Yasheesh Dahiya holds a B.Tech degree from IIT Delhi, a Post-Graduate Diploma in management from IIM Ahmedabad (1996) and an MBA from INSEAD. Soon after, he joined Bain and Company as a consultant. Following this stint, he became the managing director at ebookers.com. Then, Dahiya became the co-founder of PolicyBazaar and served as its CEO till February 2020.
Co-founder Alok Bansal is a post-graduate from IIM Kolkata. He has held 3 major positions prior to arriving at Policy Bazaar. First, he served as the finance director at First Europa, followed by a stint as the senior Manager – Corp Strategy at Mahindra and Mahindra and business manager at iGate Global Solutions.
The third co-founder, Avaneesh Nirjar, too, is an IIT alumnus. Furthermore, he holds an MBA degree from Birla Institute of Technology. He has worked for a number of notable companies so far including GE Capital International Services, Cendant ISO, First Europa, AT&T India, Marico Industries and Heroites.
The Idea behind Policy Bazaar
In an interview, Yasheesh Dahiya stated that the idea of starting an honest online insurance website came to him when his father was duped of a considerable amount of money by insurance agents. He stated that the transactions looked clean to a layman on the surface, but were rigged to extract funds in a way that the beneficiary didn’t understand. This led Dahiya to come up with an honest and fair online insurance comparison and aggregator website that users could trust without having to call an agent.
Interestingly, Policy Bazaar had only 14 employees at the time of its launch. The team has now grown to over 6,000 employees. In the initial days, it was only a
policy comparison website; however, now you cannot just compare but also buy all kinds of insurance (vehicle, life, travel, etc.) from the website itself and even make secure investments with just a few clicks.
Policy Bazaar Revenue and Business Model
Policy Bazaar.com helps customers compare and purchase a diverse range of insurance policies within a category. The portal has top insurance brokers listed on its platform.
Policy Bazaar’s revenue model has changed drastically over the last decade. In the year 2011, the company was making 85% of its revenue from lead generation and advertising. A decade later, the insurance aggregator’s 85% revenue has come from policy sales alone!
PaisaBazaar.com is a subsidiary of Policy Bazaar, so the company also makes revenue through loans and credit card bills.
Policy Bazaar Marketing Strategies
Policy Bazaar spends a lot of funds on television ads and digital ads. They have in fact hired many popular faces of both TV and films. Around 2015, Kapil Sharma was the face of the company. A few years later, the company hired superstar Akshay Kumar as its brand ambassador.
It was quite natural to witness a surge in the sales of life insurance policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Policy Bazaar further capitalized on the situation by making TV commercials and digital ads that centered on the importance of getting a life insurance in such uncertain times, where a person’s family members
Aggressive advertisement during IPL
IPL has become a festival of sorts. Many modern-day startups spend millions of funds to promote their products and services during the high-profile cricket tournament. Policy Bazaar has been very active at the IPL front, at almost every edition. It shouldn’t come as a surprise if the company gets lacs of policy buyers just through the TV commercials aired during the IPL. This ad campaign has helped the company tap into tier-2 and non-metro cities.
Internet is a very powerful medium to promote products and services especially among the youth. Policy Bazaar spends a lot on Pay-Per-Click ads/Paid ads on Google Search and Facebook. Besides the TV ads, the two portals are their major revenue drivers. Furthermore, the company also promotes its services through YouTube ads.
Policy Bazaar Funding
Policy Bazaar has undergone as many as 13 rounds of funding from a total of 22 investors. The highest amount raised so far is $200 million, which came through series F funding in 2018, led by SoftBank and InfoEdge (India).
Policy Bazaar has been receiving funds regularly from a number of investors – the most prominent ones of the lot being Soft Bank, Intel Capital, Inventus Capital Partners, InfoEdge (India) and True North.
Here’s the funding timeline of the insurance portal so far:
- Intel Capital and Inventus Capital Partners provided $4.6 million in Series A Funding of March 2013
- Tiger Global Management invested $20 million in Series C funding of May 2014
- In the next round in April 2015, $40 million were raised for Policy Bazaar by Tiger Global Investment, PremjiInvest, Steadview Capital, Ribbit Capital and ABG Capital
- A sum of $77 million was raised by Tiger Global Management, Temasek, PremjiInvest, Info Edge(India) Ltd and other investors in 2017.
- A whopping $200 million was invested through a series F Funding round led by Softbank and Infoedge
- Tencent Holdings invested $150 million through a series G funding round in November 2019
- In a private equity round conducted on 17 March 2021, Policy Bazaar received a funding of $75 million by Falcon Edge Capital.
The company is now aiming to raise INR 6,017 crore through IPO. Policy Bazaar’s total valuation at the time of writing this post is over $2.5 billion.
Policy Bazaar Achievements and Recognition
Here are a few notable achievements of Policy Bazaar:
- It is the largest insurance aggregator in India.
- Policy Bazaar gets more than 100 million visitors every year
- The portal sells more than 20,000 policies every month
- The company recorded a whopping 220% increase in its revenue in FY 2017-2018
- Policy Bazaaar is the second Indian company to enter the Unicorn club, after Vijay Shekhar Sharma’s . The insurance website achieved this feet in May 2018 when the company received $200 million from Softbank and InfoEdge (India).
- If stats released by Policy Bazaar are to be believed, the company holds 25% of India’s life insurance cover and roughly 7% of India’s retail health insurance business.
- More than 50% of online insurance sales come from PolicyBazaar.com alone!
- Did you know that DocPrime is a venture of PolicyBazaar? It was launched in the year 2018 and provides online medical services. It became quite popular soon after launch, which can be confirmed through the fact that the website received 1 million unique visitors within 6 months of its launch.
Policy Bazaar Challenges Faced
Here are a few challenges faced by the company:
1) Customer Inertia: Policy Bazaar’s marketing head Sai Narayan thinks that customer inertia is one of the biggest challenges in the path of Policy Bazaar. Most of the people are still dependent on insurance agents, which is not a good sign in the age of highly sophisticated internet. He feels that it takes a lot of hard work to convince this segment of users.
2) Just a Tax Saving Method: Many users consider insurance as an ideal mode to save taxes. Perhaps because of this reason, the insurance sales shoot up from January to March. It is important for them to realize the bigger picture!
Policy Bazaar Competitors
Policy Bazaar has a good hold on the market. But, it still faces some direct and indirect competition from the following websites:
- Bank Bazzaar
- Policy Advisor
- Easy Policy
- Insurance Pandit
The concept of buying different types of insurance online is still alien to many Indians. Only the educated youth residing in developed cities are contributing majorly to the revenue generated through online policy sales. Every new concept takes time for people to get used to. Online insurance is no exception. The rate at which digital reach is growing, the offline modes of buying things will slowly disappear.
Policy Bazaar has done most of the things right, from the beginning, and that’s why they are dominating the policy market in times of COVID-19 health crisis, wherein everyone wants to secure the future of their loved ones, just in case they fall victim to the wrath of the virus. On the marketing front though, Policy Bazaar has left no stone unturned and that is indeed evident from their success.
Thanks for reading 🙂