MetLife India Seeks Its Way Out of the Crowd
- Replace an unstable Core Policy Administration system with a flexible solution capable of supporting new product launches, growth objectives, better auditing controls and customer support
- LIFE/Asia, the most recognized online, real-time life administration system in Asia
- Improved employee morale and customer service
- New product support and best practice auditing
- MetLife lifted to top five in the industry by growth in India
With the world’s second largest population and a booming economy, India is fertile ground for business opportunity. It’s been just over 10 years since the country opened its insurance sector to private companies, and firms of all sizes have set up shop in this vast, mostly untapped market.
In the past decade, annual growth rates around 15 percent before the financial crisis have made India the fifth largest insurance market in the world. The country’s biggest life insurance company is still owned by the Indian government, but other players are quickly garnering their own piece of this $16 billion market.
Among the two dozen major firms in India is MetLife, Inc., which through its affiliates reaches more than 70 million customers in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. But despite being the number one life insurer in the U.S., the company is middle of the pack in India and essentially has started from scratch to build its local business.
Entering the Indian market
As one of the fastest growing life insurance companies in the country, MetLife India Insurance Company, which began operations in 2001, has undergone significant change. Launched with an unstable Core Policy Administration system that lacked the capabilities the company needed to thrive, MetLife India has joined other leaders in the insurance industry by enlisting CSC's technology and support.
Incorporated as a joint venture between MetLife International Holdings, Inc., and other private investors, MetLife India is evolving into a strong brand, operating through a diversified distribution approach. It serves customers by offering a range of products to individuals and groups at more than 600 locations through its bank partners and company-owned offices staffed by more than 50,000 financial advisors.
Upon joining the company in 2006, Managing Director Rajesh Relan was faced with a Core Policy Administration system that had a number of shortcomings, including a limited ability to sell or change products, and numerous bugs, defects, and auditing issues. The system, designed in Portuguese by a firm in Brazil, also lacked direct vendor support, which frustrated MetLife’s employees. In 2007, they began planning to replace it and the following year selected CSC's LIFE/Asia.
Launching a new legacy
Once LIFE/Asia was selected, CSC migrated one million policies from the old system to the new with no major issues, giving MetLife a fully functioning and well-supported operating platform on which to grow its 140-year old brand in the Indian market.
LIFE has over 100 installations in 36 countries, across five continents. In India, LIFE/Asia has over 50 percent market share of the private life insurers. It provides the means of controlling all aspects of policy administration, introducing new lines of business, setting up new routes to market and providing an architecture that enables the integration of disparate systems with an overall IT infrastructure.
The launch at MetLife India boosted employee morale. The lack of trust between agents and customer service from the previous model was eliminated and the shaky audit controls of the past were replaced by those soon noted as best practice for the company.
After our system went live, MetLife has ranked among the top five insurance companies in terms of growth percentage in India, according to monthly reports. Prior to LIFE/Asia, they traditionally ranked twice as far down the list.