Amar Ujala 101 Markets: Ensuring insurance in small-town India

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing
Last updated : September 21, 2010
Samir Gupte of Ogilvy Action presented a case study on ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, and how activation helped popularise the concept of financial planning in rural and small town India

During a session called 'Marketer's Panel' at the event, Amar Ujala 101 Markets, Samir Gupte, country head, Ogilvy Action, presented an activation case study in small-town India for client ICICI Prudential Life Insurance - in particular, its children's plans.

Rural, he began, is not about numbers or geographical location; it's about the mindset. He added that Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is a strong player with great equity in rural and small-town India; while private players are looked at with suspicion.

"People in rural and small town India don't really understand insurance," Gupte said. The mindset is 'I don't have separate dreams for myself, but I hope my children can study and make something of their lives." In such a situation, ICICI Pru Life wished to talk to them.

Thankfully, parents in such areas do think education is important; but for them, education means all of three aspirational professions for their children -- medicine, engineering or teaching. Here too, they are largely unaware of the kind of monies required for such aspirations, let alone know about other career choices. "The task for us was to get parents to think of financial planning for their children," Gupte explained.

This was done in two ways - by exposing children and teachers to a thought-provoking learning methodology in schools and getting children to take the message back to their parents; and by involving parents themselves, so that they could be shaken out of the inertia of not planning for their children financially.

'Pragati ki Anokhi Paathshaala' was the initiative, which was a two-day workshop module. The first day was the Child Module, which focused on communication skills, memory enhancement tools, Vedic Maths and logical reasoning. Here, children were also exposed to various career opportunities, and they were bound to be excited enough to go home and tell their parents.

The second day was the Parents' Module; this involved inviting parents to come to school and play a game called Arthyudh. Parents were divided into groups, and each group was given a fixed monthly budget, with which they had to meet their expenses. Some groups thought of only day-to-day expenses, while others factored in long-term expenditure as well, but the latter were few.

"We summarised how some groups only thought of short term, while it is important to think long term for children. We basically opened parents' eyes and planted what is called a 'keeda' in their minds that they should start planning now," stated Gupte. Further, Ogilvy Action left a ready reckoner with parents containing similar exercises; and copies were also given to local insurance agents (called local advisors) in these areas.

'Pragati...' touched 250 schools in 250 towns across six states, reaching 68,000 children and their parents. It was a four-and-a-half month long activity. As a result, it helped ICICI Pru Life across mind measure scores, by improving its trustworthiness factor post activation, among other factors. Further, overall sales for ICICI Pru Life (children plans) grew by over 50 per cent in areas where the activation was done, versus those where it wasn't. ICICI Pru Life also managed to get leads, which converted into sales.

'Pragati...' is currently in its second phase this year with similar activities underway.

For the record, 101 Markets was sponsored by Amar Ujala and organised by afaqs!. It is in its third year.

First Published : September 21, 2010
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