Policybazaar has opened 15 offline retail stores across India, embarking on its insurance broking journey. The web aggregator aims to expand it to 100 locations.
The brick-and-mortar stores will serve as experience centres for customers and offer them the comfort of a local physical presence to help resolve any queries or service requests.
With these stores, customers will have access to Policybazaar's proprietary comparison engines that will help them choose the right insurance product, enhance their ability to compare multiple products, all underpinned by a seamless end-to-end technology in the insurance journey.
Recently, insurance regulator IRDAI approved the insurance broking licence proposal of the company and will undertake business including insurance aggregation under the broking umbrella.
With this development, the company surrendered its web aggregator licence to the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI).
The company is rolling out comprehensive plans for various segment including fast-growing small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to serve customers better by having an offline presence, Policybazaar.com said in a statement.
Commenting on the expansion, Yashish Dahiya, CEO, Policybazaar, said, "We could not have done justice to our objective of increasing India's insurance penetration levels with online channels alone. We are glad to be able to offer more products and our services with diversified insurance solutions to those more comfortable with physical meetings and offline stores."
To drive the business, the company has roped in former executive director of SBI Life Insurance Rajiv Gupta to lead its expansion plans in the offline space.
WoodenStreet, a prominent home furniture and decor brand in India, has exhibited significant growth, boasting approximately a 50 percent increase in margins compared to the previous year. Founded in 2015 by Lokendra Ranawat, Dinesh Pratap Singh, Virendra Ranawat, and Vikas Baheti, the Rajasthan-based startup recently announced remarkable growth for FY22-23.
The company achieved a revenue of approximately Rs 200 crore for FY22-23 and has set an ambitious target of Rs 500 crore for FY23-24, signaling its determination to further expand its operations.
WoodenStreet has been maintaining a consistent annual growth rate of 60-65 percent in India since its inception. Notably, the company's margins surged by 50 percent compared to the previous fiscal year, and it has managed to maintain a positive EBIDTA of Rs 8 crore, highlighting its operational efficiency.
In an era dominated by digital platforms, WoodenStreet has successfully balanced its online and offline presence. The company has opened more than 45 new stores in the last 12 months.
WoodenStreet has strategically expanded its physical presence over the years, with over 90 Experience Centers throughout India and warehouses and R&D Units covering an extensive area of over 20 lakhs sq ft.
Lokendra Ranawat, CEO of WoodenStreet, stated, "As we set our goals for FY23-24, we're excited to introduce innovations to consolidate our market position further. Our commitment to investing in new stores remains unchanged, and we plan to open 300 stores in the next 24 months. Our growth story in FY22-23 is more than just an economic achievement. It's a validation of our continuous efforts to innovate, grow, and, most importantly, to serve our customers better each day."
To diversify and enhance the customer experience, WoodenStreet is introducing two new sub-verticals this year, namely Earthy Threads and Lightstreet. Lightstreet aims to revolutionize home illumination by offering functional and aesthetically pleasing designs. Earthy Threads, on the other hand, is venturing into the realm of soft furnishings, combining traditional artistry with contemporary sensibilities.
As WoodenStreet embarks on another fiscal year, it is evident that the brand is not merely pursuing numerical growth but is on a mission to redefine India's furniture and home decor landscape.
Founded in 2015, the brand presently operates over 90 experience stores across India and maintains a network of more than 350 delivery hubs, offering a vast selection of over 30,000 home furniture, decor, and home furnishing products.
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