We are publishing an interview of Mr. Subir Mukherjee, Founder and Director, GIBL.IN
About the founders:
Subir Mukherjee is the Founder and Director at GIBL.IN India’s leading online and offline insurance distribution network. A serial entrepreneur with 20 years of experience working with top multinational companies across the globe, Subir’s forte lies in scaling up companies by leveraging software, internet, and mobile technology. At GIBL, he is responsible for overseeing key functions such as 360-degree marketing and sales, growth analysis & strategic expansion, corporate build-up, financial management, and manpower management.
Subir holds a Master’s degree in Computer Applications from Shibpur BE College and a B.Sc. (Honours) degree in Mathematics from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata. He began his career as a software developer at MISL in 1998. Following this, he served as a software consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and as a senior software engineer at America Online (now AOL). During this time, Subir developed a keen interest in entrepreneurship, hoping to leverage his knowledge and experience of IT and digital technologies to make a significant impact on both private and public sectors. In 2003, he made his maiden foray into entrepreneurship and founded e-Celtic, an ICT company, headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.
Mr. Santosh Sahoo, Co-Founder, GIBL.IN
A young yet talented, IRDA certified dynamic insurance professional with 15 years of experience in various insurance sectors of India. Starting from setting up new business, operation management, insurance sales and marketing. He is a true all rounder in all areas related to Insurance.
In previous roles he was the VP in a leading insurance broker in India and manager in Iffco – Tokio General Insurance Company. He holds Post Graduate Diploma In Business Administration in Marketing and Finance. Santosh has in-depth knowledge of insurance products and corporate risks.
Mr. Stanley Das, Marketing Head – Digital, GIBL.IN: A digital driven marketing enthusiast with 8 years of experience in the ITeS & Advertising sector specialized in Marketing and Sales. He is an alumni of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management, Mumbai with a MBA degree in Integrated Marketing Communication. His industry exposure varies in all verticals across several well named companies like Google India, Pidilite etc. He is an avid watcher of Indian startup space with various online publications and stories. His vivid and tactical qualities has drove him several accolades in the companies he has worked in. His knowledge about the Insurance sector is vast which helps enables him to deliver the perfect answer to any query.
List all the names of the core team members, along with their skill-sets, specific domain expertise & designated roles. How do you see them evolving over time?
- Mr. Subir Mukherjee, Founder and Director, GIBL.IN
- Mr. Santosh Sahoo, Co-Founder, GIBL.IN
- Mr. Shahid Ali, Principal Officer, GIBL.IN
- Mr. Abhijeet Saha, Corporate Strategist, GIBL.IN
- Mr. Diptendra Mukherjee, National Sales Head, GIBL.IN
- Mr. Stanley Das, Marketing Manager, GIBL.IN
- Mr. Shibendu Banerjee, Business Development Manager, GIBL.IN
- Mr. Provat Mondol, Technical Lead, GIBL.IN
- Mr. Pabitra Chakraborty, Senior Software Tester, GIBL.IN
- Mr. Tapas Das, System Administrator, GIBL.IN
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
According to the National data only 2 % of Indian Insurance market is online and rest 98% is offline. The way our country is modernizing I believe that is a great problem, even to our Prime Ministers thought process of Digital India campaign. Our only motto is to convert that 98% population of our Offline TG to Online with our Revolutionary POS Program which will empower them to act as an Independent Digital Insurance Bazaar. Again one of the major problem is unemployment which we are reducing by providing them a white collar job and give them training to polish their skill sets. We are focused on making history by creating 50000 Independent POS agents at 500 Insurance points across India in next 2 years.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
When I started out GIBL.IN in the year 2013, I found the problem that maximum people in India was a bait to trust issues regarding agents, lack of right choice of Insurance company and mis selling of insurance policies. With that note I started out our online portal to sell Insurance policies which today stands at a point where it’s the first thought for Insurance decision. Our Insurance platform eradicates all worries of old ways of policy buying, agent disruption and transforms into a complete modernized way of paperless buying and above all the customer can compare and buy the insurance policy of his choice of any company independently within few clicks.
How did you get the initial capital? What returns does it have? Tell us about the investors (if any)
We started in a bootstrapped mode and Invested approx 3 Cr of our own money in the venture. But over the span of time we made a 350% ROI which stands today to 50 Crore approx. We have already done the Pre-Series of Funding and now I’m sure we are ready plus we are actively looking to get a Series A funding of around USD 5 Million to support our expansion schemes.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
GIBL offers customers a web-based portal and a mobile app-based platform through which they can buy insurance on-the-go. Customers can easily search for, compare, buy or renew insurance products at GIBL from 3000+ policy options. It covers all popular policy types including Motor, Health, Travel, Personal Accident, Home, Business and Commercial Insurance, amongst others. The company already has over 10 lakhs registered users and more than 1.20 Lakhs pages in the portal.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
I assumed the size of the market and segmented our business model into various divisions which helped us to gain the traction of growth. Further I analyzed the loopholes and provided contrary solutions to expand the opportunities. As I said, with the advancement of technology , I have developed this Independent selling method of Insurance services which is not only revolutionary but caters exactly to what the customers wanted which facility was earlier not available to them.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
When I say about insurance I would say that customers faces huge trust problems when buying insurance policies plus they have headaches to sign and get piles of papers. My motto was to change that trust factor to positive by providing services to all levels in the market. As GIBL.IN name states that we help customers by giving them the facility of comparing and buying policies of their own choice from a pool of 32+ companies. Buying policies at GIBL.IN is totally paperless and flexible and our platform can be used by anyone who knows how to use an app and internet. GIBL.IN is here to replace those ways of physical Insurance selling by transforming the mindset of customers and empowering them to use Insurance marketplace like ours with ease and comfortably. Our revolutionary POS Program will help in achieving the goals set above additionally at the same time we will maintain business transparency by proving custom built CRM support, 24×7 operations support to our agents.
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
Strength of startup: We are operating in a space where I believe we are constantly evolving and breaking news points with a committed core team who are working hard with limited resources. Currently we are 100% sales. Last FY we did a collection of 25 cr and this year we are hoping to get 50 Cr topline and with our size and projections we are pretty bullish to make 100 Cr in next year. So far 50k policy holders and 10 lakhs registered users are in the pot of GIBL.IN.
What is the revenue model? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
Nothing is free. Customers pay the Premium and we get the Commission out of sale. Commission can go upto to 15% to 35% on various product lines.
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
We target all target groups in all levels who are willing to buy General Insurance policies.
How did you get your first customer?
All Thanks to Google who gave us our 1st customer on the third day. When I got up from sleep in the morning I got the news that a motor policy was issued and believe me that moment was very much delightful and filled with excitement and without making a second late I informed all my team who worked behind it and was result of their effort.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
We are doubling our growth rate every year and from that I can say that it’s not far when GIBL.IN would be the first choice of preference for insurance buying. Additionally with our Online network we are launching our POS program for Rural Development. For this you can get in touch with our core team for more details.
Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? What is the current turnover? (From Launching till date total no. of visitors on website/persons registered/enquiries and enrollment). Please explain in details:
Investment till Now: 3 Cr.
FY 17-18: 25 Cr.
FY 18-19: 45 Cr.(Approx)
Business Drawn Till Now: 100 Cr.
Website Visitors: 2 Lakhs Monthly
Daily Enquiries: 2000+
Registered Users: 10 Lakhs+
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Creating a deep social impact with our POS model is a major aspect of the overall vision of GIBL. It aims to bring 7.5 million Indians under insurance protection and create 50,000 insurance entrepreneurs over the next 5 years with POS centres in 500+ cities. To fulfill this vision, the GIBL POS agents will provide easy access to insurance cover to people in urban slums, tier 2, tier 3 cities and rural areas. These policies will cover health insurance, personal accident and life insurance under Rs. 75 per month and offer covers up to Rs 50,000 in hospitalization cost or 1 lakh in case of death. Policy holders will get free health cards which could be used in GIBL’s network of hospitals, diagnostics or pathological centres and medicine shops to get up to 40% discount on the listed price. The company is also eyeing tie-ups with women-driven co-operatives to achieve the twin objectives of creating employment and empowering women.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Pursuing something is a tough journey. Unless someone feels to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and continuously till he/she doesn’t achieve the desired dream, nothing big cannot be achieved. Grab every opportunity and put all your effort in the subtle way.
Any other information you would like to share:
According to me timing is important in all aspect. The market size of Insurance in India is USD 100 Billion which is expected to rise to 300 Billion in next 2- 3 years therefore I think we are at the right time and at the right place to use this opportunity and make any event successful. I feel 2019 will be best year ahead and we are hoping to get listed by 2022.