Sheena Kapoor: Pioneering Success at ICICI Lombard

Sheena Kapoor: Pioneering Success at ICICI Lombard | The Enterprise World

An impactful business leader goes beyond managing tasks; they craft a compelling narrative that aligns with the company’s mission, propelling it toward success and resilience in a dynamic business landscape. They wield unparalleled influence in steering the growth and dynamics of an organization. Their strategic vision, decision-making process, and adept navigation through challenges directly impact the company’s trajectory. Moreover, their influence extends beyond daily operations, shaping the organization’s identity, market positioning, and long-term sustainability. 

One such influential business leader, Sheena Kapoor, the Head of Marketing, Corp Comm & CSR at ICICI Lombard, is a prime example of such leadership. With a wealth of experience, Sheena has left an indelible mark on diverse sectors, showcasing a unique blend of entrepreneurial spirit and corporate finesse. Her journey reflects a commitment to innovation and growth, contributing significantly to ICICI Lombard’s marketing strategies, corporate communication, and social responsibility initiatives. Sheena’s leadership not only elevates the brand but also sets benchmarks for industry standards. As a visionary, she exemplifies how a business leader’s insight can shape the destiny of an organization, making her a compelling figure to watch.

Marketing Journey

Sheena Kapoor boasts over 20 years in the marketing arena. Post-MBA, she swiftly landed the first campus placement and dipped her toes into management consulting before joining the Times Group. There, for over 12 years, she led marketing for innovative startups like TimesofMoney and Remit 2India, India’s pioneering online remittance solution and adjudged as the World’s No 1 Online Money Transfer portal.

Venturing into intrepreneurship, she was part of the founding team at Artha Property, a Times Group investee company, where she wore the marketing hat largely apart from donning multiple hats of driving alliances, hiring and setting up the customer service desk. Within the Times Group, she navigated diverse roles with her last stint as Head Innovationsdriving revenue through disruptive media innovations and scaling up the reevnues in a short period earning her the Chairman’s Award for Excellence too.

The Edelweiss group then claimed her for 6.5 years, where she helmed corporate marketing for the entire group with a whopping 40+ lines of businesses across retail and institutional businesses. Fast forward to her current role at ICICI Lombard for the past two years, Sheena Kapoor continues her journey, steering the ship in marketing, Corp Comm, and CSR, contributing her seasoned expertise to the company.

Leading the Insurance Horizon

ICICI Lombard is India’s premier private general insurance company. With a rich legacy spanning over 21 years, ICICI Lombard offers various insurance products, including motor, health, crop, fire, personal accident, marine, engineering, and liability coverage. Anchored in a commitment to customer centricity, encapsulated in the brand philosophy ‘Nibhaaye Vaade,’ the company has issued an impressive 32.7 million policies, settling 3.6 million claims. For the fiscal year concluding on March 31, 2023, ICICI Lombard boasts a robust Gross Written Premium (GWP) of ₹217.72 billion.

Operating through an extensive network of 305 branches and powered by a workforce of 12,865 professionals, ICICI Lombard caters comprehensively to both rural and urban areas. The company’s vision reflects a bold ambition – to be India’s most value-creating and admired risk solutions company, extending its influence globally. ICICI Lombard’s commitment extends beyond numbers, providing general insurance solutions that safeguard individuals and families from unforeseen events. Whether it’s protection for business, personal endeavors, or project liabilities, ICICI Lombard offers comprehensive solutions.

Diverse Coverage Portfolio at ICICI Lombard

ICICI Lombard boasts a comprehensive range of insurance products catering to many needs. The company offers specialized coverage for cars and bikes and a unique Motor Floater policy in the motor insurance segment. Moving to health insurance, ICICI Lombard provides a diverse set of options, including Health AdvantEdge, MaxProtect, Health Booster, Personal Protect, Aarogya Sanjeevani Policy, Corona Kavach Policy, Saral Suraksha Bima, and Golden Shield.

For travelers, ICICI Lombard offers single-trip, Gold Multi-trip, and Student Travel insurance plans. The company extends its coverage to businesses with offerings like Marine Transit, Workmen’s Compensation, Group Health Insurance, Fire Insurance (Sookshma and Griha for Housing Societies), Professional Indemnity Policy for Medical Practitioners, Crop Insurance, NRI Insurance, and Cyber Insurance. Additionally, ICICI Lombard provides specialized policies like ICICI Bharat Griha Raksha Policy and Complete Home Protect and facilitates the smooth process of policy renewals.

Leadership at ICICI Lombard

Sheena Kapoor oversees diverse areas, including brand strategy, media planning, budget management, public relations, corporate communication, events, digital marketing, and performance marketing. She also  helms the  complete CSR mandate, actively driving and overseeing initiatives that showcase her versatile leadership in both business and societal contributions.

Sheena Kapoor also employs a nuanced approach to strategy, recognizing its dependency on contextual factors, specific tasks, and desired outcomes. Tailoring her strategies to campaign objectives, she distinguishes between driving awareness and reach versus performance-driven goals, where the focus is on conversion and product traction. When formulating consumer strategies, Sheena considers business challenges, consumer insights, and the target audience, adjusting her approach based on the unique context and the business challenge.

For market differentiation and disruption, she deploys specific strategies, always emphasizing that the effectiveness of a strategy hinges on a clear understanding of the context and the desired outcome or metric and a keen eye on innovation. This adaptive and context-driven methodology underscores Sheena’s commitment to achieving optimal results in the dynamic marketing landscape.

Leadership Philosophy

Sheena Kapoor’s leadership philosophy is committed to challenging the status quo and fostering innovation. Her approach revolves around crafting sharp marketing strategies meticulously built on data and consumer insights. In pursuing excellence, she emphasizes cultivating brand love and elevating brand health metrics such asawareness, consideration, and overall business equity and impact. She sees the role of ICICI Lombard  as a torchbearer for the industry, driving awareness about preventive healthcare and the significance of insurance across health, motor, and travel domains.

Her leadership extends beyond the professional realm, focusing on fostering strong relationships within her team, peers, and agency partners, all while infusing an element of fun into the journey. This comprehensive leadership philosophy is reflected throughout the organization, fostering a culture of innovation, collaboration, and a shared commitment to the broader industry and consumer welfare.

Pioneering Excellence in Insurance Innovation

Sheena Kapoor steers the commercial and marketing frontiers with a wealth of groundbreaking initiatives. On the commercial spectrum, ICICI Lombard offers an extensive range of products catering to corporates and SMEs, including fire, marine, engineering, and transit insurance. Sheena underscores the company’s continuous pursuit of innovation, showcasing an impressive array of industry-first and award winning marketing campaigns like “BeFIT,” “Salaam MSME,” and “Claim Your Calm AI and the recently launched ‘Game of Life’ campaign”

The company has also carved a niche in thought leadership, collaborating with NASSCOM on risk and insurance education and launching a pioneering report. ICICI Lombard is the first to introduce risk management awards in collaboration with CNBC, celebrating and recognizing risk management champions across 350 corporations.

ICICI Lombard places a significant emphasis on responsible leadership. Sheena Kapoor also chairs the Insurance Awareness Committee at the company and emphasizes their commitment to working closely with industry and regulatory bodies to introduce initiatives that enhance customer benefits and contribute to increasing insurance penetration in the country especially in Bihar and Tripura, states allocated by IRDA. With a robust legacy of 21 years, ICICI Lombard has demonstrated consistent growth in products, processes, technology, customer base, and distribution networks, reflecting a commitment to leadership with responsibility and innovation at its core.

Disruptive Practices 

Sheena Kapoor is pivotal in steering the company towards innovative and disruptive practices, transforming traditional insurance processes. A standout initiative is the IL TakeCare app, a pioneering mobile application that extends a continuum of care to policyholders and the broader audience. Sheena emphasizes its comprehensive features, from 24/7 access to telephonic and video doctor consultations, emergency services, pharmacy assistance, and mental health support.

The app incorporates cutting-edge tools such as step and meal calorie trackers, actively contributing to users’ health journeys. Sheena Kapoor highlights the remarkable growth of the IL TakeCare app subscriber base, soaring from 1.2 million to nearly 8.5 million within two years. The company’s commitment to environmental sustainability aligns with its CSR and ESG mandates. Initiatives include Ride2Safety programs where the company conducts rallies on road safety and helmet distribution, solar panel installations in municipal schools, actively reducing carbon footprints and Caring Hands program, one of the largest employee volunteering initiative driving eye care check-up camps.

Noteworthy CSR programs like “Niranjali” focus on providing safe drinking water by installing school water purifiers. Sheena Kapoor underscores the company’s active recognition of employees championing waste reduction and recycling, fostering a culture of environmental responsibility. The company also explores the electric vehicle space, aligning with comprehensive environmental measures. Moreover, ICICI Lombard has disrupted the insurance landscape with forward-thinking products. “Befit,” introduced as part of their complete health insurance (CHI) product, expands coverage to include lab costs, diagnostic costs, x-ray costs, pharmacy costs, and physiotherapy bills – a significant departure from traditional health insurance models.

Further illustrating the company’s innovative approach, Sheena Kapoor highlights the launch of “Anywhere Cashless,” a revolutionary initiative allowing customers to avail cashless treatments at any hospital of their choice. The feature, initially introduced by ICICI Lombard, has been adopted by the GI Council for the entire industry. Underpinning these transformative initiatives is ICICI Lombard’s tech-centric approach. The company was the first insurer to use AWS to transition their services 100% onto the cloud. The company actively deploys AI, ML, and data science for underwriting, risk assessment, fraud detection, and customer communication through advanced chatbots with NLP and conversational capabilities.

Tech-Infused Security Measures

Sheena Kapoor sheds light on robust technological strategies to safeguard customer assets and information. She details the integration of AI and machine learning tools throughout the customer journey, from risk assessment and fraud prevention to seamless claim settlements. Using innovative techniques has significantly reduced claim settlement times, with 60% of claims processed within 90 seconds. Beyond this, ICICI Lombard leverages AI and ML in various facets, including chatbots, drone risk assessments, and IoT applications for proactive risk flagging.

Sheena also highlights the pioneering use of generative AI in marketing campaigns, emphasizing industry-first initiatives, such as digital SME insurance and cybersecurity products. The company is proactive in tackling cyber threats, employing technology for cyber risk assessment, and gauging climate change impacts. Additionally, Sheena underscores their commitment to awareness programs and collaborative efforts with authorities to combat fraudulent activities across all domains.

Strategic Vision

Sheena Kapoor asserts that their competitive advantage isn’t limited to products alone; rather, it permeates through their thoughts, approaches, ideologies, processes, services, and business models. Currently immersed in a substantial digital transformation and innovation initiative, ICICI Lombard is committed to developing innovative and disruptive products aligned with market demands.

To adapt to dynamic market conditions and evolving customer needs, Sheena emphasizes a thorough understanding of customer sentiment through extensive research involving primary research, engagement with sales teams, and collaboration with distributors and channel partners. Recognizing the rapid evolution of technology and markets, ICICI Lombard makes substantial investments in resources, time, financial, and human capital to remain at the forefront of technological advancements.

The company actively experiments with and learns from new tools in the market, particularly in generative AI. Sheena Kapoor stresses that staying competitive as a market leader is challenging yet imperative, and ICICI Lombard approaches this responsibility with utmost seriousness. Their focus extends to leveraging artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data science across the entire value chain, encompassing the front end, back end, processes, products, and the business model itself. Sheena’s strategic vision ensures that ICICI Lombard not only adapts but excels in the ever-evolving landscape of the insurance industry.

Environmental Commitments

Sheena outlines the company’s dedicated efforts towards environmental sustainability. Aligned with its CSR and ESG mandate, the company adopts many eco-friendly measures. Emphasizing a commitment to a paperless philosophy, Sheena Kapoor details adopting the digital format for insurance policies, minimizing the need for physical copies. ICICI Lombard actively works to reduce its carbon footprint, aiming for net-zero impact and neutrality. 

Noteworthy CSR programs include:

  • Ride to Safety
  • Niranjali
  • Caring Hands

Sheena Kapoor highlights the company’s recognition of employees championing waste reduction, recycling, and effective waste management. In a forward-looking approach, ICICI Lombard is actively exploring the electric vehicle space to further align with comprehensive environmental measures.

“Sheena plays a pivotal role in steering the company towards innovative and disruptive practices, transforming traditional insurance processes.”

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