I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe. The second wave of thecoronavirus pandemic has been more severe and scaring for many. The ripple effect of thisdevastation has left people and economies struggling to get back on their feet. Amid thegloom Hope' has emerged as a saviour as always. It is hope' that bindshumanity helping it overcome every challenge no matter how daunting. Further when youcombine hope' with support' most of the obstacles can be overcome.
The insurance industry has played a critical role in supporting effortsof humanity during times of distress since centuries. Be it man-made calamities ornatural catastrophes insurance has been a key mechanism to compensate for the losses andbring things back to normalcy. However a critical issue in this journey has been theembracing of this important solution by only a few.
The under-penetration of insurance products in India has beenred-flagged in many forums for several years. The risk that such under-penetrationpresents is not just limited to few sections of the society but the burden of this riskis borne by the entire nation. The need to scale up the reach and penetration of insuranceacross India's rural and urban populace can no more be ignored.
Being a part of this industry endows us with a responsibility that isfar greater than simply meeting the demand for insurance products. As we come to realisethe limitations of the traditional insurance solutions in providing an armour against apandemic-like situation there is a need to explore ideas to address new age as well aspandemic risks which have a much wider impact compared to regular risk events.
The role that the pandemic has played in accelerating digitisationacross sectors has been spoken at length. When it comes to the insurance industry thisjourney began a while ago. It continues to accelerate given the developments in theInsurTech space. Further the regulatory authority IRDAI has been encouraging technologyadoption as it works towards creating a conducive environment for introduction ofinnovative InsurTech solutions. As we look ahead innovative technology-enabled solutionswill find increasing usage in the insurance sector.
When we look at industry development in recent times the enablingmeasures announced by policy makers should help keep the momentum going. The increase inFDI limit from 49% to 74% for insurers should help boost industry development and growthin the coming years. Indian insurers should benefit from access to large pools of capitalas well as technological expertise required to scale and improve penetration.
At ICICI Lombard we are encouraged by these tailwinds and enablingapproach. Further we continue to be guided by our core philosophy of beingcustomer-centric. As such even as we embrace technology deeper to serve customers incurrent times our endeavour is to make technology the fulcrum of every solution weprovide. Today our platforms can provide end-to-end self-serve experiences to ourcustomers. At the same time our channel partners and employees are equipped with relevantdigital solutions to handhold our customers ensuring service continuity and unflinchingsupport.
Going beyond our role as an insurance provider we are committed toserving the society through the various CSR initiatives that we undertake throughout theyear. Our employees have joined us as volunteers driving several projects focussed atuplifting the economically unfortunate sections of the society. By identifying criticalareas of assistance we will continue to give back to the society. Such non-profithumanitarian contribution is integrated in the very ethos of our Company.
While the COVID-19 emergency is one which the world hopes to tackle andsolve soon a much bigger emergency has been brewing silently in the background fordecades. Humankind can no more pretend to ignore climate change. And together we need torethink the definition of success and evolution. Environmental Social and Governance(ESG) metrics will serve as the new parameter to measure in addition to the financialstatements. We at ICICI Lombard have been making sincere efforts to strengthen our ESGinitiatives thereby moving further ahead in our vision of being a responsible corporatecitizen.
An organisation is simply a unified identity given to a large team ofindividuals playing significant roles at every level. Our existence is defined by ouremployees. I take this opportunity to thank our dedicated employees who have gone beyondthe call of duty to support our stakeholders in every scenario.
Even as we hope for normal times to return at the earliest at ICICILombard we are treating the current phase as a great learning experience the lessons ofwhich would stay with us for years to come. We hope to continue strongly and swiftly inour endeavour to build a robust and sustainable business while emerging as a conscientiouscorporate citizen inspiring responsible change.