LIC business model

Explaining the LIC Business Model. How does LIC make money?

In today’s blog post, we explain the LIC Business Model using the Business Model Canvas and learn about how LIC makes money.

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is a state-owned insurance and investment corporation founded in 1956. It is the largest insurance company in India, with a market share of over 70%. LIC’s immense success is attributed to its sound business model, which we will explore in this blog post using Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas.

In this post, we will delve into the inception of LIC, introduce its founders, and trace the story of how and why the company was started. We will then use the Business Model Canvas to analyze LIC’s business model, discussing each of its nine building blocks, and provide relevant examples to showcase the company’s operations.

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) was established on September 1, 1956, when the Indian government passed the Life Insurance of India Act. The Act led to the nationalization of 245 Indian and foreign insurers and provident societies, which were then merged to create LIC.

The goal of LIC’s formation was to ensure that the Indian population had access to affordable and comprehensive insurance coverage while also mobilizing funds for the country’s economic development. The company aimed to make insurance accessible to all, regardless of social or economic status, by offering a wide range of insurance products and services.

The Founders of LIC

The founding members of LIC were a group of distinguished individuals from various backgrounds, including the public sector, insurance, and finance. They shared a common goal of providing accessible insurance to the people of India and ensuring its long-term success.

Some notable founding members include:

  • A. D. Shroff: An eminent economist and one of the architects of India’s industrial planning
  • H. T. Parekh: A pioneer in housing finance and the founder of the Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC)
  • V. K. R. V. Rao: An Indian economist and educationist who played a significant role in establishing several educational and research institutions in India

The LIC Story

The story of LIC began in the early years of independent India when the government recognized the need for a comprehensive and accessible insurance sector. Before LIC’s establishment, the Indian insurance market was fragmented, with multiple small and foreign insurance companies operating in the country.

The Indian government was concerned about the lack of regulation in the insurance sector and the potential risks this posed to policyholders. As a result, they decided to nationalize the industry, creating a single, state-owned insurance company – Life Insurance Corporation of India.

LIC was tasked with providing life insurance coverage to the Indian population and mobilizing funds for the country’s economic development. Over the years, LIC has successfully navigated numerous challenges, including competition from private insurers and economic downturns, to remain India’s largest insurer.

Using the Business Model Canvas to Analyze LIC’s Business Model

Now, let’s analyze LIC’s business model using Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas, a strategic tool that provides a visual representation of a company’s operations. The Canvas is divided into nine building blocks, which together provide a holistic view of a business’s model.

  1. Customer Segments

LIC targets a broad range of customer segments, ensuring that its insurance products and services are accessible to a wide audience. These segments include:

  • Individuals: LIC offers a variety of life insurance policies, such as term insurance, endowment plans, money-back plans, whole-life policies, and retirement plans, catering to the diverse needs of individual customers.
  • Families: LIC provides family protection plans that offer financial security to dependents in case of the policyholder’s untimely death.
  • Groups: LIC offers group insurance policies to employers, associations, and other organizations to provide life insurance coverage for their members or employees. These policies can be customized based on the group’s requirements and help attract and retain talent.
  • Senior Citizens: LIC has specifically designed plans for senior citizens, such as pension plans and annuities, which ensure financial security during their retirement years.
  1. Value Propositions

LIC’s value propositions are the key factors that attract and retain customers. These include:

  • Trust and Credibility: As a state-owned enterprise, LIC enjoys the trust and credibility that comes with government backing. Customers perceive LIC as a reliable and stable insurer, which is essential in the insurance sector.
  • Wide Range of Products: LIC offers a comprehensive range of life insurance products, catering to the diverse needs of its customer segments. This variety allows customers to find a policy that suits their specific requirements.
  • Extensive Distribution Network: LIC has an extensive distribution network, with over 1.2 million agents and 2,048 branches across India. This wide reach ensures that LIC’s products are easily accessible to customers.
  • Customer Service: LIC is committed to providing excellent customer service, with dedicated customer support centers and grievance redressal mechanisms in place. This focus on customer satisfaction helps build long-term relationships with policyholders.
  1. Channels

LIC employs multiple channels to distribute its products and services to its target customer segments:

  • Agents: LIC’s vast network of individual agents is its primary distribution channel. These agents are responsible for selling LIC policies and providing personalized service to customers.
  • Branch Offices: LIC’s branch offices serve as points of contact for customers seeking information about policies or assistance with claims processing.
  • Online Sales: LIC also offers the option of purchasing policies online through its website, catering to the growing number of digitally-savvy customers.
  • Bancassurance: LIC has partnerships with various banks, which sell its insurance products to their customers, leveraging their existing relationships and expanding LIC’s reach.
  1. Customer Relationships

LIC’s customer relationships are built on trust, personalization, and long-term engagement:

  • Personal Assistance: LIC agents provide personalized assistance to customers, helping them select the most suitable policies and guiding them through the claims process.
  • Customer Support: LIC has dedicated customer support centers and helpline numbers to address customer queries and grievances.
  • Regular Communication: LIC maintains regular communication with its customers, providing updates on policy performance and sending reminders for premium payments.
  1. Revenue Streams

LIC generates revenue from the following sources:

  • Premium Income: The primary revenue source for LIC is the premium income from life insurance policies.
  • Investment Income: LIC invests the premium collected from policyholders in various asset classes, such as government securities, corporate bonds, and equities. The returns from these investments contribute to LIC’s revenue.
  • Policy Charges: LIC also earns revenue from various charges associated with its policies, such as policy administration fees, surrender charges, and mortality charges.
  1. Key Resources

LIC’s key resources include:

  • Human Capital: LIC’s workforce, including its agents and employees, is a critical resource that drives sales and provides customer support.
  • Brand Reputation: LIC’s strong brand reputation, built over six decades, is a valuable asset that helps attract and retain customers.
  • Investment Portfolio: LIC’s investment portfolio is a significant resource that generates income and helps meet policyholder obligations.
  1. Key Activities

LIC’s key activities revolve around providing life insurance products and services:

  • Product Development: LIC continually develops new insurance products to cater to the evolving needs of its customer segments.
  • Sales and Marketing: LIC’s sales and marketing activities focus on promoting its products and driving sales through various channels.
  • Investment Management: LIC’s investment management activities involve making prudent investment decisions to maximize returns while ensuring the safety of policyholders’ funds.
  • Customer Support: LIC’s customer support activities include addressing customer queries, processing claims, and providing post-sales assistance.
  • Regulatory Compliance: As an insurance company, LIC must comply with various regulations set by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). Compliance activities include meeting solvency requirements, submitting periodic reports, and adhering to guidelines on product pricing and marketing.
  1. Key Partners

LIC’s key partners include:

  • Banks: LIC partners with banks for bancassurance, leveraging their customer base to distribute its insurance products.
  • Reinsurers: LIC works with reinsurers to manage risks associated with its insurance portfolio, ensuring financial stability.
  • Asset Management Companies (AMCs): LIC collaborates with AMCs to manage its investment portfolio and generate returns.
  • Third-Party Administrators (TPAs): LIC partners with TPAs to streamline its claims processing, ensuring faster and more efficient claim settlements.
  • Technology Providers: LIC works with technology providers to develop and maintain its IT infrastructure, including online platforms and customer support systems.
  1. Cost Structure

LIC’s cost structure comprises the following major components:

  • Claim Payouts: Claim payouts represent the largest expense for LIC, as the company must fulfill its obligations to policyholders.
  • Commissions: Commissions paid to agents and bancassurance partners form a significant part of LIC’s costs.
  • Operating Expenses: LIC incurs operating expenses related to the management of its branch offices, customer support centers, and IT infrastructure.
  • Employee Salaries: Salaries and benefits for LIC’s employees also contribute to the company’s cost structure.
  • Investment Management: LIC incurs costs related to managing its investment portfolio, including fees paid to AMCs and other investment advisors.

Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) is a testament to the power of a strong business model, as demonstrated by its lasting success in the Indian insurance market. By analyzing LIC’s operations using Alexander Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas, we can better understand the key building blocks that have contributed to its impressive market presence.

Through its wide range of products, extensive distribution network, and strong customer relationships, LIC has successfully catered to the diverse insurance needs of the Indian population. The company’s robust investment portfolio and key partnerships have further bolstered its financial stability, ensuring the long-term sustainability of its business model.

As the insurance landscape continues to evolve, LIC’s ability to adapt and innovate will be crucial in maintaining its market leadership. By understanding and learning from LIC’s business model, aspiring entrepreneurs and business professionals can gain valuable insights into the key factors that drive success in the insurance sector.

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