ARLI Bloggers’ Meet Bangalore

What’s the difference between a man and a life insurance policy? Eventually, the life insurance policy matures.

Aegon Religare Life Insurance LogoThis past Saturday was quite interesting for me. I attended a bloggers’ meet in Bangalore, hosted by Aegon Religare Life Insurance (ARLI) in the morning. My first thought, on receiving the invitation, was, “Oh my. It’s about life insurance! I will need a good book to help me sit through this one.” I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who thought this at first. I arrived at Mocha with some trepidation, and waited for the other bloggers to turn up and the event to start. The event was managed by their agency and their point person was a lovely young lady called Anuradha. We chatted about this and that until we could begin, and I took a seat among the other people who had turned up.

At first glance, I could make out only three familiar faces in the audience, and the other three looked ominously like insurance salesmen! The Chief Marketing Officer of ARLI, Yateesh Srivastava, kick-started the meet with a brief introduction and took us through a well-structured presentation on their new product. This is where it got slightly more interesting. Apparently, people can now buy their life insurance policies online, in under eight minutes. It’s a concept, he explained, that hasn’t really taken off the way they hoped, but was making steady progress nonetheless. The product, called iMaximize, was launched twenty-one months ago, and has clocked 15,000 sales. Any decent life insurance salesman will tell you that this figure could have been better, but for a completely new concept of buying a policy online, I think its quite a decent start.

As I had suspected, quite a few of the people who turned up were not bloggers, but insurance agents and independent salesmen, and at first, it was fun to see them debating with the ARLI reps about the pros and cons of their online product. Very soon, however, it became a messy affair, with almost everyone in the room getting bored of hearing two people argue about vague topics. It would have been better to take that discussion offline.

As a person who has organized close to a hundred bloggers’ meets for the past five years, I was not too happy with the way this was held. I don’t blame the organizers one bit because most of the usual bloggers who attend meets in Bangalore were present at the Yahoo! Code Jam, happening at the same time Saturday. I have had enough of Code Jams to last me a lifetime. A lot of bloggers in Bangalore who are part of the Bangalore Tweetup were left out, and though I made it a point to invite them, it was probably too short a notice. Apart from this fact, I think the event was a success with some very good information being shared. But if I am allowed to disperse just one bit of gyaan – don’t invite non-bloggers to a bloggers’ meet. It’s not a healthy sign.

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4 thoughts on “ARLI Bloggers’ Meet Bangalore

  1. Hi Nikhil,

    i would like to thank you for your presence at the ARLI Blogger’s meet and for your kind words about your experience at the event. it was great fun meeting everybody and I learnt quite a lot from the event myself.

    Just one small clarification though. The non-bloggers at the meet weren’t sales reps or insurance agents. They were either financial planners or insurance websites. Online insurance portals have, in the past as well expressed a great deal of interest in showing up for our events and hence we felt it was only fair to keep the meet open to all digital media instead of just bloggers.

    Thanks for your feedback though. Will definitely keep it in mind for the next one.

    Cheers!

    Anuradha

  2. Haha! I understand how you must have felt. I hate it when companies don’t exercise caution when putting themselves out there. Marketing skills have certainly changed, so companies need to approach and target their audiences cautiously. Inviting bloggers is encouraging, but there should be some connection as to what they are offering in the end.

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