Organisations need to make inclusion their central agenda: Ruchika Varma

Ruchika Varma

Ruchika Varma speaks to us about Future Generali’s recent billboard campaign that generated a lot of buzz and its larger marketing strategy.

The BSFI sector has always approached marketing with an earnest demeanour. On the other hand, Home-grown insurer Future Generali has time and again broken this clutter and tried to connect with their audience creatively. 

After the pandemic, the need for health insurance and its importance has grown many folds. Insurance companies have often tried to reach out to the correct target audience through several channels. Future Generali has also established a conversation with the younger generation, mainly Gen-Z. 

In conversation with Social Samosa, Ruchika Malhan Varma, CMO, Future Generali India Insurance speaks about the brand’s recent campaigns, consumer behaviour patterns, the future of BSFI marketing and more. 

The Inclusive approach

As the new year commenced, Future Generali launched a new OOH campaign featuring two queer couples on their billboards. The billboards that were up in multiple cities of the country were probably the first of their kind (on traditional media such as OOH) in the nation. 

The representation of the LGBTQIA+ community in the Indian A&M space is still a very rare sight to witness. With this new campaign, the brand put the spotlight on same-sex couples in live-in relationships and how insurance is equal for all. 

Talking about why brands shy away from including the queer community in traditional mixes, Ruchika Varma says, “Though there is an increasing acceptance of the LGBTQIA+ community, there remains a need to create awareness and drive conversation to address cultural, social, and unconscious biases that we continue to see in the society.”

Often times brands miss the actual goal of including queer individuals in their campaigns and just end up becoming tokenist by changing their logo to rainbow colours in pride month or just coming up with a queer campaign in those 30 days. 

On how brands can avoid tokenism, Ruchika advises them to make inclusion their central agenda. 

She further mentions that brands need to go beyond celebrating a day/week/month for a community/cause, to actually understand and cater to the needs of the community in an authentic, relevant manner,

“To really make an impact on society, brands have to embrace inclusion not just as employers but also as businesses,” adds Ruchika. 

When it comes to their overall marketing strategy, the brand’s primary goal is to create awareness, engagement and positive brand perception. 

By roping in real-life queer couples in their latest campaign, the brand aims to put real voices from the community that would resonate with the consumers, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community and its supporters.

Also Read: Expert Speak: The ethical & psychological quandary of featuring kidults in ads

The campaign has also delivered its desired results in a short span of time. 

“Within just 1 week of launch, we received 12.3 million views and more than 1000 comments. People have taken pictures of the hoardings and put them on their social media platforms, applauding and appreciating the initiative,” shares Ruchika. 

She also claims that Future Generali is the first insurer in India to admit equal opportunity to the LGBTQIA+ community and live-in partners across their retail health insurance products. And the brand hopes that the prevailing environment of positive change will spur other brands to be a part of more such conversations.

Youth for the Future

As the BSFI sector has previously seen, the market has often catered to the older generation. But to educate the younger generation on the importance of insurance and its needs, many brands have slowly moved to cater for this set audience. 

One of the fastest-growing economies in the world, India is home to a fifth of the world’s youth. Future Generali has also aligned its marketing efforts with youth. 

In the past, with their ‘Health Inside Out’ campaign, Future Generali put focus on mental health and the need to secure it and how insurance can be beneficial. The younger generation in India and globally has been very vocal about the need for better mental health education. 

With FG Health Absolute, which addresses mental health issues, or Health Super Saver, which provides significant benefits to young consumers, and most recently, the FG Dog Health Cover, which meets the specific needs of pet owners, the brand aims at connecting with their audience on an emotional level. 

Social media has played a significant role in the brand’s marketing and in connecting with the younger generation. 

Speaking of how social media has changed the game for the brand, Ruchika states, “Our active presence on these platforms is a step in the right direction for reaching our target audience. Proof of this is the fact that our community on social media platforms increased by 28% last year and our engagement has increased 2X times. We are clearly an outlier in the industry when it comes to attracting the younger demographic to the brand.”

BFSI Marketing in 2023

The changing environment brings about many changes in consumer behaviour, such is the case for the BFSI market as well. The digital wave has totally consumed this sector as well. This, in turn, is having an impact on several marketing strategies for BFSI brands. 

According to Ruchika, this year, innovations will strengthen and streamline processes. Added to this, Machine learning will breathe new life into processes such as workflow automation, claims processing, fraud detection, and conversational interfaces such as chatbots.

Sharing a few trends expected this year in BFSI, Ruchika concludes, “We are now moving to an era of hyper-personalisation and customisation. Brands will realise the need to become more authentic and transparent in their interaction with all stakeholders.”


A woman of letters who scribbles words in her free time and when working. Likes to question the ifs and buts of everything and nothing; while daydreaming of having an impact on the world with her writings someday. She prefers to watch and observe while sipping on her black coffee; but will surely destroy you with words if the topic in question has anything to do with feminism, mental health, makeup and/or K-Pop. That too in five languages!