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Hope to grow Insurance Sector to pre-Covid level by Dec

LIC’s headquarters at Yogakshema in Mumbai has been the nerve centre of the insurance giant’s operations. Chairman M R Kumar speaks of how the corporate broke barriers overnight and razed rigid structures to not only cope but grow during the pandemic.

What challenges does the new normal due to the pandemic pose to your organisation?

t calls for a new work environment. Life insurance in India is still driven by individual agents.To overcome fear and maintain social distancing,there was a need to complete sales with minimum physicalinteraction and without paper. You need a strong digitalinfrastructure, flexible workforce, and strategies that pivotto changing situations. We are enabling email applications for maturity and surrender claims.For deathclaims, emails from club agents and development officers are accepted. We settled 339 Covid claimsunder 776 policies for over Rs 24 crore.

How do you get new business amid a pandemic?

Our marketing initiatives helped us grow individual first-year premium by 2.8% endJuly compared to -11.5% for private insurers. We hope to grow to pre-Covid level by Q3 end and close the fiscal with strong growth.

What people-related challenges have arisen?

Making people work with ease without compromising their safety was the biggest challenge. Weused ITinitiatives to break barriers overnight, enabling remote access for salary, pension, claim payments, and account closing even during strict lockdown. We moved from a top-down decision-making structure to empowering teams at zonal and divisionallevels.

How are you managing a work-life balance?

Exercise, pranayam, better eating habits — an immunity boosting lifestyle — has been adopted. People realize the importance of life, health, family and work balance, which ultimately increases productivity.

What is the key learning from this crisis?
The pandemic has thrown light on the importance of life and health insurance. With people across age groups being affected by Covid, life insurance may become an essential part of the new reality of our economy. We will meet every requirement and expectation of our customers and are committed to the growth of our industry. We are confident of increasing our lead by the end of the fiscal.

Article Source - TOI