Insurance cover a must for fintechs participating in RBI sandbox

MUMBAI: The start-ups taking part in Reserve Bank of India’s proposed regulatory sandbox would be required to take an insurance cover based on the risk of operation and potential customer liability before entering the program, the central bank said in its final framework document released on Tuesday.

Sandbox entities shall be required to take liability/indemnity insurance of an adequate amount and period to safeguard the interest of the customers,” as per the document. The regulator had earlier placed a draft regulation inviting stakeholder comments on the public domain in April.


The cover of the policy would be based on factors such as exposure to customers, the number of claims that may arise of a single event and number of claims expected during the operating period of sandbox.

The policy cover shall begin with the start of the testing stage and end three months after the exit of the sandbox entity from the RS.”


The framework document also doesn’t provide any legal waiver to the companies operating in the sandbox. Furthermore, any loss incurred by the customer would have to be borne by the sandbox entity, the central bank said.


The Regulatory Sandbox is a special environment to enable time-bound testing of innovations under a regulator’s oversight. It allows for the testing of new financial products, technologies, and business models under a set of rules and supervisory requirements, with appropriate safeguards.




Hiring activity picks up with more demand for sales and marketing, IT sector professionals

Hiring activity picks up with more demand for sales and marketing, IT sector professionals

In Delhi and Mumbai, IT sector hiring trend grew by 27%

Hiring in production and maintenance, and banking saw a dip of 10% and 21% respectively

New Delhi: Hiring activity picked up in July across India with sales and marketing, and IT sector recording good growth and banking sector witnessing a sizeable dip, a fresh survey has found.


As per the survey, hiring for professional sales and business development grew by 11%. Other functional areas which observed a rise in demand were Accounts (11%), HR (10%), Marketing (10%) and IT Hardware (7%), as per survey.


However, hiring in production and maintenance, and banking saw a dip of 10% and 21% respectively.


While for the entry and mid-executive level (0-7 years of experience), the hiring trend saw 16% growth, it was 10% for mid-management roles with 8-12 years of experience. Hiring for senior management roles with 13-16 years of experience were up by 6% and Leadership roles grew by 4% in the hiring activity.


Among cities, in the national capital region of Delhi, the hiring activity grew by 10%, in Mumbai it saw a 6% growth and Chennai it was 10%. Bangalore and Hyderabad recorded 20% and 24% growth in July 2019 as against July 2018.

In Delhi and Mumbai, IT sector hiring trend grew by 27%. However, FMCG sector recoded a 7% dip in the national capital. There was an increase in demand for entry-level professionals with experience of 0-3 years by 14% and 9% in Delhi and Mumbai respectively.


In Pune, the rise in hiring for IT-Software and BPO were 29% and 7% respectively, while hiring in the auto sector witnessed 2% dip, the survey said.




Country-wide floods may spike up insurance losses

Country-wide floods may spike up insurance losses

This could push up insured losses from natural disasters from 2014-2019 to Rs 30,000 crore

Floods have ravaged parts of Assam, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha over the past few months. Almost 60-70 people are said to have lost their lives across the country in various flood-related incidents, apart from massive loss to property and vehicles. It is expected that this will lead to a rise in insured losses.

Initial estimates suggest that insurance claims could touch Rs 50-60 crore in the next few weeks. If the monsoon rains intensify, the situation could worsen. This could push up insured losses from natural disasters from 2014-2019 to Rs 30,000 crore.

Cyclone Fani that hit Odisha in April/May led to insurance losses of almost Rs 2,000 crore which causing a rise in underwriting losses for general insurance companies. This means the claims paid exceeded the premium collected. Similarly, the Kerala floods led to claims of Rs 1,400 crore for life and general insurers.


“We have already faced a hit in Q1. If the rain situation continues, the combined ratio will also suffer,” said the head of underwriting at a private general insurer.

Claims from global natural catastrophes in 2018 were pegged at $76 billion, according to the Swiss Re sigma report. The combined insurance losses from natural disasters in 2017 and 2018 were $219 billion, the highest-ever for a two-year period.

In India, the Mumbai floods of 2005 were one of the largest cases of insurance loss events. A Swiss Re sigma report said that in the event of torrential rainfall, rapid urbanisation reduces avenues for water discharge and can lead to heavy flooding. Such was the case in Mumbai in 2005, when flooding after heavy rains resulted in one of the largest insurance loss events ever experienced in India ($0.9 billion, according to sigma data).

In the last five years, losses due to catastrophes have led to insured losses of almost Rs 25,000 crore. This includes losses due to the Uttarakhand floods, cyclones Hudhud, Fani and Phailin, the Chennai and Kerala floods.


The share of uninsured catastrophe losses varies by region. A Swiss Re report said it was typically higher in developing countries where infrastructure construction and implementation of catastrophe risk mitigation measures did not keep pace with economic growth. However, there are areas of under-insurance in advanced countries too, even in those with known medium to high exposure to certain hazards.

Insurance companies have a natural catastrophe clause that covers damage to property or vehicles for these incidents. For death due to such an incident, a term insurance cover will provide the life insurance claim.

The centre fully funding this initiative is not a feasible idea. Having a catastrophe bond to fund the claims from such incidents has been a model followed in other markets, but not yet allowed in India. A natural catastrophe pool to fund major incidents was under discussion about three years back, but it hasn’t yet been implemented.

With the rise in the number of natural catastrophes in the country, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) chairman Subhash C Khuntia said they are looking into the possibility of having a few pilot projects in vulnerable areas to offer property insurance.



Jobs boom: India Inc looking for digitally skilled workforce, demand set to surge at scorching pace

Jobs boom: India Inc looking for digitally skilled workforce, demand set to surge at scorching pace

NAASCOM said the top priority for it was to reskill this base and has taken a number of initiatives, the first of which was proposed tie-ups with educational institutions.

The demand for digitally skilled workforce would rise at 35 per cent Compounded Annual Growth Rate till 2023 of the current talent base of four million, Information Technology body NASSCOM said here Wednesday. NAASCOM said the top priority for it was to reskill this base and has taken a number of initiatives, the first of which was proposed tie-ups with educational institutions.

“Lack of talent availability is one of the key challenges faced by organizations. We want it to make it as job one initiatives (to reskill talent base)”, NASSCOM President Debjani Ghosh told reporters on the sidelines of the annual Human Resource Summit here. She said of the four million jobs in industry, 60-65 per cent of job profiles were expected to change in the next five years.

“By 2022, 54 per cent of all employees will require significant reskilling and up skilling”, she said. Under the National Association of Software and Service Companies initiatives to reskill the talent base, the industry body planned to tie-up with around 30 universities this year. “This year we plan to have tie-ups with about 30 universities.

In fact, the first such tie-up is with Chennai based SRM University”, she said. NASSCOM, Success Lead, Futureskills, Kirti Seth said the industry body last year focused on emerging technologies and this year it would be on developing “professional” skills of existing talents.

Some technical skills required by companies include big data analytics, Artificial Intelligence while professional skills include problem solving ability, storytelling, negotiation intelligence among others, she said. If reskilling does not happen, companies may look at recruiting from each other as the biggest task was the talent issue “right now”.

“It is the biggest challenge we need to overcome. Today, mergers and acquisitions is one of the key charters of every company”, she said. To a query, she said NASSCOM was bullish on achieving the USD 5 trillion economy as envisaged by the Central government. “It is a pretty realistic goal… “, she said. The Centre has set itself a goal of making India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024.


Source: The Financial Express.

Date: 19th July 2019.

“Tech Mahindra introduces artificially intelligent HR humanoid”

K2 leverages Artificial and initiates conversation without any need for wake-up commands.

Tech Mahindra, a provider of digital transformation, consulting and business re-engineering services introduced K2, the first Human Resource (HR) Humanoid for its Noida Special Economic Zone Campus in Uttar Pradesh, India. A perfect blend of knowledge and kindness, K2 will take over the routine HR transactions to provide constant assistance to the HR team in creating an enhanced employee experience. Tech Mahindra’s first HR humanoid was introduced in its Hyderabad campus, earlier this month.

K2 leverages state of the art Artificial Intelligence technology and initiates conversation without any need for wake-up commands. Keeping in mind the needs of the specially abled, K2 can respond to queries with text display along with Speech. K2 can address general and specific HR-related employee queries as well as handle personal requests for actions like providing payslip, tax forms etc., and will enable the HR team to focus on other important areas for employee development.

Harshvendra Soin, Chief People Officer, Tech Mahindra, said, “In today’s digital era, the changing talent landscape is making it imperative for organisations to not just be customer focused, but more ‘human experience’ centric. At Tech Mahindra, we are focused on leveraging technology to further enhance human experiences by making them more personalised and meaningful. K2 has been designed to add value to the employee lifecycle across various touchpoints and ready ourselves to be a workplace of the future. We believe the future will be more human than we think.”

Tech Mahindra plans to deploy the next Humanoid in its Pune campus following the NSEZ campus and will further enable K2 software for an enhanced engagement with improved communication skills to carry out empathetic conversations from associate’s wellness perspective. The organisation will also enable it to leverage mobility and spatial awareness to engage with Associates rather than just keeping it unidirectional.



Source: Money Control

Date: 25th June, 2019


Warm Regards,


Brene Brown on 6 problems that arise without ‘brave leadership’

“Courage is teachable, observable and measurable,” she told attendees at #SHRM19. But what happens when it’s missing?

Many employers have value lists, but few managers know how those values translate into action — making those lists next to worthless, Brene Brown, speaker and researcher at the University of Houston​, told HR managers during the Monday general session at the 2019 Society for Human Resource Management Annual Conference.

Brown had one answer for ​how HR, strapped for time and resources, can make the workplace better: brave leadership.

“We asked leaders all over. What is the future of leadership? Who will be standing in five years? Who won’t be? And for the first time in my career, the answer was saturated across everyone I interviewed: We need braver leaders. We need people who can make change and rehumanize work,” Brown said.

Brown said her research subjects had trouble defining “what makes up a brave leader?” Instead, she asked: What does the absence of brave leadership look like?

Not having tough conversations

Not enough challenging conversations take place, generally, Brown said. Corrective conversations (the typical tough conversation) usually aren’t fun, but in avoiding them, managers choose a worse alternative and talk about those who have done wrong, rather than to them. This can allow the problem to fester unabated.

HR practitioners should remember that asking managers to have hard conversations is like asking an airline passenger to fly the plane based on their number of frequent flier miles, Brown added. The manager may not inherently have the tools to do the task; but HR can enable the development of those skills.

Not embracing fear and feelings

Brown called this missing skill “the worst one on the list” due to its inherent difficulty. HR leaders tend to spend “an unreasonable amount of time” dealing with people’s fears and thus end up “playing whack-a-mole” with unproductive behaviors triggered by those fears. A leader has to be okay probing the fears and insecurities that may underpin behaviors, but it can take serious time — and emotional engagement — to do so.

Getting stuck in setbacks

Failure is necessary for innovation, but if leaders want to embrace failure as a cultural norm, they need to model for their people how that may look. “We spend 20% of our energy fixing it and 80% helping pull people out of ‘the shame s—storm,'” Brown said. “People have to be responsible for their own bounce.”

That bounce — usually referred to more broadly as resilience — can be taught, but timing is key; you can’t teach people to get back up from a failure “when they are on the ground,” Brown said. Education on resilience and bravery, as Brown called it, needs to start during onboarding.

Falling for action bias

People want to fix problems, but defaulting to action before strategizing about the issue can lead to solving the same problem over and over again. Proper problem identification often requires someone “to sit in vulnerability” to discover what really went wrong, Brown said. That process can be painful, but it is often necessary to solve underlying issues once and for all.

Source: HR Dive

Date: 25th June, 2019

“Own damage motor insurance can now be bought separately”

  • The regulator’s circular on standalone OD policies promises to give more power to the policyholder
  • Insurers can issue standalone TP insurance, but most private-sector insurers sell it as a bundled product with OD

Come September 1, motor vehicle owners will be allowed to purchase standalone own damage (OD) insurance cover. An OD cover insures the vehicle against theft and damages. The guidelines will be applicable for all new and old cars and two-wheelers. At present, the industry practice is to bundle OD insurance with third party (TP) insurance policy. TP liability insurance covers the insured if he is held legally liable for damages caused to a third party. But with this announcement by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai), vehicle owners will be allowed more flexibility on two counts: Firstly, one could choose to buy an OD cover at a later date although it is not advisable, and second, they could buy this cover from a different insurer. TP insurance continues to remain mandatory for you to drive your vehicle on the road.

“This will allow the customer the flexibility to choose any insurer for renewing their OD policy, even if the third-party policy is from another insurer,” said Onkar Kothari, company secretary and compliance officer, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance. Having OD insurance helps you cover any damages your vehicle suffers in an accident, such as fire, road collision or vandalism, as well as theft of the vehicle or its parts. Other than OD and TP covers, a comprehensive motor insurance policy also covers personal accidents, which provides compensation in case of death or permanent disability caused in an accident involving the insured vehicle.

In July last year, the Supreme Court mandated that all insurers make their third-party insurance policies a three-year long comprehensive product for cars. For two-wheelers, it became compulsory to have a five-year TP insurance cover. This was done to ensure that “road accident victims do not suffer due to the fault of the owner in not renewing his or her policy every year,” said the panel report.

However, the Supreme Court’s guideline applies only to TP insurance, and not OD policies. “There cannot be a rule about making own damage insurance mandatory because it’s for your own car. Insurers can issue standalone TP insurance, but most private-sector insurers sell it as a bundled product with OD cover,” said Abhishek Bondia, principal officer and managing director,, an insurance intermediary.

Most insurers don’t offer standalone OD covers. According to Bondia, if you bought TP insurance from one insurer and decided to buy an OD policy from a different insurer, the latter would ask you to purchase the TP cover as well. It’s important to keep in mind that an OD cover is an annual product. “This causes misalignment in the market. When you buy a new car, the dealer offers you a policy from X insurer which is a three-year TP and one-year OD. When the OD comes up for renewal a year later, because your third-party is from X insurer, you are forced to buy an OD from them as well,” said Bondia. This is because no other insurer would issue a standalone OD cover under the current dispensation. “In a way, you’re locked in with X insurer for three years and because they know this, they may not offer you a competitive premium,” Bondia added. This means your bargaining power as a customer is significantly reduced.

Irdai’s new regulation intends to tackle this problem. The regulator has stated that the issuance of bundled policies for cars and two-wheelers will not be compulsory and all insurers will have to sell standalone OD insurance policies, which would be a year-long product, for all new and old vehicles. Long-term standalone OD policies are not permitted by the regulator at present. However, keep in mind that in order to purchase an OD cover or to renew an existing policy, it is compulsory to have a TP liability insurance. Your own damage policy documents will indicate the name of the insurer from whom you have purchased the TP cover, policy number, and start and end date of the TP cover.

According to insurers, this is a positive move from the policyholders’ point of view. Sanjay Datta, chief – underwriting and claims, ICICI Lombard General Insurance Ltd, said that this will give policyholders more options when it comes to buying an OD policy, but the premium could vary from insurer to insurer. Even at present, OD premiums vary across insurers. “Across all insurance companies, TP is priced the same. For OD, you can have different rates across companies, but now the customer will no longer need to buy the OD from the insurer the car manufacturer recommends. They can decide which insurer they want to buy it from, at their own convenience,” said Datta. He added that there’s also a possibility of insurers coming up with “richer” covers that have more inclusions and price them at different levels.

Subramanyam Brahmajosyula, head, underwriting and reinsurance, SBI General Insurance, said that for almost every insurer, the OD portfolio tends to perform much better in terms of loss ratios than the TP portfolio. So one can expect greater competition among insurers to try and acquire more standalone OD policy buyers. “There is a possibility that premiums would reduce as a result of this, and consumers would benefit. Another way policyholders will benefit is in terms of choosing the insurer. Among the two components, the OD portion is where the servicing capabilities of an insurer comes into play in the event of a claim. An insurer who has a good reputation in terms of settlement of claims and a large network of cashless garages will benefit,” said Brahmajosyula. Bondia believes that it’s a policyholder-friendly move and would bring balance to the market. “When the car comes out of the showroom, you can just buy a TP for three years without having to buy an OD from the dealer. You can buy the OD later, at your own discretion. This will encourage insurers to maintain parity in their pricing across standalone OD and packaged options. They will have to be fair to the customer,” said Bondia.

Through its recent circular, Irdai is trying to bring fair pricing into the motor insurance market. Not only will this move put more power in the hands of the policyholder, it is also likely to lower premiums because of increased competition.


Source: LiveMint

Date: 26th June, 2019