Don’t let dealers take you for a ride with motor insurance

Some dealers and manufacturers are promising free car insurance to customers this festive season. They are offering to pay premiums for up to three years. The offer is enticing to buyers as it helps them save money on the premium on this mandatory cover. Also, it helps them buy insurance on the spot. However, insurers point out that it is not possible to offer a motor policy for three years. 

“Regulations do not permit motor policies for tenure of more than a year. To our knowledge, no such multi-year product has been approved. The dealers are merely giving an undertaking to fund the premium when the policy comes up for renewal. They might have made provisions for these payments,” says Mukesh Kumar, head of strategic planning and marketing, HDFC ERGO. 


According to automobile industry experts, dealers are bundling these policies with the entire sales package, and offering to pay the premiums instead of providing a cash discount. “Strictly speaking, these are not free insurance covers, as an insurance policy can never be offered free. From the insurance company’s point of view, the requisite premium is charged,” says Madhukar Sinha, national head – personal lines, Tata-AIG General Insurance. “Many such bundled policies are plain-vanilla policies without add-on covers like depreciation, return of invoice, etc. You need to understand the scope of coverage being offered before signing up,” he says. Besides, since the dealer would have tied up with a particular insurance company to offer the package, your choice will be restricted. 

These policies may score high on pricing and the convenience factor. “Pricing could be better than what is otherwise available in the market. Also, in the event of a claim, the dealer is likely to be more supportive and manage the liaison with the insurance company and surveyor,” says Arvind LaddhaCEO, Vantage Insurance Brokers. However, according to experts, customers should take a close look at these policies before signing up for them. “Most car insurance policies offered free do not carry the necessary riders to provide wholesome coverage for a car,” says Yashish Dahiya, CEO, “The key factor to consider is the coverage of the policy in terms of riders like depreciation shields, engine protector, 24X7 spot assistance and vehicle replacement advantage.” That is why you should study the policy to find out whether it is merely a third-party cover, comprehensive policy or a fully-loaded package with add-on covers. “The customer needs to study the coverage closely. For example, it is important to have a policy on zero depreciation as the deductibles could be very high on claims under such a policy,” says Arvind Laddha, CEO, Vantage Insurance Brokers. So, compare policies available in the market with the bundled cover being offered to you before making a decision. 

Also, if you are signing up for a three-year policy, find out how the dealer plans to honour the commitment. “Motor insurance policies offer standard no-claim bonuses over five years. Find out how a claim will affect the arrangement. Things could get complicated, so it is better to bargain for a cash discount instead of the bundled cover, if possible,” says Kumar. For example, it will be difficult to ascertain the exact discount you would get in the form of free insurance, as your claims – or their absence – impact the subsequent year’s premium. “A customer, who does not make a claim in a particular year gets a No-Claim Bonus (NCB), which lowers the premium for the subsequent year. Similarly, if he makes a claim, he needs to pay a higher insurance premium,” says Dahiya


Source: The Economic Times

Date: 30th October 2013

General insurance industry may touch Rs three-lakh-cr by 2025: FICCI report

The general insurance industry is likely to reach a gross written premium (GWP) of Rs 3 lakh crore by 2025 with a conservative CAGR growth rate of 13 per cent, a FICCI report said.

However, the report also pegged the GWP potential to be Rs 4.8 lakh crore by 2025 if higher penetration level is achieved during this period.

Currently, market size of general insurance is at Rs 70,000 crore from Rs 12,000 crore top line industry in 2001-02.

The report, which provided three scenarios of growth figures for the industry, also noted that the industry would require Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 crore of capital infusion in case higher GWP of Rs 4.8 lakh crore was achieved by 2025.

“In this scenario (Rs 4.8 lakh crore of GWP by 2025), the additional capital infusion will be Rs 10,000-15,000 crore primarily driven by significantly higher volume and growth,” the report said.

The FICCI report also said that rapid increase in healthcare spend and formalisation and corporatisation would lead to new opportunities in this space.

In the corporate segment; globalisation, organised retail and infra speding will translate into significant opportunities for the sector, especially in the SME segment.

However, it pointed towards risks arising from volatile and uncertain macroeconomic environment in the near-term along with talent crunch in the industry.


Source: The Financial Express

Date: 29th October 2013

‘Cos Need to Create a Climate for Inclusion’ Having a diverse workforce is not enough, says Mark Kaplan, author of ‘The Inclusion Dividend’

When you have diverse teams, you create potential for high performance. Companies often assume because they have a diverse team, they’re going to get more perspectives and ideas, which will make them more effective. But research shows that if you want to get more out of a diverse team, you have to create a climate that is inclusive. 
Diversity can be an opportunity, particularly in India, where there is already a tremendous amount of diversity in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, language, communities and culture etc. Is India taking advantage of all that? 
When it comes to imposing a quota to have more inclusiveness at work, like the recent Supreme Court ruling to reserve 3% jobs for people with disabilities, one needs to keep in mind that numbers create pressure to break some of the unconscious biases that are stopping people. If there are numerical guidelines, you can overcome some of those biases. But you don’t want companies to hire people only to make the quota. That feeds the perception that this is just a giveaway to people who aren’t qualified. 
Unconscious bias and insider-outsider dynamics are two things to look out for when trying to create a more inclusive workplace. We tend to carry biases we are not even aware of. But the voice of reason to call us out on this can come from many places. 
The insider group is the one that is perceived as better and more effective that everyone else. The others are all outsiders. Insiders need to make sure they are constantly engaging with the outsiders rather than trying to ‘fix’ them, ie force them to fit in. What we really need is for insiders to create a climate where outsiders can find it easy to make contributions, even if it’s simply a different way of thinking. 
Indian companies have to look at the climate they create and ask themselves if it is one in which a diverse group of people can be successful. If you cannot create a climate of inclusiveness, you are less likely to get a dividend on your investment in people. What you don’t want is a senior management team that tends to have a similar background and tends to see things in a similar way. Then it’ll be harder for you to innovate and grow as an organisation. 


Source: The Economic Times

Date: 29th October 2013


‘Harvard CEOs’ Get Together to Groom Future Leaders in India CLUB CLASS: Alumni begin mentoring entrepreneurs and leaders across industries, government and voluntary sectors

A group of alumni CEOs from the Harvard Business School (HBS) have set the ball rolling for building an interindustry leadership pipeline in India. In a first-ever initiative by HBS anywhere in the world, about 110 CEOs in India, engaged with the institute’s dean Nitin Nohria in Boston over tele-presence to discuss issues related to leadership in the current business context and the role the HBS alumni in India could play in creating a more inclusive growth model in the country. 
The programme was a curtain-raiser for a series of upcoming interactions to mentor young entrepreneurs and groom leaders by getting top leaders across industries, government and non-government sectors on a forum. 
“It is the first time any HBS Club is having an event of this sort. It helps us establish the theme for HBS in India, which is, providing leadership across industries,” said Adil Zainulbhai, chairman, McKinsey India. The event will help start a series of interactions with the purpose of building India – from mentoring young entrepreneurs to grooming leaders in areas ranging from business to politics and the social sector, added Zainulbhai, who is also the president of HBS Club of India. The captains of Indian industry, who participated in the engagement, ‘Connected Leaders Dialogue’ included Zainulbhai, Nadir Godrej, managing director of Godrej Industries and chairman, Godrej Agrovet, Sanjivnayan Bajaj, MD, Bajaj FinServ, Ganesh Natarajan, CEO, Zensar Technologies and Suneeta Reddy, joint MD, Apollo Hospitals, among others. 
“We hope to get many involved in making a difference in India, and to get new ideas on how we should do so in a systematic way, especially in a turbulent economy. We have a unique resource in the form of the HBS alumni group  to make a positive difference in the country,” said Zainulbhai. 
Apart from Nohria, Linda Hill, professor of business administration and faculty chair of leadership initiative at HBS, was part of the leadership dialogue. Hill, who has studied Indian CEOs like Vineet Nayar of HCL Technologies during the 2008 downturn, will be conducting a workshop on ‘Maximising your leadership potential’ in India in December. 
The CEOs, representing different industry sectors in India , discussed the concerns in the Indian economy, context of leadership, sectoral leadership models and what the country can do to take it forward. Dean Nohria spoke to Indian business leaders on where the business world isheading and how India will contribute, what leadership styles become necessary to sustain a place in this growth renaissance, the advantage of being an HBS alumni and what they can bring to this change. The Club will also focus on how India can contribute to leadership and various leadership styles. 
HBS alumni in the country comprise approximately 1,000 people encompassing MBAs and executive education alumni. This event was also unique as it demonstrated that learning and dialogue can be facilitated across multiple locations.
“HBS has similar classrooms in Shanghai and Boston. The CLD event heralds interesting possibilities of inter-connectedness between these classrooms and thus on the structure and shape of education and continuous learning in the coming years,” said an HBS spokesperson. 
This opens up a plethora of scalable learning and engagement opportunities between communities of global leaders who are otherwise separated by time and space, he said. “The future will be built because of communication, feedback and engagement and the willingness of more than 100 CEOs to give two hours of their time underscores this,” said Natarajan. The programme could be a pilot for similar engagements by HBS alumni network in other parts of the world, he said. 

Source: The Economic Times

Date: 18th October 2013


WHAT RECRUITERS REALLY WANT… The requirements that don’t make it to job ads often become deciding factors for recruiters during job interviews. Ankita Shreeram lays the floor open for leaders to tell candidates what they really want from them


While in a dynamic business environment, projecting too much into the future is difficult. A candidate should be aware of how the new opportunity can present a ‘win-win’ for the organisation and him/her. This is even more critical in case one is exploring an industry/service line change. 
Typically, the interviewing style and orientation of a professional HR manager will be different from that of the business manager. While the HR manager will be evaluating the people angle primarily, the business manager will study the candidate’s business alignment potential. Based on this understanding, the candidate should frame the answer. 
How do you conduct yourself? Do you display ‘interest’ in the role being offered or show ‘desperation’ for the job? There is indeed a fine line separating the two, but it calls for maturity to make the distinction.



The first impression you make on your potential employer can do wonders for you. You should know how to sell yourself amidst other candidates. Emphasise on the work you have done and the achievements that set you apart. 

Your knowledge about the industry in which you want to work and your zest should reflect how ambitious you are. Let everyone know that you have already set targets for yourself and your plans to achieve them. 
It is very important for every job candidate to try to establish trust with their potential employer within a meeting. Try to be honest about your previous experiences and future plans.



We don’t really look for high qualifications. It’s easier to mould people who are not over-qualified. Besides, the chances of attrition are higher with candidates possessing greater qualifications. 
In the banking business, you are entrusted with the task of making people’s money grow, which is a lot like managing a business. Candidates who can work independently always have an edge. 
Candidates from humbler backgrounds and Tier-II cities tend to be more down-to-earth. They also have greater aspirations. They are also less likely to leave the company for greener pastures. 


Source: Ascent

Date: 23rd October 2013

What Bosses Hate in Their Employees PET PEEVE: Every boss has at least one employee trait on the zero-tolerance list: Shoddy work, passing the buck and above all, refusing to look for solutions. Shreya Roy and Rica Bhattacharyya check in with top executives on what their chief grouses are.

The trait I don’t like in employees is indecisiveness. Especially if he or she is a team leader, because they then slow down work and the whole team. I absolutely don’t like to hear a half-baked presentation of an idea — when anyone comes to me without doing his or her homework on a subject and expects me to do their share of the thinking. It is also annoying when an employee is not a self-starter and requires validation for every decision. I expect an employee to be able to think on his or her feet- Gursimran Mann MD, Simbhaoli Sugars 


“I’m okay, but the rest are not.” One common occurrence I find annoying, is team members blaming each other when things go wrong; in effect, passing the buck. If, for instance, a customer deliverable is not met and there is a genuine crisis, you will always find people who insist that they did their job; even saying they went beyond the call of duty. The failure, though, was due to someone else not having done his or her job. There is always someone who will repeatedly maintain, “I’m okay, but the rest are not.” And often, this is just their perception of themselves. As a leader, I do not want to hear any of this. It could be that they did their job and others didn’t. But blaming after a failure does not help. The other thing I find hard to work with is narcissism- KK Natarajan CEO & MD, Mindtree


I don’t like to hear things like: “It is not possible to do something,” or, “This is beyond my capacity.” 
When people tell me some task is not within reach, I can’t accept the approach. With proper planning and execution, there is no task that cannot be achieved. You agree upon a plan and execute it in a professional manner. Chances are, you will succeed. I also hate it when people keep doing the same thing and expect new or different outcomes. I always ask my team what it is that they are doing differently. If you are not open to ideating, within a few months, someone else will copy the same thing. Any professional has to constantly keep thinking of new ideas and do something new to be noticed- Deepak Roy Executive VC & CEO, Allied Blenders & Distillers


One of the things that I often hear from employees who are asked for solutions is, “Oh, we have tried this many times before but it won’t work” or, “This cannot be done”. Here’s an example. At Intel India offices, we do not allow women employees to work beyond 8 pm, which, at times, puts them at a disadvantage. When I asked how we can change this policy so it suits everyone, I was repeatedly given the same answer. Eventually, they were able to find a simple resolution that did not compromise with either the Intel or government regulations- Kumud Srinivasan President, Intel 


One thing CEOs are never keen on hearing from employees is that something can’t be done. 
CEOs do not arrive at their position without extensive exposure to the market, so they have a fairly good grasp of its dynamics. If it could not be done, there are few chances that it would have been assigned. Also, CEOs do not like to hear complaints about problems for which the employee cannot suggest a solution. The job of a CEO, by definition, is to execute plans of action — not debate how difficult things are-Anuj Puri Chairman & Country Head, Jones Lang LaSalle India 

Source: The Economic Times

Date: 17th October 2013

Cos Doing Little to Prepare Leaders, Say Top Executive

Leading and governing a global organisation is more complex than managing a multinational, according to leaders of top global companies. However, few feel their companies are doing enough to cope with the complexity or to prepare a pipeline of global leaders with the skills needed for future competitive success, according to a study by Accenture’s Institute for High Performance. 
Researchers interviewed 50 of the most senior and influential executives at 39 global companies from five continents, including countries like India, China, Germany, Switzerland, UK, US, South Korea. Some of the companies that were are part of the research included Deutsche Telekom, Diageo, Nokia India, Reliance, Tata Steel, Thermax, Infosys China, LG Electronics and Merck & Co. 
The research showed that for the top 1% to 2% of executives to be effective in a global environment, its leadership group must be agile, demonstrate foresight and be able to use synthetic intelligence through a combination of experience and analytics. 
“The style that is beginning to emerge is no longer relying on a single global operating committee or executive council but distributing responsibilities,” says Robert J Thomas, managing director – growth and strategy at Accenture Institute for High Performance, which conducted the study, ‘Leadership Ensembles: Orchestrating the Global Company’. This quality of a leader being flexible and having a better understanding of a problem through discussion and debate is becoming increasingly important, he adds. 
Differences in language, custom, 
politics and so on, divide markets as well as top management. And bridging those differences requires from senior leaders a level of agility more closely resembling that of a musical ensemble than the usual executive board consisting of the CEO and direct reports, says Thomas. 
“There is growing recognition that problems can be solved more effectively by leaders who recognise leader-like behaviour of employees at the ground level and those who are able to make a diverse set of minds work together intelligently,” says Jayesh Pandey, managing director, talent and organisation, Accenture. Adds Thomas: “In a global economy, the ability of the top leadership to think collectively to solve problems is becoming crucial”. 


Source: Economic Times

Date: 17th October 2013