Rly may offer passengers baggage insurance

Indian Railways is planning to offer `baggage insurance’ services to its passengers. The passenger can claim the insurance money in case of lost or theft of the baggage and the valuable goods like laptop, mobile phone or any other similar article will be covered as part of the travel insurance package.

The tie-up is being formalized with a leading insurance company for offering baggage insurance service to e-ticket and the insurance premium will depend on the length of the journey as well as the class of travel of the passenger.

Customers will be given an option to avail the insurance coverage, which will not be mandatory . Around 2 million passengers travel every day and about 52% opt for e-ticketing. The passengers are now offered e-catering and concierge services while booking tickets on certain trains and routes.

Source: Times of India


The LinkedIn, Lynda.com Deal: A View to a Skill

Employees want to learn on the job, but employers want workers who already have the skills companies need.

So what’s the missing link?

It can be found in LinkedIn Corp.’s acquisition of Lynda.com, the behemoth online educational tech company. The deal, valued at $1.5 billion, was announced April 9 and is scheduled to close in the second quarter subject to customary closing conditions.

“LinkedIn is the only organization I know of, public or private, that has the data to study long-term career outcomes of education in a broad and meaningful way. Nobody else comes close. Not even the government,” wrote Michael Feldstein of e-Literate, a blog that monitors developments in the educational tech space. “Their data set is enormous, fairly comprehensive and probably reasonably accurate.”

The acquisition, according to Feldstein, gives LinkedIn the ability to sell an add-on service — career advancement — and it also feeds its data set. It also allows LinkedIn to increase its footprint in the career training space.

“We believe this deal makes a lot of sense for the leading professional network, since it would empower employees/subscribers to develop or further refine their skills,” said Youssef Squali, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, in a research note to investors, according to The New York Times.

Roughly 49 percent of employers say job-specific skills are difficult to find in a potential employee, but only 24 percent believe the lack of on-the-job training contributes to the skills gap, according to a survey by The Hiring Site. Those numbers conflict with the 60 percent of job candidates who believe skills will be learned on the job, the survey found. Essentially employers say candidates don’t have the skills, and candidates expect they’ll learn the most relevant skills on the job.

The disconnect is obvious, like a gulf separating two very different sets of expectations.

The proposed acquisition reveals that talent acquisition and talent development —which have largely been treated as different universes —are moving closer and closer to each other.

LinkedIn makes most of its money helping companies, large and small, connect with potential employees. It is the place businesses and recruiters go to find talent, including passive candidates, the people who aren’t actively searching for a job.

In the past, the majority of LinkedIn’s “skilling up’’ effort was a minor endeavor, at best. It helped people by allowing them to list expertise and skills on their profiles and allow connections to endorse and promote them — a crowd sourced way to create a signal amid all the online noise. This feature primarily benefitted those looking to make hires.

Why buy an education company, then? Simple: Hiring and skill development are more inextricably linked than they first appear.

Now more than ever in the knowledge economy the talent in your organization is what determines your success or failure. There is an unprecedented shortage of talent for some of the most demanding and highly skilled jobs.

The so-called “skills gap” is really two separate gaps. One is created by the difficulty in finding qualified people to do the job. The other occurs in finding the type of people who have the soft skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving, needed to learn quickly and adapt.

How do you fill these gaps? With learning — or skilling up — your hires.

Companies recently learned these efforts are cost-efficient and something their millennial employees appreciate.

At least 40 percent of millennials in the United States, Europe and Africa, say they want managers who “empower their employees,” according to a survey released this year by INSEAD’s Emerging Markets Institute, Universum and the HEAD Foundation.

The survey, analyzed by the Harvard Business Review, also found when millennials prioritize their lives, they list “learning new things” as being more important than “being wealthy” by a wide margin.

At the same time, an IBM Corp. Value of Training study examined the best-performing companies and worst-performing companies to see if skills played a part in performance. The study found 84 percent of employees at the better-performing companies were receiving necessary training compared with 16 percent at the lower performing businesses.

What these surveys indicate is, if you can’t find the right people with the right skills, you should include training as part of the hiring process.

Take Uber, for example. The cab-hailing company is hiring engineers and training them on specific coding frameworks. Rather than restrict hiring to those who know the code the company is using, Uber is hiring and training people as part of its on boarding process.

Meanwhile, Hilton Worldwideis conducting its own training program, going after people to teach the skills needed in the hospitality industry.

Hilton is offering an internship program to military veterans who complete a certificate or college degree in hospitality services. If the veterans complete the internship in good standing, they are offered a job, according to the hotel chain.

With companies moving to overcome skills gaps and move business forward, a marriage between hiring and training is necessary.

Look around your organization. Do the recruiting and hiring team sit next to or near the talent development team? If not, you should re-evaluate.

Just as with lynda.com and LinkedIn, the goal should be for the two groups to operate as one to provide the best outcome for your company.

Nick Gidwani is the founder of SkilledUp and head of product for Apollo Professional Development. Comment below or email editors@workforce.com. Follow Workforce on Twitter at @workforcenews.

Source: www. Workforce.com

Date: April 15, 2015


The raising of foreign holding limit in insurance companies after a decade of wrangling between political parties is a landmark in Indian economic history.
What does it mean for the future of the insurance industry?
In a discussion with Shilpy Sinha, HDFC Life chief executive Amitabh Chaudhry and ICICI Lombard chief executive Bhargav Dasgupta open up on what is in store

On the long-awaited enactment of higher shareholding limit for foreigners in insurance companies…

BD For the consumer, increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) from 26% to 49% is not going to change anything.In the general insurance industry , we have had one or two companies entering every year even when FDI was at 26%. The implication of the bill is at two levels -one is the freedom that has been given to the regulator in framing rules and the other is in terms of opening reinsurance branches. On the distribution front, the regulator has placed the responsibility of licensing agents on insurance companies in terms of sourcing, training and licensing.

Any mis-selling by agents can result in a huge penalty . To ensure quality , agents will now have to pass a central exam through a certified body .Another positive is in terms of product guidelines. The product approval mechanism can now move to use and file, wherein the logic is that you don’t design a product and launch it unless it is in the interest of the policyholders. AC Firstly , the bill enables greater foreign capital to flow into India which in a capital-intensive sector like insurance is vital.India has significant mortality and morbidity gaps in addition to the fact that financial savings have fallen in the past few years. Conse past few years. Consequently , additional capital should help the industry expand and invest in infrastructure be it life, non-life or standalone health companies.

Another big amendment in the law is the provision that you cannot deny a claim under a policy after three years for any reason whatever. Earlier, when claims used to come, we would investigate early for suspicious claims in detail. Now you have to investigate a lot more at the on-boarding stage or in the first three years, because you cannot refute any claim after three years. Third, fines have gone up. I am now liable for all agents. However, the act does provide for a redressal mechanism through the Securities Appellate Tribunal in case of disagreements between an insurer and the regulator.Overall, the bill has devolved more power and flexibility to IRDA and that is a step in the right direction.

How does the regulatory capital requirement for the insurance industry differ from that of banks?
BD Freedom has been given to the regulator to allow new forms of capital. The old solvency regulation is archaic. It is a factor-based, not risk-based, model.Secondly , the regulator allows us to operate within certain constraints on agency commission and expenses.There are two sub-limits. One of the recommendations that the industry has been making is to make it one.

There is a lot of debate about the rules on bancassurance. Where does it take the industry?
AC The guidelines introduced a code of conduct for banks, which is a good move and will make them responsible.

While open architecture principally is good, there are second-order ramifications which many people do not understand. It will reverse the shift towards customer-centricity and force insurers to be distributor-centric, especially when it comes to big banks. Today an in surance partner moves in step with its banking partner as it opens more branches and deploys the necessary resources. Insurers can reach small towns and villages through banks. As banks will be forced to share a piece of the pie across three insurers under the proposed regulations, such large-scale investments by insurers and a presence in smaller towns and rural markets may no longer be viable. BD What is being proposed is that a corporate agent cannot sell anything but retail policies. Banks can cover so many SME clients and offer them risk-based products, which is what they should be allowed to do.

What happens to the joint ventures between banks and insurers?
AC A lot of banks have signed up joint venture partnerships on the basis that they will have exclusive distribution arrangements. The guideline caps the amount you can distribute through one company -many of these partnerships will find it difficult to accept caps, which go down to 50%. Secondly , there is a worrisome notion that bancassurance will not be capable of selling complicated products, which other agents and brokers can. Our experience suggests banks have higher ticket size, better persistence and lesser complaints than channels already operating under open architecture as the insurer can no longer influence the agent’s behaviour.

Also, will the bank have to stop selling policies like term, health, annuities, crop insurance, which serve specific customer needs? One doesn’t know these details at this stage. Open architecture could also encourage a churn of policies between insurers. Third, they have introduced a clause that only one registration will be given to a group.Financial conglomerates have multiple entities, each of which today is a corporate agent. I am hoping that was not the intention of the regulator. Fourth, the payout issue. While payment to the group company is covered, it should ex tend to group companies and shareholders in India and abroad through various mechanisms such as equity transfer, etc.

Does that mean joint venture splits?
AC There might be some players who are pure bancassurance companies where the foreign partner has entered on the premise of the bank’s infrastructure being available and may have paid premium to the Indian partner. If this infrastructure suddenly becomes unavailable, the partners will need to re-look at their business model and re-evaluate future plans for the business.

We keep hearing about frauds. Are they really rampant?
BD For the general insurance industry , third party claims have to be paid through courts. In some cases, the proceedings take more than seven years.This time factor helps some people to manipulate documents and facts of the claim. Insurers are paying claims for accidents that happened in the 1980s.The new draft road safety bill says one may not file a claim after one year. In Delhi, the High Court has paved the way for filing of claims within one year through DAR. This has brought down manipulated cases. AC Rampant is probably the wrong word but fraudsters are becoming sophisticated. We have had instances where policyholders are `dead’ soon after they buy policies. An entire chain including local authorities and hospitals may be involved. Insurers have analytics in place to identify such cases early on.

The Industry growth has been tepid. Is it shrinking? Will it grow at all in future?
Is therescope for so many players?

AC The UK has 900 general insurance companies. Ideally it should shrink because a lot of players on the life side are marginalised. But the cost of keeping a stake is low, and at the end of the day , India is seen as a huge potential market. I do not expect too many exits.

Is India a profitable market?
AC India is the least profitable mar ket in the world. There are several reasons. We suffer from the basic fundamental flaw. If you look at the returns that we give, we struggle to compete say against a tax-free bond. Other markets are able to attract a lot more money . Over and above that, we compete with other financial asset classes like deposits wherein interest rates are high. A significant portion of these monies anyway goes to the govern ment. In par products we are forced to invest in government securities 50% goes into government securities and another 15% into infrastructure. It will change over a period of time. As interest rates fall, the differential will fall much faster.

Insurers are net sellers in the equity market. Are surrenders high?
AC Life insurance companies are not real net investors in the market. The growth of life in surance compa nies has been neg ative for the past four years. When people see that the equity mar ket is doing well, they tend to sur render. At the same time I am not generating as much busi ness on the eq uity side so I have to sell my equity to pay off the surrender.

Do changes in the law mean, insurers become the season’s new flavour with a stock exchange listing?
AC Our shareholders have been vocal about listing at the right stage. In any case, the entire chain of processes including FIPB approvals, Sebi and IRDA approvals, etc would take another 12 months or so for a listing to materialise.BD Any decision pertaining to equity stake or listing on stock exchanges will be taken by shareholders.

How do you value insurance companies?
BD You look for price to book future cash flow, premium to brand -it is a normal economic model. We are not risking our balance sheet. General insurance business is a float business as long as you can keep your costs below 100.AC There are two ways this is typically done. Insurance companies get assigned valuations as a multiple of their embedded value, which is nothing but the present value of all the policies an insurer is written till date. Alternately , the EV is taken and we add to it a multiple to the new business profits. The multiple is based on future growth expected. Either of these can be used to arrive at a life insurance company’s value.

Is it possible to shift treasury from insurance companies to a mutual fund?
AC The concept is, if you do not know how to manage policyholders’ money yourself, how will you even assess others’ performance? Earlier it made sense for insurance companies to develop their own expertise but now many have reached a size and scale where a part of the money can be outsourced for management. The regulator is rightfully concerned that this should not lead to arbitrary charges by mutual funds to policyholders. This was happening in NPS in the initial days of the scheme. But that can be easily managed and controlled.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 15-04-2015

New India Bags NPCI Deal to Give Cover for RuPay Holders

The National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) will sign an agreement with New India Assurance for providing personal accident cover to RuPay cardholders. Government-backed New India Assurance was one of nine applicants that had bid for the contract. NPCI is the country’s largest payments company. It has issued 150 million RuPay cards that carry free personal accident cover of ` . 1 lakh. Till last fiscal, non-life company HDFC Ergo had partnered NPCI for this cover.

AP Hota, managing director and chief executive of NPCI, confirmed to ET that the company has appointed New India Assurance for a term of one year. “The premium for the cover will be borne cover will be borne by NPCI and not be passed on to the cardholders or the banks,“ he said. According to people aware of the development, NPCI has retained the critical clause of `45 daysswipe’ for any cardholder to make a claim for the sum insured. This condition -which meant that a which meant that a customer has to swipe at least once in 45 days to be eligible for the cover -was a bone of contention between the card issuer and the government. NPCI has been of the view that such a condition will prompt customers to keep the card active.

This time, to make the policy more customer-friendly, the agreement says that even those transactions done within 45 days with the business correspondent will be treated as a card transaction for RuPay cardholders to make a claim for thecover.

So far, a card swipe included only those transactions that were at point of sale (PoS) machines and ATMs. Executives from NPCI said that there are now 126,000 microATMs in the country and banks are in the process of making these terminals RuPay-enabled.

The insurance cover for the RuPay card gains significance since it is attached to the prime minister’s pet project, `Jan Dhan Yojana’, which aims to provide bank services at an affordable price to economically weaker section of the society.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 8-4-2015


JUST ARRIVED 71 per cent of B-school students professionals with an HR specialisation feel a career in HR can lead them to CEO positions

EY’s survey of Indian B-school students in 2014, titled New entrants to the VUCA World, presents a broad picture of B-school students’ perceptions and priorities guiding their decisions on the attraction of and retention in organisations. For the report, over a 1000 students and B-school professionals across India were surveyed.


HR is attracting `best in class’ talent, with 88 per cent of the respondents (from HR) con firming that HR was their first choice of specialisation; Around 71 per cent of the respondents with an HR specialisation felt that it is likely that a career in HR can lead to the position of CEO; only 34 per cent of the respondents from other specialisations were of this opinion; More than 50 per cent of the respondents with an HR specialisation indicated their willingness to remain in the HR profession for more than 15 years -the highest in comparison with all other specialisations; According to 71 per cent of the respondents, work-life balance is (or would be) more important than rewards and recognition in their choice of organisations; According to 77 per cent of the respondents, they were attracted by an organisation’s ability to provide an opportunity for innovation and learning (symbolic) rather than its brand (institutional); Findings indicate that 42 per cent of the respondents would remain in organisations that provides them career opportunities; Great learning opportunities constitute the single most critical factor influencing students’ choice of employers; According to students, vision, communication skills and perseverance are the key competencies required. According to Bschool management, flexibility or adaptability, comfort with problem-solving and decision making in an ambiguous environment are the key competencies needed; Almost 90 per cent of the respondents believe that B-schools are adequately preparing students to face work-related challenges in the corporate environment; According to more than 50 per cent of the respondents, career opportunities constitute the critical retention factor for students.

Source: Times of India

Date: 8-4-2015

Startups That Are Changing the Face of Hiring

Hiring candidates based on gut feel and anecdotal information won’t hold for long. Startups in the hiring space are ushering in a mini revolution by leveraging technology and data science. Prachi Verma & Sreeradha D Basu track the game changers.

Jombay: The Psychometric Push

Jombay helps companies hire, promote and retain the right talent through a talent


Jombay uses psychometrics and analytics to make hiring and promotions more scientific.

Traditionally a lot of these decisions have been taken on gut feel and anecdotal information, leading to expensive errors. Jombay helps companies reduce these errors through a data-driven approach.


Corporate India’s biggest challenge is the dearth of leadership talent. To tackle this, Jombay is introducing a predictive analytics solution to predict potential high-performing leaders in an organisation.


University of Southern California alumnus Suruchi Wagh. Prior to Jombay, she worked with a Stanford University professor at Risk Management Solutions in California as a research analyst.

Stanford University alumnus Mohit Gundecha. Before this, he was heading India operations for mig33, a mobile-first community.

TalentPad: The Win-Win Creators

Started in February 2014, Delhi-based TalentPad is a curated marketplace connecting high-quality talent with employers in the technology space


Unlike traditional hiring platforms, which randomly upload resumes for the consumption of employers, TalentPad curates the resumes, giving employers access to premium and non-redundant profiles on a single platform.

It also offers candidates a platform to showcase themselves to hundreds of employers at once and let the employer make the first move, ensuring a `win win’ for employers and employees.


It will enable a better match between candidates and companies, using technology and data science, thus making the marketplace more efficient.


Nikhil Vij: The CTO and co-founder is an IIT Bombay alumnus. He has worked in Google and co-founded a startup named Clipr Raghav Jain: The co-founder and COO is a graduate from IIT BHU. He has worked at JP Morgan and Deloitte.Mayank Jain: The IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad alumnus is the CEO and co-founder. Prior to this, he was the head of marketing and CRM at Deals & You, and head of operational strategy at Juvalia & You. He has also been a management consultant at Accenture.

MyRefers: External Referrals

MyRefers is a referral-based jobs marketplace that helps companies crowdsource top talent using a network of referees, CXOs, recruiters and HR consultancies


While referrals continue to be the best hiring source, they are largely limited to internal employees. MyRefers introduces a new source of hires –external referrals.

At MyRefers, anyone is allowed a job referral, which allows companies to reach out to passive candidates. Teamed with data intelligence, the best profiles, similar to employee or internal referrals, can go out to employers.


MyRefers has just added a visual resume tool that converts an user’s social media profile or text resume into an easy-to-read visual resume to highlight the relevant skills of candidates within a few seconds.MyRefers plans to add social data intelligence -gathering data of a user’s profile and social activity across various online platforms and analysing that data to create a skill and culture match for the open jobs on the platform -to the current data engine


Avnish Anand: Co-founder and chief product officer is an MBA from IIM Lucknow and an ISI Kolkata graduate Lalit Bhagia: Founder and CEO, is an engineer and MBA from Pune University. He also has an International Business Programme, Management degree from IIM Calcutta. He has previously been the VP digital at STAR TV and EVP & head APAC at Digitas.Kashish Bhagia: Co-founder and chief finance officer, is a CFA who has worked with companies like JP Morgan, Agilent Technologies and GE

Interview Mocha: Skill Testing Made Easy

Interview Mocha offers solutions for pre-employment skill testing in domains like information technology, sales, marketing, digital marketing and business skills. It has over 50,000 questions, besides a network of subject matter experts and simulators.

Its solutions contain features like cheating detection and prevention, `auto follow’ of candidates, faster selection process of candidates and integration with sourcing mechanisms like employee referrals, job portals, company websites,


Unlike traditional HR which needs to test hundreds of skills for multiple job profiles, Interview Mocha does not need project teams and hiring managers. It solves these problems with ready tests, a custom test creation facility, image proctoring, easy and decisive reporting and an auto-follow up of candidates.


The company is working towards offering the largest number of tests in the world, for which it is engaging with subject matter experts.

It is also enriching its simulators and technical platform.


Amit Mishra: Founder and CEO started an IT services company called Ecotech IT Solutions based out of Pune in the 2007 that grew to $1.5 million in three years. He exited it in November 2012. He is a computer engineer and has earlier worked at IBM from 2002-06.Sujit Karpe: Founder and CTO co-founded the IT services company with Mishra.He is also a computer engineer and had worked with Mishra at IBM.

Talview.com: Video Interviews

Talview offers a video interview platform that leverages technologies like mobile, video and analytics to help companies screen and select talent. The company claims to cut time and costs for its 60 enterprise clients.


Talview’s flagship product is an automated video interview, which does away with the need of an interviewer. The system prompts the candidate, whose impromptu responses are recorded for review by the panel.

The other tools provided by Talview are Live Interview, Remote Proctored Written Assessments and Hiring Analytics.


Talview is working on products and features that will leverage advanced natural language processing, strong artificial intelligence and semantic search methodologies to find the best fit in the shortest possible time.

THE BRAINS BEHIND TALVIEW (Clockwise from top left) Jobin Jose:

COO is an engineer who has worked with multiple startups in the video technology space Subramanian K: The CTO is also an IIT Bombay alumnus. He had stints with a few start-ups Tom Jose: CMO is an NMIMS Mumbai alumnus. He was working with KPMG and prior to that with L&T (where he met Sanjoe) Sanjoe Jose: CEO is an IIT Bombay alumnus. He was working with National Instruments, US-based high-end IT solutions provider from 2011 to 2012. His first job was with Larsen and Toubro, 2007-09.

GrownOut: Forging Connections

GrownOut offers a software as a service (SaaS)-based online referral hiring tool using data solutions It believes in the idea that “you can find everything in your network; you just need to look deeper“.Thus, a small business with nearly 100 employees has a potential to reach out to 15,000 candidates, as an average employee will have a minimum of 150 connections across the Internet.


While nearly 40% of hiring is done through referrals, only 6.9% of applications come through this process. According to Grownout.

com, referrals have the best retention rates. In traditional HR, even though referrals hiring is the best source to find right candidates, it is difficult to achieve 100% efficiency. “As the referral bonuses compare poorly with the effort they put in, many employees tend to miss sharing opportunities,“ says Gupta. Thus, the time lag between sharing a vacancy and getting a suitable response is huge in case of traditional HR.


GrownOut’s solution uses a lot of behavioural data and focuses on finding optimum solutions. So the company is working towards consolidation of data from multiple sources about a job seeker, so that HR can see beyond the standard resume. “This can also help HR departments understand the soft skills the candidate possesses,“ says Gupta.

Job-seeking behaviour will also be analysed for the candidate and be compared to behaviour of people with similar profiles. This will tap passive as well as active seekers.

The solution will get upgrades based on consumer behaviour and with time, will make referral hiring as the primary hiring source.


Founder, is a computer science graduate Harsimran Walia: Founder, is an IIT Delhi graduate.

Source: Economic Times

Date : 07-04-2015

Third party cover to cost more

Third-party motor insurance premiums for private cars and two-wheelers have been increased by 16-30%, effective April 1, 2015.

The revised rates are significantly lower than the 100% hike proposed in a draft circular issued last month. Insurance premium caps for commercial vehicles have been raised 8-20% and have even come down in some categories.

Third-party motor tariffs are fixed by the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDA). The increase in rates means that buyers may need to pay `822 more for big cars and `266 more for mid-size ones. Renewal rates will also rise. There is no cap on the compensation that a victim can claim in case of an accident, but there is a limit on third-party premiums. Insurers want this cap removed so that they can charge according to the risk undertaken.

Source:- The Economic Times (Mumbai)

Date:- 6th April,2015