Product launches

INSURANCE

IndiaFirst Life Insurance has launched a pension product, IndiaFirst Guaranteed Retirement Plan. It offers a guaranteed return of 9% on total premiums paid in the initial years, and the benefit of participating in the company’s profits in later years. It is a nonlinked, participating, endowment, deferred plan. Customers have the option of ending the plan term any time after the age of 40.Royal Sundaram General Insurance has launched Lifeline, its flagship health insurance product to Standard Chartered Bank’s India customers through the bancassurance channel. Lifeline is Royal Sundaram’s first plan serviced by doctors that offers a wide range of sum insured from `2 lakh to Rs`1.5 crore.

BANKING

IndusInd Bank has partnered with online payment solution provider PayU India to improve the digital experience for its consumers. With this partnership, the bank will now offer its full suite of consumer banking products online.ICICI Bank has rolled out two digital services in the home loan space. Through Express Home Loans, the bank plans to facilitate online approval of home loans within eight working hours. The bank has also launched an app–iLoans–to facilitate paperless approval of subsequent disbursements for construction-stage-linked home loan borrowers.

MUTUAL FUNDS

Axis mutual Fund has launched Axis Hybrid Fund, Series 29. The objective of the closed-ended scheme is to generate income by investing in fixed income securities. The minimum subscription amount is `5,000 and in multiples of `10 thereafter. The NFO closes on 25 January.

 

Source:- The Economic Times (Mumbai)

Date:-18th Jan,2016

Crop Insurance Needs Innovation, Not Subsidy

The attempt to revamp crop insurance is welcome. It does make sense to get farmers to develop the habit of insuring their crops, for which insurance companies must offer realistic policies without obscure conditions that make successful insurance claims the exception rather than the rule. However it is open to question if an open-ended subsidy from the Centre on the insurance premium is the way to go about it. India’s farm sector is burdened with the malaise of far too much ill administered subsidy and far too little investment. An insurance scheme that deepens this disease is eminently avoidable The government should open up the futures and options market on farm commodities and seek innovative solutions from insurance companies.

The scheme, to be effective from the upcoming kharif season, should clearly prescribe the conditions under which claims can be made, and state how the losses would be assessed. Insurance companies will underwrite crop insurance only when they see an opportunity for a positive actuarial outcome over time. Insurers must quote realistic premiums to ensure the business is commercially viable Only then will reinsurance companies also be willing to absorb the risks from the books of general insurers. A valued policy -wherein the sum insured includes the input cost plus say , a profit of 10% -makes better economic sense for farmers. They should recover the insurance cost from consumers and through higher productivity .

Products must be made available to individual farmers, whether they own the land or not. Past schemes have assessed localities rather than individual farms for loss. The arrival of drones that carry sophisticated remote-sensing equipment can change this, and ensure speedy settlement of claims.

Source: Economic  Times

Date:15/01/2016

‘’Govt to launch first major crop insurance scheme in 2016/17’’

The government will launch its first major crop damage insurance scheme for farmers in the fiscal year starting April 1, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said on Friday, in what could be Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s first significant move to address the distress plaguing the country’s agricultural sector.

The impact of unseasonal rains and two straight years of drought on agriculture that sustains over two-thirds of country’s 1.25 billion people has dented Modi’s popularity in the countryside, contributing to a humiliating loss for the premier in elections last year in the largely rural state of Bihar.

 

Reuters reported last month that India will launch a new farm crop insurance scheme in 2016 and use drones and other technologies to assess crop damage.

 

 

Source :-   BusinessToday In (Mumbai)

Date    :-   8th   January,2016

 

 

‘’Companies with women in top leadership positions are more financially successful than companies run by men’’

At least, that’s the lesson implicit in a November 2015 report from MSCI, a New York City-based research-based index and analytics firm. Companies with “strong female leadership” generated an average return on equity of 10.1 percent per year, compared to an average of 7.4 percent for those without top women leaders.

 

The study, which examined more than 4,200 companies between December 2009 and August 2015, is in sync with a September 2014 report from Credit Suisse that also found a link between companies with more female executives and higher returns on equity—as well as higher valuations, stronger stock performance and higher payouts of dividends.

 

The Credit Suisse report was based on a database that tracks the gender mix of about 28,000 executives at 3,000 companies in 40 countries. Diana Bilimoria, KeyBank Professor and Chair of Organizational Behavior at Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management, isn’t surprised. “Our organizations need women leaders,” she said. Ample research, she added, “shows a correlation between the presence of women in top governance and leadership roles and organizational performance, philanthropy, and corporate social responsibility.

 

Research indicates that women leaders use more transformational leadership styles and are more communal—that is, concerned about developing and supporting individual employees and the team,” she said. “These are the elements of being a more-inclusive leader.” Despite evidence that having more female leaders is a recipe for business success, female CEOs are still in the minority. According to Boardroom Insiders, a San Francisco company that maintains a database of in-depth profiles of C-level executives, only 19 of the Fortune 500 CEOs (3.8 percent) in 2015 were women. Other Fortune 500 C-suite positions have a greater percentage of women, including chief financial officers (10 percent) and chief information officers (16 percent), but women are still, by far, the minority in these leadership positions.

 

“We are making progress, but it is slow,” Bilimoria said. “At the current rate of progress, it will take a very long time—literally decades—before equity is achieved. The reasons for this slow change are complex and involve societal, organizational, interpersonal and individual reasons.”

 

Source :-   Society for HR Management(Mumbai)

Date    :-   11th  January,2016

Career trends in 2016

Make the trends work for you this year, says Devashish Chakravarty

2015 had started off on a high with Indian industry displaying confidence in the economy and hiring strongly for growth. Then in the second half, India and the world reacted negatively to a massive Chinese stock market crash. Simultaneously, investments in start-ups dried up, making 2015 a mixed year for professionals. Since Indian economic fundamentals did not change substantially, there is enough excitement for your career in 2016. Here is how you can make the most of the ongoing career trends.

Gen Z is in:

Gen Z or post millennials-people born in the mid-90s onwards–are currently joining the workforce and in the next 10 years, will become the largest segment of employees in India. This generation has huge exposure to technology having grown up with the proliferation of Internet and smartphones. Chances are that your next fresher hire has spent more time on her computer and cell phone than in watching television. Prepare for a huge change in workplace environment. Online shopping, wearable tech, digital money, constant beeping mobiles and a pursuit of job satisfaction over salaries by co-workers may challenge and push your personal boundaries. Accept the cultural shift and learn to engage colleagues in work that excites them while expecting contributions to your team through their mastery over technology and change.

30s are back in fashion:

After a period of exuberance in job markets when demand outstripped supply of employees, there was a rush to hire freshers for increasingly senior roles. It seemed the market was celebrating youth over experience. However, as the demand-supply gap reduced, salaries rationalised and focus shifted to lateral hiring. So, if you are in your 30s and looking for a period of consistency in your career in order to start a family and pay off home loan EMIs, this is an excellent time to seek a great new role. Employers are looking for your combination of experience and professionalism along with the high energy level that you bring. The fact that you are seeking steady growth and are unlikely to change jobs every few months makes you especially attractive.

One year sw-ITCH:

Seeking a job for a lifetime went out of the window in the early 1990s and the average tenure at a current job reduced dramatically over the years. In the early 21st century, the average tenure was down to 5 years and a decade later, job switches every 2-3 years became the norm. Last year, the job market saw a small but quickly growing segment of professionals primarily in IT and sales who were looking out for new roles within a year. This trend will accelerate in 2016 as new companies proliferate and poach candidates from the competition. Meanwhile, employers should get used to hiring people who had shorter tenures in past roles. So if you find your current role is not matching your expectations and are confident of your abilities, go ahead and switch jobs in months without worrying about the impact on your resume.

Employer yoga:

Firms are increasingly flexible in how they engage with their workforce and that is good news in case you have unique needs, are looking for additional income or have personal commitments. More employers are getting comfortable with you working part-time or from home, as a temporary hire or intern and even on a short-term gig to fill urgent talent gaps. The fastest route into a new job in 2016 will be through references within the firm since it saves screening time. Even returning to your last employer is an option, since they see value in welcoming `boomerang’ employees. Once you join, you may find that scheduled performance reviews have been scrapped in favour on ongoing conversation regarding performance and delivery. So seek to continuously engage with your manager for faster growth. Of course, do not expect astronomical salary hikes until you join and prove yourself.

Automation, analytics and mobility:

With greater pressure to deliver results and growth without increasing costs, companies are automating routine activities and using analytics in decision-making. Unless you are in a high-skilled role, you will find lesser people on your team being asked to deliver the same or better results using technology. Get ready to embrace role mobility and regular change in work profiles as a whole bunch of old jobs, skills and even decision making techniques become redundant and make way for new roles that did not exist a few years or even a few months back. The alternative is to become and remain highly skilled in areas where entry barrier or effort is high.

Glamour no more:

In the last few years, entrepreneurship and start-ups ceased to be dirty words and became glamorous. 2015-2016 is the period when start-ups are shedding their glamour tag, exiting the ramp and becoming mainstream. Working at a start-up is passé and talking about your job does not generate much excitement amongst peers. In 2016, if you are considering working at a start-up or exiting start-ups to work in mainstream firms, your decision criteria should be the same. Choose from options based on your preference for the role, probable career path and your comfort with the risks that you are taking in return for the financial rewards.

Getting fired is a non-event:

Both large companies and start-ups made news headlines in 2015 when the former laid off employees in thousands to cut costs or the latter shut shop for lack of cash. Many others downsized quietly to increase efficiency and survive in hyper competitive markets. With so many people getting pink slips, getting fired is no more a dirty word. If you come into the firing line, invest your energies in reaching out to hundreds of companies that are hiring for attrition or growth.

 

Source: The Economic Times (Mumbai).

Date: 11th January, 2016.

Bajaj Cap Looks to Sell 49%; Global Insurers, PEs Evince Interest

Co, which is looking at a valuation of Rs. 1,200 crore, hires Avendus Capital to scout for buyers; former MD of PNB MetLife too keen on buying stake

Bajaj Capital, a Delhi based investment services company, is looking to sell 49% of its stake, and has mandated Avendus Capital to scout for buyers. Some global insurance companies and private equity investors have shown interest in Bajaj Capital which is valued . 1,200 crore.at about ` “Bajaj Capital has hired Avendus Capital to look for buyers for its 49% stake,“ said two persons in the know of things. “The company is looking at a valuation of close to . 1,200 crore.“

` The Insurance Amendment Act has brought insurance intermediaries under the same FDI ambit as insurance companies. The Act allows foreign direct investment of up to 49% in insurance companies and intermediaries.

Many private equity investors, including global insurance companies, have expressed interest in buying stake in the company. Rajesh Relan, former managing director of PNB MetLife, is also in talks to acquire stake in the company. “It is a live mandate for me, so I cannot divulge any further information,“ said an Avendus Capital executive. Bajaj Capital said it does not want to comment on the story.

The stake is being sold in the group company which has other ventures like Bajaj Capital Insurance Broking, an IRDA-licensed Composite Insurance Broker; Just Trade Securities Limited, member of NSE and BSE; and Bajaj Capital Investment Centre Limited, which facilitates realty solutions. The company serves over 10 lakh customers and has over 120 offices spread across 70 cities in India.

The government raised foreign direct investment limit in insurance o 49% from 26% after debating over t for six years.

The industry has been waiting for higher FDI in insurance to grow and increase penetration. Foreign promoters have increased stake post amendment in almost seven companies, including life and general insurance. After the limits were raised, Canadian firm Fairfax had raised stake in IIFL Holding Company which has interest in insurance distribution.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 8th January 2016

Pushan Mahapatra new MD, CEO of SBI General Insurance

Private sector non-life insurance firm SBI General Insurance has appointed Pushan Mahapatra as its new managing director and chief executive officer.

SBI General Insurance is a joint venture between State Bank of India and Insurance Australia Group and the post was vacated after Bhaskar J Sarma retired on December 31, 2015.

Mahapatra, who took over the reins on January 1, has been associated with the company since July 2014 as General Manager and Chief Operating Officer.

“At present, the insurance industry is undergoing a transformation in terms of capital inflow, digitalisation and risk modelling. It will be exciting to see how we can tap these opportunities to ensure the continued growth of the sector,” Mahapatra told PTI.

He will head the company’s growth across State Bank of India’s network of 19,000 branches, SBI General Insurance’s 90 branches and an additional network of 350+satellite branches.

The company’s gross written premium grew by 28 per cent as on November 30, 2015 at Rs. 1,153 crore from Rs. 899.5 crore a year ago, which was more than the industry growth of 12.3 per cent during the period.

 

Source: Asia Insurance Post

Date: 6th January 2016