Global Insurance Buys Aon’s 26% Stake in JV

Buy amount undisclosed; Changes brand name to Global Insurance Brokers

India’s Global Insurance Services has bought Aon’s entire 26% share in their joint venture Aon Global Insurance Brokers, for an undisclosed amount. With this, it has changed the brand name to Global Insurance Brokers.

The two joint venture partners had parted ways two years back and had received final approvals from the insurance regu lator and registrar of companies recently.

The joint venture, which started in 2001, saw Aon investing ` . 62 lakh for 26% at par in the JV .

Aon Global Insurance Brokers had been the second-largest insurance broker in the country, collecting premium income of ` . 2,000 crore a year.

“In the last year, our global access, capabilities and expertise for both inbound and outbound businesses have strengthened our positioning,“ said Prabhodh Thakker, promoter, Global Insurance Brokers. Global Insurance has been in the business for 45 years.

In the last two years, post the split with Aon and after the announcement of the deal, the company has added 200 employees and improved infrastructure.

Earlier, Aon was in talks with Catamaran to set up a new broking joint venture in India, after parting ways with a joint venture Aon Global.

The amendment to the Insurance Act had introduced a clause that states that management control needs to stay with Indian residents. In ad dition, a lot of joint venture agreements were signed with the understanding that foreign promoters would be al lowed to raise stake at par to 49% as and when the regulations permitted.

Many insur-ance companies have not raised stakes due to valuation mismatch and management control norms laid down by the regulators.The Reserve Bank of India norms prescribe that no transaction can happen at less than fair value.

Recently, in a similar instance, Kotak Life has bought out Old Mutual’s stake in the life insurance joint venture, by becoming 100% owned by Kotak.

Source : Economic Times

Date : 21-07-2017

HR Industry Veteran of India’s Only Profitable Airline Knows How To Retain Talent

Ranked as the 17th best workplace in Asia Pacific last year, InterGlobe Enterprises is among the few Indian companies whose work culture is considered better than a host of Asian players.

Harish K Gandhi, the Group Head HR of InterGlobe Enterprises, is the force behind aligning the organization’s business strategy with progressive people initiatives, and can well be given the credit for the culture at Interglobe.


Gandhi is a member of the Executive Committee and his 35 years in dealing with human resources makes his presence crucial to the company.


Among its most celebrated ventures is Indian airline IndiGo. Other businesses include airline management company InterGlobe Air Transport, travel distribution firm Worldspan & Galileo India, and travel technology company InterGlobe Technologies & hospitality group InterGlobe Hotels.


Value-based Hiring


Gandhi says the enterprise believes in value-based hiring.


“Newly recruited talent is given complete visibility of expectations from their respective roles. We also deploy a battery of psychometric inventory to ensure right fits for the job. This is the starting point of our retention strategy,” says Gandhi.


Mentoring and anchoring of key talent by leadership is key says the company that employs over 20,000 professionals across its businesses. “Coaching is also a way of life as a retention tool.”


According to Gandhi, emphasis is laid on skill development wherein employees nominate themselves for self-development to stay relevant and employable.


Grow Your Own Timber


The 28-year old group, which is headquartered in Gurgaon, believes in ‘growing it’s own timber’.


“Each of our jobs across businesses are first posted on the company’s intranet. Outside hiring is resorted to only in case of non-availability of talent within. The live example of this philosophy is three of our successful business heads have been an outcome of this philosophy,” Gandhi adds.


With 126 offices across 59 cities globally, InterGloble understands what an important role few of the good people practices play to retain talent.


“As a travel conglomerate operating in the varied space of sales, IT, BPM, hospitality, civil aviation and education, there is a realization that each business may have to evolve people practices suiting to the industry. But the underlying principle remains the same as far as values and culture piece is concerned at the Group level.”


Some of the top ways to retain talent include participatory hiring, balanced scorecard approach and emphasis on encouraging employees to take ownership of their self-development.


No Compromise on Value Systems


In spite of the rapid expansion in our businesses, we have ensured no compromise on the value systems and culture of our group, says Gandhi.


The group that has interests in hospitality, luxury goods, aviation, information technology and travel says its emphasis has been on building an institution, about leaders charting a new course, about weaving individual and organisation dreams and most importantly aspiring together, as one.


“Our constant focus on keeping it simple, keeping it to the basics always and every time ‘on- time’ and constantly delivering has kept employees aligned to the organizational goal,” says Gandhi.

“Facebook’s HR chief discusses 5 key tenets of its winning culture”

As your team or company grows, it might naturally become more difficult to feel connected to your boss and coworkers.

But Facebook — once a 10-person team, now made up of 18,770 employees — has a secret to balancing growth and staying true to its mission, according to its vice president of people Lori Goler: its company culture.

In a conversation with Glassdoor, Goler offers five ways Facebook’s culture fuels its overall success:

Being mission-focused

Goler says that when she first joined the company nine years ago, she noticed the leadership team’s substantial focus on culture.

“The culture is in support of the mission,” Goler tells Glassdoor. “We have seen the way that our community of users uses the products to build community, and we use it ourselves to build community internally. It all feels very much in sync.”

Goler adds that when she is recruiting and interviewing prospective Facebook employees, the company’s culture and mission are “a really big part of our value proposition.”

Former Facebook employee Kevin Colleran, once the company’s longest-serving employee after founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, had a similar takeaway. He writes in the Wall Street Journal that he witnessed the company grow “tremendously — both in terms of revenues and headcount — while never losing focus on the critical nature of culture.”

Playing to employees’ strengths

Facebook uses self-assessments and exit interviews to understand how employees feel about their work while also figuring out ways to help them excel.

“The thing that separates people who stay for a long time or who make the choices to leave is how they score themselves on whether they’re playing to their strengths,” Goler tells Glassdoor.

She adds that when employees feel proud about the work they do at Facebook, they are contributing back to the company’s overall mission.

Part of identifying an employee’s strengths is understanding their downfalls. In one episode of LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman’s podcast, “Masters of Scale,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says a resilient organization like Facebook is born from embracing employees’ failures.

“You have to be open to feedback. You have to ask for feedback. You have to build in a culture where, when I think you need to do something better, or you think I need to do something better—we tell each other and tell each other directly, and work it out,” Sandberg tells Hoffman.

Supporting life outside of work

Goler tells Glassdoor that Facebook seeks to “build a set of policies that support [being good workers, family members and friends] in every stage of life.”

A few ways Facebook caters to employees’ personal lives include extended bereavement leave, extended parental leave and the company’s new headquarters that will have housing, a grocery store and a pharmacy, among other features.

Having an authentic boss

If workers are genuinely invested in their jobs, they are more likely to perform better, be more engaged and feel more satisfied, one study shows.

Goler says Zuckerberg’s authenticity and humanity influences the workforce at Facebook. “Mark is so human and so authentic with our team,” Goler tells Glassdoor. “He does a Q&A every Friday. He shows up as he is: The person that you see, his public persona, is the same thing we see internally. You see the warmth and the transparency in his posts; we see the same thing.”

Expecting workers to take initiative

While the company provides the goals it wants to reach, employees have to figure out how to reach those on their own. Goler says that this level of autonomy reminds employees of the value their contributions bring to Facebook.

The company has a culture in which “you don’t have to have a huge amount of experience to be able to do big things,” Zuckerberg told Fast Company in an interview a few years ago.

“That’s been helpful in terms of being able to give really talented folks who haven’t run big things before big roles in the company, and giving them a chance to either show that they can do it, or not,” Zuckerberg says.


Source: CNBC

Date: 18th July, 2017

Study fine print before buying insurance policy

Insurance companies project the benefits of a critical illness policy, but the hidden terms and conditions are not known till one carefully studies the terms and conditions of the policy . In worst cases, many realise that the treatment cost is also not covered.

Case Study: Bhupinder Kumar was associated with Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance since 2005. He insured himself for Rs 2 lakhs under the company’s Criticare Insurance Policy. The policy commenced on September 28, 2005 and was renewed every year.

Kumar suffered a heart attack on April 29, 2007 and he was hospitalized at the Patiala Heart Institute. He was later shifted to Dayanand Medi cal College and Hospital in Ludhiana. During his hospitalization, he underwent an angiography and a stent was placed in his heart. He was discharged on June 20, 2007. The total cost came to Rs 2.5 lakh.He lodged a claim under the policy, but the claim was not settled despite followup.

He then filed a consumer dispute. The district forum allowed the complaint, and directed Bajaj to pay Rs 2 lakhs along with 9% interest and Rs 7,500 as cost. Bajaj appeal to the Punjab State Commission which reversed this order. Kumar approached the National Commission in revision.

The commission considered the clauses of the policy to ascertain whether angiography and placement of stent fell within the scope of a critical illness policy . It observed that regardless of the ailment or the treatment given, coverage would be determined by the definition of “critical illness“ stated in the policy . A consumer forum has to strictly construe the policy terms. It cannot expand the scope of coverage beyond the definition and ambit stipulated in the policy . If the forum attempts to do so, it would be transgressing its powers to confer an unjustified benefit on the consumer.

The National Commission observed that the medical record showed that Kumar was diagnosed to be suffering from single vessel coronary artery disease for which he underwent a procedure called PTCA with stenting. This was not within the scope of the criticare policy . As per the policy conditions, it covered heart surgery for correcting the narrowing of three or more coronary arteries with 75% blockage.Angina and chest pain were also excluded. On comparing the policy terms with the treatment given, the commission observed that even though Kumar had suffered from a critical illness and was treated for it, the ailment did not fall wit hin the scope of “critical ill ness“ as defined un der the policy.

Accordingly , by its order of July 4 delive red by Anup Thakur, the National Commission upheld the state commission’s order and dismissed Kumar’s revision, holding that the claim was beyond the scope of the policy .

Conclusion: A coverage under a critical illness policy is limited. Some policies provide that the insured has to survive for 30 days, and only thereafter he would be entitled to lodge a claim for planned treatment. There are several other riders which exclude the insurance company’s liability .

A regular mediclaim policies give better coverage than critical illness policies.So study the scope of the benefits rather than be deprived of reimbursement when a claim arises.

Source : The Times of India

Date : 10-07-2017

POSITIVE OUTLOOK – 40% drop in life cover mis-selling complaints

By reducing the instance of mis-selling, the life insurance industry has brought down the number of complaints by 40% to 1.22 lakh in 2016-17 from 2 lakh in 201516. The industry also brought down pending complaints to 247 this year from 935 last year, data from the insurance regulator showed.

The general insurance industry -which handles portfolios such as motor, health,fire, marine cargo -saw complaints drop 11% to 52,908 this year, from 59,083 last year. Overall the insurance industry witnessed a 34% decline in complaints to 1.72 lakh from 2.63 lakh in the year-ago period. The 17 ombudsmen centres spread across the country received 27,627 complaints this year.While 16,744complaints (about 60%) pertain to life insurers, the remaining 10,883 complaints (about 40%) were linked to general insurers. This was in addition to 2,693 complaints pending with various offices of ombudsmen at end March 2016.

“We don’t immediately take punitive action against insurance agents such as reducing their commission. But we try to have positive reinforcement, counselling, so that agents understand issues from the customer’s point. We constantly monitor sales to see if this has been a pattern with that agent,“ said Puneet Sahni, head, health, SBI General Insurance.

The consumer affairs booklet released by IRDAI also talked about free-look cancellations, which increased by 43% to 5,083 from 3,551. The free-look gives consumers the option to change their mind and cancel the policy within 15 days of purchase.

Build talent & trust, lead with tenacity

The 3 Ts Are Vital Tools To Ensure Survival Of Cos In Today’s Unpredictable World

As the world goes through its tumultuous cycles, startups are no longer all successful; the older multigenerational ones are not invincible anymore. It is now even more about the 3Ts: Talent, Tenacity andTrust.


Every organisation needs to take a brutally honest view of its talent bench. Does it have the breadth and the depth it needs for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow?
This is where most leadership teams fail. The misplaced belief, that what worked thus far will remain the secret algorithm, is suicidal.

More than ignorance, it is often arrogance that fails leadership. Leaders low on talent mindset are conservative in defining their emergent talent needs and lazy to even secure it. They often hire and promote followers, not challengers. Short on their own brand pull,they don’t hire people better than themselves -in pedigree, experience or potential. Even if they deliver the demands of today , such leaders then must become the first warning signs for firms to address.

It is not just about hiring a fresh crop or weeding. Every talent, who secures the future, needs to be tended to. An nual increments and bonuses are no longer enough. Time to have meaningful conversations, understand their teams beyond tasks, emotionally blend with skip levels and in the process move from being a boss to a coach is what keeps great talent. Leaders cannot be so busy that these remain a low-order check box item. The risk to the enterprise can be deadly! Talent must be spotted early . The best must be allowed to progress much faster, in a variety of roles and with different leaders. They must be put in the most value-impacting roles. Theymust be given visibility to the senior leadership. Talent has a capitalistic bias; socialism can destroy it.


Building teams and corporations today is even more a call for tenacity. Not eve ry business model will click; notevery top talent will deliver always. Not every growing firm will stay clear of its share of swamps and deserts. One of the big virtues of leadership in the VUCA reality of today is tenacity of purpose and effort.

It finally comes down to the culture that one creates for the institution. Contrary to myths, culture is not a static set of moral science principles. Culture flows from business imperatives and sup ports the organisation’s business landscape. Culture seems a soft fuzzy thing that can always be done by HR later. This is the mistake of most left-brained leadership teams. Just because it is difficult to quantify, they make the mistake of leaving it diffused. Hence, a small hiccup can bring the firm crashing badly .

Defining a firm’s belief system, ensuring all organisational sub-systems are aligned to ensure every stakeholder understands and behaves consistently is key to building organisational tenacity . The exercise is one of making choices. This must be done with due deliberation but reinforced substantively . Companies often drift along, and each person then interprets and resolves to behave as one chooses. This may be in good faith but it creates fissiparous tendencies within the system, sharpening fault lines and impacting organisational tenacity .

At the same time, it is important to step back and reflect whether an espoused culture and belief system has outlived its relevance. Even if it seems heretic, organisations must never atrophy to become a prisoner of its past when the future is so different. Cultures must get revisited, refined and, if needed, repudiated. The old order must give way to the new, irrespective of political sensitivities and emotional outpourings. This itself then becomes a strong cultural pillar of a corporation. It builds, protects and sustains, beyond perso nalities and business cycles.


Every business or institution survives and thrives when it secures and retains the trust of its various stakeholders. Does it deliver its promise as perceived by the different constituencies? Does it evolve its value proposition over time? Does it read changes in the environment to still deliver an experience of trust and goodwill?
Some corporations have invested in years of delivering a promise that makesthem more trustworthy .Others may have been successful but still struggle to be trusted. In many ways, trust is a bigger sustainable success than profits. How do leadership teams ensure their firms do the right thing to enhance their Trust Quotient?
One of the principle jobs of leadership is to ensure trust in their outfits. They must communicate proactively to the various stakeholder groups. They must respond to questions, honestly allay misgivings and humbly admit errors of judgment. No one expects a leader to always have all the answers. Unfortunately, positional leaders struggle to express their vulnerability .To seek help and not seem allknowing are commonplace leadership traps. This is a recipe for trust disruption one day .

Whether it is with internal teams or with external groups, great leaders of today ensure their circle of influence is strong and credible. In the world of social media, they have reinvented themselves to connect, communicate and clarify . There can be no power distance from anyone today . It is about influence, not command. It is about relevance, not experience. Those who understand this and work at it are better placed to create relationships of trust, not handcuffs of business might or hierarchical prowess.

The world seems more complex today . But the leadership mantras for survival and success do not need complex algorithms or obtuse models. Get your 3 Ts -Talent, Tenacity and Trust -right first. The tumult will pass and you will be stronger the morning after the storm.


Source:-The Times of India

Date:-5th July,2017


Axis Move to Sell Tata AIA Policies may Rock Max Life’s Merger Plan

HDFC Life may pitch for a revaluation for merger as Axis accounts for 60% of Maxsales

The proposed merger between life insurers HDFC Life and Max Life, which has hit a regulatory roadblock, may face yet another headache, this time over valuation.

Axis Bank, which accounts for 60% of New Delhi-based Max Life’s sales, is in talks with Tata AIA Life Insurance to sell the latter’s products, a person aware of the development said. Axis Bank currently sells insurance policies of only Max Life and market leader Life Insurance Corporation of India.

The development is likely to prompt HDFC Life to reconsider Max Life’s valuation for the proposed merger, said a person familiar with the merger negotiations.

The two parties are currently restructuring the merger deal after Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irda) rejected the original proposal.

After the announcement of the merger between Max Life and HDFC Life, Axis Bank had tied up with LIC.

Axis Bank holds a small stake in Max Life Insurance. It would hold a lower percentage in the merged entity as per the proposed structure. The bank’s tie-up with LIC to sell the latter’s products, too, was finalised after Max Life and HDFC Life announced their merger plan.

“We are allowed to tie up with three companies,“ said Rajiv Anand, executive director at Axis Bank. “We are in talks with several companies for a tie-up in li fe insurance.“

Tata AIA at present sells its products through IndusInd Bank, Citibank and HDFC Bank. Tata Sons owns 51% in the company and AIA holds 49% through AIA International Ltd.

As per the present agreement, Axis Bank will sell products of Max Life till 2021.

The bank earned `997 crore in mutual fund and insurance distribution fees in the year ended March 2017, 18% growth from `889 crore earned a year ago.

The bank sees a huge potential for its business of selling life insurance.

Tata AIA Life Insurance has 3.7% market share in individual business income adjusted for single premium. It recently tied up with HDFC Bank for distributing its products through its branches. It is the sixth-largest life insurance company. It has gained around 100 bps market share in the last one year.


Source:-The Economic Times

Date:-5th July,2017