How artificial intelligence will change HR in 2020

Diversity and inclusion: Practices to become a more diverse workspace will remain a focus area this year and beyond. The epitome of the modern world lies in diversity.

As technology is evolving, so is work culture. With the rise of the gig economy and decentralised workspaces, employees are beginning to look for meaningful work experiences. This year, HR will step back and invest in solutions that enhance employee experience, going beyond looking at just productivity and efficiency.


Seamless learning & development: Companies will invest in micro-learning models, AI assistants who could recommend modules or answer questions, and a platform that connects employees with mentors within the organisation. Companies will also increase investment in upskilling their workforce by introducing advanced learning modules and even collaborating with other companies for training. Managing user-generated content is a big focus for many companies, and curating existing open source content like TED and YouTube is on the rise.

AI to streamline HR processes: AI would be able to help recruiters screen and summarise resumes to fit job descriptions in an unbiased manner. AI chatbots can also be used to answer questions on company policies, assist in navigating through tasks like letters or applying for leave, or helping employees understand tax implications by various combinations of the company’s flexible benefit plans. AI-driven processes provide companies with more data to be able to understand employee behaviour and accordingly make decisions on hiring, engagement, policies and enhancing culture.

Investment in HR tech to continue: Cloud-based employee experience platforms will offer better employee experience, real-time data and better insights. Well-being is also going tech with AI tools and platforms. Apart from bots, NLP (Natural Language Processing) will support HR in making better decisions through the employee life cycle from hiring to engagement to training.

Diversity and inclusion: Practices to become a more diverse workspace will remain a focus area this year and beyond. The epitome of the modern world lies in diversity. Workforce talent is a competitive advantage for companies, and when employees feel ‘included’, it builds a virtuous cycle of success. Companies would, therefore, focus on either introducing impactful solutions or sustaining previous initiatives to ensure a lasting impact.

The author is vice-president, HR, Ingersoll Rand India. Views are personal


Source: Financial Express

Date: 27th January 2020

“Coming soon: Floater motor insurance policies”

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (Irdai) between September and October last year, invited applications for the regulatory Sandbox. A Sandbox is a workspace where tech-driven companies can ideate, experiment, test and innovate financial products. The regulator received 173 proposals of which it has approved 33. Of all the ideas, the proposal to introduce own damage motor floater policies stands out.

Three insurance companies— ICICI Lombard General Insurance Co. Ltd, Reliance General Insurance and Edelweiss General Insurance —plan to test this product soon. Shanai Ghosh, CEO and executive director, Edelweiss General Insurance Co Ltd. said their sandbox product is an innovative app-based floater policy that would allow policyholders to cover any damage to their vehicles based on usage. The policy would cover multiple vehicles in one, which saves time and any hassle involved in buying multiple policies for multiple vehicles.“Premiums will be charged as per usage. This simply means that the customer has the flexibility of adding and deleting vehicles as required on the app. The insurance cover can be switched on or off as per the requirement of the customer,” added Ghosh.

A Reliance General Insurance spokespersonsaid that their sum insured based ‘floater policy’ would cover all the vehicles owned by a customer under one policy. It will be defined basis value of the highest sum insured vehicle and the customer will have the option to add vehicles even at a later stage.

By choosing this policy, one shall entail benefits like premium leverage as multiple policies are not required to be bought and sum insured is optimized. Other benefits include change of details for all policies at one go and continuous coverage. “All the benefits including no-claim bonus, cancellation and so on shall be made available to a customer like any typical motor insurance own damage product both at the time of entry and exit,” said the Reliance General spokesperson.

Ghosh said the emerging era of shared mobility makes this a very relevant product for vehicle owners today because they can pay as per the usage of the vehicle and driving behavior. “As per the sandbox guidelines, the product can be launched only as a proof-of-concept pilot and the period for launch and completion is from 1 February, 2020 to 31 July, 2020 in line with the Irdai operational guidelines,” said Ghosh.

While the outline of the product has been presented by the insurers, details about how exactly the premiums would be calculated and the benefits are yet to be finalized. Sanjay Datta, chief–underwriting, claims, reinsurance and actuarial, ICICI Lombard General Insurance said the insurer is looking at launching the pilot product over the next two months but didn’t reveal further information on premiums because the company is still working on that front. Datta, however, said that they may have to take a different approach at calculating premiums for this product because a single policy could cover a high-value Merc as well as a hatchback like Alto.



Source: Livemint

Date: 17th January, 2020.


Warm Regards,


HDFC completes majority acquisition in Apollo Munich Health Insurance for ₹1,495.81 crore

  • On January 2, HDFC had informed that the company and its subsidiary HDFC ERGO has got approvals for acquiring a majority shareholding in Apollo Munich
  • The acquisition comes after approvals from the CCI, the RBI and the IRDAI


NEW DELHI : Mortgage lender HDFC on Thursday said it has completed the acquisition of majority stake in Apollo Munich Health Insurance for ₹1,495.81 crore.

HDFC bought 50.80 per cent stake of Apollo Hospitals Group in Apollo Munich for ₹1,485.14 crore and 0.36 per cent shareholding of employees for ₹10.67 crore.

On January 2, HDFC had informed that the company and its subsidiary HDFC ERGO has got approvals for acquiring a majority shareholding in Apollo Munich.

“Subsequent to this approval (regulatory), Apollo Munich Health Insurance Co Ltd has been renamed as HDFC ERGO Health Insurance Ltd (HDFC ERGO Health) and will operate as a subsidiary of HDFC Ltd,” HDFC said in a regulatory filing on Thursday.

The acquisition comes after approvals from the Competition Commission of India, the RBI and the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India.


Anuj Tyagi, Executive Director & Chief Business Officer at HDFC ERGO General Insurance Company (HDFC ERGO General) has been appointed as the Managing Director and CEO of HDFC ERGO Health, subject to approval from Irdai.

HDFC ERGO Health and HDFC ERGO General will shortly apply to the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) for their merger, HDFC said.

Post merger, the resultant entity will be the second largest private insurer in accident and health segment in the country, it said.

“We are committed to create value for all our stakeholders with the combined strength of the brand HDFC and expertise of Apollo Munich in health insurance,” said HDFC Chairman Deepak Parekh.

Shobana Kamineni, Chairperson of Apollo Munich and Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Enterprise exuded confidence that the company will become stronger under HDFC.


Apollo Munich Managing Director Antony Jacob will move to Apollo Hospitals Group.

“The acquisition provides HDFC ERGO with the opportunity to grow by increasing its footprint and distribution network, in line with its strategic objective to be amongst the top private insurers in the industry.

“Policy holders and channel partners will benefit from enhanced product suites, touch points and technology innovations,” said Markus Rieb, Chairman, ERGO Group AG and board member of Munich Re.

HDFC stock settled at ₹1,270.80 on the BSE, up 1.09 per cent from the previous close.


Source: Economic Times

Date: 9th January 2020

Sachin Bansal buys DHFL Gen Insurance

MUMBAI: Flipkart cofounder Sachin Bansal has acquired DHFLNSE -0.58 % General Insurance from Wadhawan Global Capital (WGC) for around Rs. 100 crore, people in the know of the deal said. The transaction is seen as a distress sale for WGC, which used to run bankrupt home financier Dewan Housing Finance, one of the persons said.

Bansal’s bet on the insurance firm is part of his broader ambition in financial services industry, and comes on the back of multiple investments he has made to bulk up his portfolio of firms in the sector.

The deal has been routed through Navi Technologies, formerly BAC Acquisitions which Bansal had founded along with IIT-Delhi batchmate Ankit Agarwal after selling stake in Flipkart in 2018.

Sources said Bansal has bought out the entire stake in the insurer, held by Kapil Wadhawan-owned WGC.

“Navi is actively scouting for opportunities in BFSI space,” a spokesperson for the company said when contacted by ET. “Specifically, it is interested in the intersection of technology and financial services, where we believe technology can be harnessed to improve access and availability of financial services,” the spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for WGC did not comment. Dewan Housing, which was the flagship company of WGC, is currently facing bankruptcy resolution in the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT). WGC, which owns 39% in the mortgage lender, used to manage more than $22 billion of assets through its lending, investment and protection platforms before Dewan Housing was taken to the NCLT.

DHFL General Insurance has about Rs 400 crore assets under management.

“Bansal wants to get a footing into the banking and financial services sector. There has been a lot of talk about him being keen on obtaining a banking licence and has been looking at opportunities in the asset management space,” a source said.

Bansal’s move to step into the insurance sector comes on the back of Navi Technologies acquiring a majority stake in Chaitanya Rural Intermediation Development Services, which runs a microfinance platform. Having picked up more than 90% stake in  Chaitanya, he took over as its chief executive last year. He had at the time said he would invest ?739 crore in the NBFC.

Recently, Navi bought out Bengaluru-based MavenHive for an undisclosed sum, bringing on board employees along with founders Bhavin Javia and Anandha Krishnan.

Among the most active entrepreneur investors, Bansal has been actively backing startups for the past few years. After his departure from Flipkart, he began focussing on financing through debt in the past year, backing startups like Bounce, Vogo and a host of financial services companies such as Altico Capital and IndoStar Finance.

In one of his largest investments, he had pumped in Rs 650 crore into Ola.

As for WGC, early last year it sold a 49.04% stake in Avanse Financial Services, another group company where Dewan Housing held 30.63%. The Warburg Pincus group was the buyer.

PE funds managed by Blackstone acquired a 97.7% stake in Aadhar Housing Finance, which included the entire stake held by existing controlling shareholders, WGC and Dewan Housing, in June last year.

Source: Economic Times

Date: 10th January 2020

Brave New Year: Three HR Predictions For 2020

Heading into 2020, we can expect tumult, challenge, failure and growth, because that’s just life. And life requires change. In the HR world, change can be chaotic. However, I’ve been an HR executive with Symantec, Cisco, Disney and others for decades, and experience leads me to distill three informed predictions from the chaos for the coming year.

Prediction No. 1: Businesses Will (Uncomfortably) Embrace AI

In 2020, businesses will continue to pursue productivity through automation. One of the principal ways they’ll do this is via artificial intelligence (AI). Economic signs and political tumult point to a possible recession starting within the next one to two years. Downturns inevitably force businesses to focus on financial efficiency, which leads to automation. AI allows businesses to automate repetitive, data-focused tasks at a speed and scale that humans cannot match.

Because of this efficiency optimization, HR departments can expect to spend more on AI-based productivity tools in 2020, even while they may spend less on staff. Automation removes costs faster during downturns because there’s more pressing need to bolster bottom lines. AI can also aggregate data at near-real-time speeds, which also drives better and faster decision-making.

People ask if this sort of automation is a “good” thing. That misses the point. Whether or not you like automation, and regardless of any moral/ethical sentiments about it, these tools are here to stay, and they’re propagating at an exponential pace. It falls to us in HR to prepare for and adapt to an AI-centric world. That means finding ways to realize great returns from automation efficiencies while deepening the quality of human activities and interactions. HR must promote letting humans do better at what they normally do best.

Look for ways in which the company can leverage data from an HR perspective. Think about retention metrics and attrition. Let AI play a role in talent acquisition, both in filtering through candidates as well as attracting the best candidates. Use AI to help understand company and employee performance, perhaps taking out the subjectivity to better calibrate employee contributions, performance and productivity.

Prediction No. 2: The New Workforce Will Demolish Old Work Habits

Generation X, and more so millennials/Generation Y and Generation Z, grew up on technology. They live with anytime, anywhere connectivity and constant access to their social networks, which increasingly blur the line between private and professional. My parents owned their business, so they were always on and always available. In contrast, young workers today often expect to work from 10:00 to 3:00, maybe take a little personal time, then get back online and work odd hours into the night. Expectations around how tasks get done and how employees engage are shifting.

These shifts require management and IT to provide workers with flexible, effective productivity tools, but they also place a burden on corporate culture and cohesion. The notion of “everyone needs to be in the same space because people work better together” is under systemic pressure, possibly leading to those old models’ eventual extinction. But that still leaves the question: How does a business create and maintain a performance culture when there’s no requirement for physical proximity?

The answer may lie in technology tools that foster remote collaboration and give management more insight into employee behavior. Workers sometimes perceive this as invasive, but all generations must face reality: Employment is a two-way street, a scale that needs to be balanced. With increased freedom comes a need — and it’s important for management to explain why this is needed — for increased oversight. The business must be absolutely clear about its strategy and the kind of culture it is working to promote.

Prediction No. 3: Diversity Will Still Need Help

Despite years of progress, we have a long way to go. As revealed in the New York Times, among the Fortune 500, there are fewer CEOs who are women than men named James. However, men are increasingly taking on roles in promoting corporate diversity, which is a great way to make sure that a level playing field develops.

But creating diversity according to gender, race and other common factors may not be enough. Companies are already trying to grapple with shifting genders and blended racial identifications. Sometimes, diversity also needs to mean people who think differently, act differently and come from wildly different backgrounds. It’s not only what we are but who we are. This is what will truly enhance and deepen a workforce’s perspectives and potential.

Simultaneously, managers shouldn’t expect to hire people with 100% position suitability. Perhaps they’re only a 70% or 80% fit but bring with them a richness of background, potential and ability that merits management working to train that suitability up to 100%. Putting policies and programs in place that facilitate this workforce elevation will break open the narrow talent pipelines we create when looking to hire “in our image” and will pay immeasurable dividends in the years to follow.

Source: Forbes

Date: 9th January 2020

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance moves core operations to TCS Bancs on cloud

“With this new cloud platform, we will be able to leverage an array of digital technologies in addition to optimizing our infrastructure for better availability and scalability,” Tapan Singhel, Managing Director and CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said.
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has moved its insurance administration system to the Cloud using IT services provider TCSNSE -1.56 %’ BaNCS platform, in what is perhaps the first instance of an Indian insurer leveraging the public cloud to manage core operations.
Cloud has been used for smaller, add-on systems but as core systems begin to move, experts forecast a massive growth in the country’s cloud market.
“With this new cloud platform, we will be able to leverage an array of digital technologies in addition to optimizing our infrastructure for better availability and scalability,” Tapan Singhel, Managing Director and CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said.
The insurer uses TCS BaNCS cloud for insurance on the Amazon Web Services platform, a deal structure that typically allows a client to cut costs by eliminating the need to maintain private servers.
“In a Digital First, Cloud First world, TCS BaNCS for Insurance is the digital core that has been helping progressive insurers across the world accelerate their Business 4.0™ journeys, power their growth and create exponential value for their stakeholders,” said Ujjwal Mathur, Country Head, TCS India.
The Bancs platform has been winning a slew of deals over the last few years — from the multi-billion dollar insurance administration play in the UK and US markets to smaller deals with regional banks and credit unions to run core banking systems.

Source : The Economic Times

Date: 8/1/2020

15,000 employees resign as Axis Bank revamps strategy


About 15,000 employees have left the bank over the last few months which also includes mid and branch-level execs.


As the new management drive pushes for new growth, Axis Bank is seeing numerous resignations in the last few months. About 15,000 employees have left the bank over the last few months which also includes mid and branch-level execs.


The exits at the senior level and those at the branches where in-person interactions between customers and bankers is crucial, could severely impact the growth of the bank, as reported by ET.


However, Axis Bank continues its hiring spree at the same time with 28,000 new hires in this financial year up until now and plans underway to hire 4,000 more in Q4. Even though the attrition rate at the bank is at about 19 percent, the net hiring is 12,800 for the banking giant in FY 19-20.


Amitabh Chaudhry, Chief Executive Officer, Axis Bank, is revamping the way the bank works and has hired Deepak Maheshwari from HDFC Bank, Neeraj Gambhire from Nomura Securities, Pralay Mondal from Yes Bank, and Ganesan Sankaran from Federal Bank.


Rajesh Dahiya, Executive Director, Axis Bank, noted that the bank is expanding at a faster rate and has hired a higher number of people as compared to the previous financial year.


Among the new hires, the attention has shifted towards recruiting more engineers who are adept at AI and automation, rather than the traditional roles of bankers.