Actuarial private practice set to boom

R Ramakrishnan, consulting actuary, talks to V Jagannathan on the changing face of the acturial practice.

Chennai: While discussing the areas of opportunity for private practice for actuaries, the usual thing is to compare the pre-liberalisation (before 2000) and post-liberalisation periods. "Very few remember that there was a third period, pre-nationalisation (pre-1956). Only two Mumbai-based actuarial partnership firms — Pandit & Co and Thanawalla & Co — have functioned during all the three periods," says consulting actuary R Ramakrishnan.

The former executive director of the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) and past president of the Actuarial Society of India (ASI) was also a member of the Malhotra Committee on Insurance Reforms and chaired the RBI Advisory Group on Insurance. At present, he advises a few Indian and foreign insurance companies.

Ramakrishnan says that before nationalisation of the life insurance sector, there were 240 companies. Many were small and could not afford to employ full-time actuaries, but hired individuals or actuarial consultancy firms for services ranging from product development to valuation. "Their activities extended to Africa, Sri Lanka and South East Asia." He remembers.

Excerpts from an interview: