Industry trend-setter

V Jagannathan interviews Nani B Javeri, CEO, Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited.

Nani B JaveriChennai: The honour of being the trend-setter amongst the Indian private life insurers undoubtedly goes to the Mumbai-based Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited.

For the company not only showed the industry the potential in the unit-linked insurance policy (ULIP) segment by launching traditional products on a unit-linked platform. The company also set the trend in other areas as well. In many instances the company's concepts have become a statutory norm.

The company pioneered the concept of 14 day 'free look' period that later became the statutory norm. For instance, Birla Sun Life was the first to introduce the practice of written illustrations explaining the projections on the returns to the policyholder and signed by the agent and the client. Further, the company pioneered the bancassurance model in the country and others latched on to it only later. And, when the industry was selling ULIPs like a pure mutual fund product with minuscule life insurance cover, Birla Sun Life pioneered the concept of a minimum percentage of life insurance risk cover in its ULIPs. This too recently became a statutory norm.

Looking forward, Nani B Javeri, chief executive officer, Birla Sun Life, predicts, "The segments which will see increasing growth are children's plans and retirement. In light of the discussions on reduced capital requirements for the health insurance sector one can expect a lot of activity on the health insurance front."