Actually speaking

Birla Sun Life Insurance appointed actuary K S Gopalakrishnan believes the appointed actuary system in India cannot succeed without a successful actuarial profession

K S GopalakrishnanWhen Birla Sun Life Insurance Company executive K S Gopalakrishnan was elevated to the position of an appointed actuary very recently, at 40, he became the youngest Indian to don that robe in a domestic life insurance company.

"It will be termed an understatement if I say I received the news with mixed feelings. Yes, there was this sense of euphoria at moving a step up in the actuarial ladder. But, more importantly, the regulatory aspect of the appointed actuary's role and the huge responsibilities that come with it overwhelmed me," he says.

But the exciting part, according to him, is working for a company that is quite focused on innovation, adding value to customers and recognising merit. Gopalakrishnan's elevation was always there on the cards as soon as he returned after a stint in Sun Life, Canada and Hong Kong.

"The Hong Kong and Canadian life insurance markets are quite different from India. The former is extremely competitive, sophisticated and the people's time horizon for investments is quite short," he says. In Hong Kong, Gopalakrishnan handled a project developing a sophisticated product aimed at topline growth.