IndiaFirst Life Insurance: Merit-based Ecosystem
R. M. Vishakha, MD and CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance, talks about the organisation’s employee-centric culture
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IndiaFirst Life Insurance strives to create successful professionals in a fair and merit-based atmosphere that celebrates individual differences and encourages a spirit of competitive collaboration. R. M. Vishakha, MD and CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance, talks to BW Businessworld’s Sheena Sachdeva about the organisation’s employee-centric culture
On employee-oriented values
A great organisation is like an orchestra with musicians playing in harmony for an outstanding impact. This is very symbolic of our organisation. Several factors, like our progressive people practices, transparency in all spheres and an empowering culture, all come together to make us a great place to work in.
IndiaFirst as an organisation, is very digitally-oriented and has the capability to evolve with changing times, which makes us relevant to our stakeholders, including our employees. We are among the youngest life insurance companies in India with an AUM of over Rs 15,000 crore with progressive practices, largely to cater to 2,200 plus minds. We are flexible to the requirements of our stakeholders and employees, thus making the organisation a great place to work in. Since the focus is on the output generated and the value created, BFSI has a stronger grip on the input in the form of processes prevalent in the organisation.
Our transparent and merit-based ecosystem fosters better productivity and ownership with a progressive performance management philosophy which is not bound by a bell curve approach.
On the company’s evolution and people practices
IndiaFirst Life lives by a philosophy of creating a ‘happy, passionate and connected’ workplace for its employees. The company has grown from a startup to a medium-sized company in the second quartile of life insurance companies in less than ten years. As we have evolved, our people practices have also changed to empower the startup phase, the development phase and the next phase of continued ongoing growth. Our people practices are contemporary and liberal, since employees have an important say in shaping them.
We believe very strongly that teams lead success and that the organisation is like a jigsaw, where every piece is vital and important to complete the picture. The front line sales force and customer contact centre recognise that they are the brand ambassadors. We ensure that every employee takes pride in enabling the “circle of trust” with the customer.
On employee attrition and retention
We will be a ten-year-old organisation in November 2019. We had a rapid growth of employees in the initial years and have been on an expansion phase in the past two years, growing from an organisation with 1,200 employees in 2012 to an organisation of more than 2,200 employees in 2019. We have several employees who have been with us since inception. Our attrition level is at 24 per cent, one of the lowest in the industry.
On brand identity
In the last ten years of our existence, we have been known to break new grounds with our aggressive growth and our innovation culture, both in terms of products and operational delivery. We have earned a reputation for being customer-centric in our thought and action through our CustomerFirst philosophy. As we enter into the future and create new milestones for us, it is our people who will be the differentiators and they will continue to support us in the journey. We look at people, their performance, their development and their aspirations from a holistic lens.