Any potential lag in industrial, commercial activity detrimental to insurance

Amrita Nair-Ghaswalla Mumbai | Updated on June 12, 2020 Published on June 12, 2020

S Sreedhar, Managing Director, Royal Sundaram General Insurance

Next six months critical, says S Sreedhar, MD of Royal Sundaram General Insurance


Core values are the compass that points to the true north of business success and are critical to establishing a strong culture. At Royal Sundaram General Insurance, corporate values stand at the very core of the brand.

The company has defined a niche set of values. “Our corporate culture revolves around truth, trust, team work, professionalism, people commitment and customer commitment,” S Sreedhar, Managing Director, Royal Sundaram General Insurance, told BusinessLine.

Being part of the financial services industry transacting non-life insurance, Sreedhar said, “We recognise people or human resources as the key and critical resource in our business and actively reach out and arrange to have them imbibe these values in their work culture.”

The official added that these values are encouraged from the time of induction onwards and continue thereafter, led by example from the top. “The idea is that every transaction, both within and without, exudes these values,” Sreedhar said.

A reinforcement of key values is also undertaken at all training sessions, with plenty of anecdotal incidents and real-life stories. The official maintains consumers tend to recognise the values exhibited by Team Royal Sundaram over a period of time and that it ultimately leads to higher customer retention.

Challenges ahead

It is these core values that hold the company in good stead as it charts its way through the pandemic-infused chaos.

“These are unprecedented and extraordinary times, impacting everyone in their personal capacity and businesses,” said the Managing Director, adding, “The next six months will be critical. We anticipate slow recovery in Q2 and optimistically to be near normal by Q3.”

As for threats on the horizon, the MD maintains that opportunities and threats co-exist and are two sides of the same coin. However, an immediate threat confronting the overall insurance sector is the potential lag.

“One doesn’t know if it will be more than anticipated or unlikely, but the potential lag in industrial, commercial activity will lead to lower demand for insurance products. The increasing trend of natural catastrophes causing large losses and disturbances is another hindrance, and fraudsters to some extent, trying to take advantage of the situation to make exaggerated or non-existent claims on insurance companies,” said Sreedhar.

In the interim, the company has reached out to its consumers, ensuring there is no lag in service. “We have actually been pro-active and are expecting a great deal of goodwill from our customers, resulting in higher retention. Health insurance may draw more interest from the public post the Covid-19 situation, as many of them have realised the importance of having a good health insurance cover,” said the official.

The company expects a higher degree of insurance awareness in retail health and commercial insurance and is making itself ‘ready and fit’ to optimise the opportunities.

“As the nation and economy tries to rebuild itself post Covid-19, there will be no lack of opportunities. We are constantly working on all potential opportunities. In the digital realm, we see a clear preference for digital transactions and will take our capabilities to the next level,” added the official.

The priority now, the MD reiterates, is to show “tremendous resilience, team work, pro-active approach and innovation so that we are not only able to tide over the crisis but also come out of it strongly. Since our business hinges on individual agents and feet-on-street sales force, the need of the hour is to try and be in constant touch with customers.”

At the same time, the company has not lost sight of the urgent need to keep up the morale of its employees who work behind the scene.

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Published on June 12, 2020
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