SAT­IS­FY­ING CA­REER

THE FIRST WO­MAN MD OF LIC IS LEAV­ING HER MARK ON THE ₹28 LAKH CRORE AS­SETS COR­PO­RA­TION.

Business Today - - THE MOST POWERFUL WOMEN IN BUSINESS - BY ANAND AD­HIKARI

This Septem­ber-end, the 60-year-old Usha Sang­wan, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of LIC, will hang up her boots af­ter a ca­reer span­ning al­most four decades. Sang­wan, who was one of the top con­tenders for the post of chair­man al­most two years ago, had joined as a di­rect re­cruit of­fi­cer in 1981. “I feel as if I joined yes­ter­day,” grins Sang­wan, adding, “I am feel­ing as fresh as ever.” That is prob­a­bly be­cause she has been tak­ing up chal­lenges, push­ing LIC to adopt newer tech­nolo­gies and set­ting higher goals.

Her five-year ten­ure has seen LIC touch record pre­mium col­lec­tions, sev­eral cus­tomer re­la­tion­ship ini­tia­tives and higher adop­tion of tech­nol­ogy. In in­di­vid­ual new busi­ness pre­mi­ums, LIC has a mar­ket share of close to 76 per cent in num­ber of life poli­cies and 69 per cent in first pre­mium in­come. LIC has been work­ing hard on mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, prod­uct po­si­tion­ing and fo­cus­ing on chan­nels. For ex­am­ple, it has launched spe­cific prod­ucts in the pen­sion seg­ment as well as prod­ucts for mil­len­ni­als, women and HNIs. “The ap­proach is to study the tar­get mar­ket and de­sign prod­ucts ac­cord­ingly,” says Sang­wan.

Sang­wan’s fo­cus is largely on making LIC ready to face fu­ture chal­lenges. She has been fo­cus­ing on data an­a­lyt­ics, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, ma­chine learn­ing, chat bots and blockchain. “There are many use cases in ar­eas of pre­dic­tive anal­y­sis, likely pol­icy lapses, fraud man­age­ment, etc,” says Sang­wan. Two other ar­eas – data se­cu­rity and cy­ber se­cu­rity – are also on top of her mind. LIC has al­ready started work on set­ting up a world-class se­cu­rity op­er­a­tions cen­tre in Mum­bai.

As part of tech­nol­ogy ini­tia­tives, cus­tomers will soon be able to in­ter­act with chat­bots for day-to-day queries. “We have started work­ing on a ques­tion bank. We are study­ing thou­sands of queries,” says Sang­wan. Sang­wan’s rise in a PSU set-up is an in­spi­ra­tion for young women. “The ba­sic chal­lenge has been bal­anc­ing work and life,” she says.

WHY SHE MAT­TERS Her ten­ure saw LIC touch record pre­mium col­lec­tions and in­crease use of tech­nol­ogy

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