More than six in 10 chief executives of India’s insurance companies have management degrees; while one in five have been associated with the ICICI Group in the past, according to a survey by EMA Partners, an executive search firm.
The study included 23 life insurance, 17 general insurance, six health insurance, and four reinsurance firms.
Aside from the 62% of CEOs with MBAs, 66% of chief executives have previously worked in the insurance industry. Close to three in 10 (29%) can be considered industry veterans, having been in insurance for over 20 years.
The ethnic and gender diversity of India’s insurance industry is quite low, as there are only two female CEOs: Kalpana Sampat of Swiss Re, and RM Vishakha of India First Life. Only one CEO is not Indian: Trevor Bull of Aviva India.
Reet Bhambhani, practice leader-BFSI at EMA Partners India said that traditionally, the insurance industry’s CEOs come from the retail financial services sector, and are mostly experts on sales and distribution. However, with the advent of alternative distribution channels such as digital and e-commerce, this trend is changing.
“With the industry attaining a level of maturity, we are likely to see more stability and consolidation of talent at the top in the industry,” Bhambhani told The Economic Times.
“Insurance companies in both life and general (segments) are pushing aggressively on the digital front and are roping in talent with expertise in areas like innovation, digital marketing and operations.”
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