After IT, next boom in Insurance sector!
WHEN we read or hear the word ‘Insurance’, a few images that crop up in our mind include that of typical agents selling life insurance, health, car or home insurance. The fact is that the insurance sector employs over a million people and more than five million are associated with this sector as Agents, Consultants, Surveyors, Loss Assessors, Underwriters, Claim Settlers, Salvage Dealers, Brokers, Sub-brokers, etc. In the past few years the growth rate in this sector has been around 20 percent. India’s 1.2 billion population offers immense potential for those seeking careers in unconventional and emerging areas. Moreover, India’s low insurance penetration also adds to the potential.
In his article, “Opportunities & Potential for Career Development in Insurance Sector,” Prof. Kshitij Patukale, former Director, Insurance Academy Pune, points out that international phenomenon also shows that this sector always booms along with a growing economy as insurance services form the foundation for smooth functioning of all business and commercial activities.
Currently jrust 6 percent of the population has been coveed by life Insurance while the penetration is as low as 0.9 percent in general insurance. The government is targeting at increasing the Life Insurance Penetration to 40%, Health Insurance at 30% and General Insurance at 15% of the population by 2030. This will create a huge potential for development. Prof. Patukale adds that after IT, ITES and BPO, the next boom is in insurance. In India, this sector will dominate the next 25 years. The growth is expected to be horizontal as well as vertical.
As per an ASSOCHEM report, insurance sector requires 30 lakhs of manpower by 2030. Therefore there is an urgent need for trained professionals with knowledge and skills of the sector. Many institutions are now offering sector-related courses at various undergraduate and postgraduate levels, be it certification, diploma or degree.
Institutions to look out for
Students looking for career options in organizations dealing with insurance products can take examinations conducted by the Actuarial Society of India. Some of the institutions that offer good full-time courses are National Insurance Academy, Pune; Institute of Insurance and Risk Management (IIRM), Hyderabad; International Institute for Insurance and Finance, Hyderabad and University of Mumbai. A number of institutions offer Distance Learning Courses like Institute of Actuaries of India, Alagappa University, Annamalai University, Institute of Certified Risk and Insurance Managers (ICRIM) and International Institute for Insurance and Finance (IIIF).
Popular companies offer courses
Industry bodies too have launched courses. HDFC Standard Life has launched a three-month Certificate Programme in Insurance and Management in collaboration with Manipal Education. On successful completion of the programme, candidates are appointed as Sales Development Managers (Retail) at HDFC Standard Life. Similarly, Max New York Life has campus tie-ups with various institutions under which it selects candidates directly for Summer Internships, Lateral Placements, Management and Trainee Programmes.
Dr Anupam Varma
Q. How do you look at the growth of Insurance sector in India?
A. Insurance is one of the biggest sectors in Indian economy. By collecting a premium income of Rs. 340,000 crore in 2011-12, it contributed to 4.10 percent of the nation’s GDP. The sector employs more than 2 lakh people as officers and operational cadre. As per the latest IMF report on Indian Insurance sector, not even 10 percent of those employed in the sector have technical qualification and hence the sector provides immense employability and growth prospect to those having technical qualification such as PGDM (Insurance).
Q. Are courses offered by BIMTECH recognized by international bodies?
A. Besides AICTE, the course PGDM (Insurance) has got accreditation/association from the world’s leading institutions such as Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), UK, and Insurance Institute of India, Mumbai. Our students are entitled for 210 credit points for their respective diploma of ACII /AIII. The institute facilitates the students to have additional certification in LOMA and as well as IIBA (Business Analyst).
Q. What are the job opportunities for young professionals in this field?
A. There are now 54 insurance companies in India and nearly 350 registered broking companies, which have started growing with time and promise ample employment opportunities. Banks are also selling insurance policies and are likely to enter into broking space. Leading IT companies recruit students for domain expert /business analyst assignment. There are a number of consultancy/KPO companies in India that work for foreign-based insurance/reinsurance companies. They also need technically qualified candidates.
Career options, pay packages
Aspirants can look for positions in marketing, actuarial, underwriting, operations, distribution and in investment department in an insurance company. The entry-level jobs are Management Trainee, Executive Trainee, Business Analysts, Actuarial Analyst, Insurance Analyst, etc. The pay packages in these jobs can be anywhere between Rs 2 Lakh to Rs 5 Lakh depending on the recruiting company. Job openings are mainly found in reinsurance companies, insurance and reinsurance brokers, actuarial firms, banks and financial institutions, microfinance companies, etc. Public sector insurance firms offer jobs such as Administrative Officer, Development Officer etc.
The most important skill required in this field is ‘selling’ with a passion. You need high convincing skills to persuade people to buy insurance policies. A good grip in Math will come handy for those who want to pursue risk analysis and actuary. It is also important for students to not choose insurance as a career just for making money but because of the importance insurance holds for the society.
The average cost of getting a degree or diploma in insurance is anywhere around Rs. 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh per year, depending on the institution.
Many of the institutions offer scholarships to students based on merit. Working professionals have an option of getting funded by their company. Banks also offer education loans to students for pursuing insurance-related courses.