When I reflect on my career as an insurance professional I must place my sincere gratitude to the Board of Directors of Chartered Life Insurance Company, guardians from various regulatory bodies, my colleagues, my teachers as well as professional partners of various new Interventions for giving me enormous support for helping me in the dramatic growth of a life insurance company.
I have been in this field for the past 22 years and have contributed to business expansion through different distribution channels by ensuring operational efficiency and revenue maximization; executing process innovation for work simplification and product development with leadership exposure aligning with contemporary global knowledge for inclusive business and sustainability. In this journey, I had 14 years plus of professional schooling experiences at Alico and have taken 4 years plus experiences as a trainee CEO from my mentor (the CEO of Pragati Life). Starting my job as the new CEO of a fourth-generation Life Insurance Company, Chartered Life Insurance Company was very challenging and ambitious as well.
The insurance industry in Bangladesh has been reborn after the visionary changes in the policy level, as the authorities have enacted the Insurance Act 2010 and Insurance Development and Regulatory Authority (IDRA) Act 2011, putting the Insurance Industry under the right guardian, the Financial Institution Division (FID) of Ministry of Finance. In 2013, a journey for the fourth-generation insurance industry began with so much courage that the new beginning of the insurance industry. Chartered Life Insurance Company was licensed first among the companies.
The Board of Directors of the Company started with its vision: to be the "Best Life Insurance Company in Bangladesh and South-East Asia", to ensure Socio-Economic Security for the life of common masses through a professional management team. After a stable beginning, the company's first five years were a journey with some incompleteness that is also faced by most of the fourth-generation insurance companies in Bangladesh. But the Board of Chartered Life Insurance Company has shown its sincere observation for a new beginning, by searching for a new leader who can execute the Director’s dream into reality. Leading the Company, my journey as a CEO has begun then.
In April 2019, the most phrased word for the company was reform and reengineering to boast up the young team with some positive energy. We had 84 Full-Time Employees (FTE) and about 1000 plus Sales Teams with Financial Associates, Unit Managers, and Branch Managers who were monitored by some Sales Executives. The Company records had shown a big deficit figure in the actuarial valuation, a high expenses ratio in management cost, a high ratio of Lapse of Policies, a weaker Sales Team and Persistency and an average one crore premium per month.
Since then the company has reformed its sales policy, HR Service Rule Book, Finance and Investment Guidelines, Internal Control Guidelines, Customer Services and Claims Guidelines, Procurement Policy, IT System upgradation and digitalization, training and development of resources and introduced some product innovation such as Chartered Nirapotta Policy, Isolations Coverage, etc. and some new distribution channels such as ADC under the GID; Al- Barakah (Islamic Wings) under the Shariah Council.
The proactive initiatives for digitalization have given us immense support during the COVID-19 situation, where the company has ensured non-stop support for its policyholders and beneficiaries through digital payments services by BFTN, MFS and Online Gateway; digital portal, notification and Chartered Priyojon Apps; exploring new products and services for the consumers and community; and providing valuable services with its widest Hospital Networks, Family Cards and Digital Care Services. These initiatives are resulting in promptness in Customer Centricity and Claims Services, ensuring Customer confidence and creating Company’s Brand Value with the slogan “Chartered Life: Secured Life” under “Possibilities Unlimited”.
In this process of reorganizing, the growth of the company has shown a distinctly positive trend. Meanwhile, our finance minister has emphasized the company’s licensing committee to be enlisted into the capital market with the required qualification as early as possible.
Then another area of work began for the Team Chartered Life. Within the two years at the end of 2021, the Company has jumped into a surplus of Taka 4.55 Crores from a deficit of Taka -6.85 crores.
Revenue growth has been steady at more than 65 per cent for successive years; Premium earnings is average Taka 7.5 crores per month; reduction of lapse of policies with better customer-centric initiatives; policy persistency becoming more than 70 per cent; reducing management cost within allowable limit; expansion of branches from 17 to 84 with more than 2500 plus financial associates under the sales team; and earning more than 15 per cent return in the Investment with portfolios management (Treasury Bond, Primary and Secondary Shares, etc.).
Attaining the Credit Rating International “A” Standard; The awards “The Most Innovative Insurance Company” in 2020 and “The Fastest Growing Insurance Company” in 2022 by International Finance Award and “The Best Domestic Insurer of the Year” 2022 by Asia Insurance Award; has given the company widespread global and local recognition. Finally, the company has qualified for the enlistment of capital market at Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) and Chittagong Stock Exchange (CSE) under the proper guidance of the Bangladesh Securities and Exchange Commission (BSEC). It became 2nd among the 17 fourth-generation companies, 14th among 35 Life Insurance Companies and 55th among the 81 Insurance Companies at the time of enlistment in the capital market. After being enlisted in the capital market, Chartered Life Insurance Company has shown its strength, and the value of share prices became TK. 25 plus with in just 10 working days whereas the base price was TK. 10/. Chartered Life Insurance Company will keep its investors’ money in a high standard share price in the coming days.
Our company is committed to build-up a spirited, skilled, professional management and sales team to cover the entire country; to running a business with responsible methods and ethics; to developing innovation in products and diversity, digital services and distribution channels; to establishing corporate governance and good practices to ensure industry benchmark; and finally, to ensure standard management system within global guidelines to become a local organization with global standards. The company has already set its “Vision: 2025” and Vision: 2030” for becoming one of the top-rated Life Insurance Companies in Bangladesh and will continue its journey for the betterment of its stakeholders. This journey of Insurance services will be successful when the beneficiaries of insurance industry can truly feel that insurance protection is one of the basic needs of Life.
The writer, is the CEO of Chartered Life Insurance Company Limited