The five GMs are –BS Rahul, Agriculture Insurance Company(AIC), Sunita Gupta, Oriental insurance Company(OIC), Hitesh Joshi along with two of his other colleagues V Balkrishna and his spouse Jayshree Bala from GIC Re
Rahul will only be considered for UII and NIA while the rest four will be competing for the top post of NIA
This is the first time that there are no candidates from NIA that too for its own post of CMD
The Department of Financial Services(DFS), under the Ministry of Finance, has shortlisted five general mangers(GMs) from different PSU re/insurers to fill up the two forthcoming vacancies of CMDs at Chennai based United Indian Insurance(UII) and New India Assurance(NIA),the largest multinational general insurer in the country.
The five GMs are –BS Rahul, Agriculture Insurance Company(AIC), Sunita Gupta, Oriental insurance Company(OIC), Hitesh Joshi along with two of his other colleagues V Balkrishna and his spouse Jayshree Bala from GIC Re.
UII vacancy will occur after Satyajit Tripathy retires in February end while NIA vacancy will occur after Neerja Kapur ends her tenure in April end after reaching 60.
Out of the five, Rahul will only be considered for UII and the rest fourwill be competing for the top post of NIA.
Rahul is the senior most official in the list followed by Joshi while the Bala couple and Gupta have got their promotions as GMs in FY 2023-24 and will be completing just one year by the time NIA vacancy happens in April.
Though, the government rule says a candidate has to be a GM for a minimum period of two years to be eligible for the consideration of CMD post, all three new GMs have been given special relaxation, for the first time, as there are no other candidates except Rahul and Joshi who fulfill that condition in the PSU general insurance industry.
However, all the five GMs have residual services of more than two years.
The ministry sources said they have purely gone by the seniority while shortlising the names of GMs and there is also a proposal now with the government to consider Girija Subramanian, CMD, AIC, to be one of the contenders of these two top posts of PSU general insurance industry. Whether it will finally happen or how it will happen is yet to be made clear.
As AIC under Subramanian’s leadership has done well and has ended with a net profit of Rs 766 crore (with an underwriting profit of Rs 133 crore) in fy 2022-23, the government is keen to utilise her expertise for a larger general insurance company, said sources.
The FSIB, the headhunting agency for the posts above executive directors in the PSU banks and insurance companies, will soon announce a date for the interviews.
The DFS will also soon start the process for appointing nine EDs for the six member companies of the GIPSA. Though, the eligibility criteria of two years as a GM is there for the post of ED also, relaxations have to be given as there are not many candidates are to fill these large vacancies.
Meanwhile, amidst the preparation for appointing two new CMDs, industry observers have pointed out to a changing HR scenario in the PSU general ,insurance industry.
This is the first time that there are no candidates from the NIA that too for its own post of CMD. There was a time, almost all four companies were headed by officials from the NIA.
“The PSU general insurance industry seems to be getting more democratised where no one company has dominance. From heavily NIA centric to a situation, where no NIA candidates are there today for its own CMD, is a reality now‘’ said industry observers.
“It is a sad situation for NIA. We never thought such a situation will arise ever for the company,” said a senior NIA official.
Multinational reinsurer GIC Re seems to be at advantage now. With just 500 employees( no clerical staffs), in a smaller outfit, purely from HR point of view, its officials are now in a positions to get much faster promotion till the level of GMs. Irrespective of staff strength, all the state owned general re/insurers have six GMs each.
During the last three years, from nothing in two decades, its officials have been chosen to head UII and National Insurance Company(NIC) and more are in the queue.
Even Rajeshwari Singh, who is originally from AIC , for the first time, has been appointed as the CMD of Kolkata based NIC.
Analysts point out that with AIC and GIC Re now part of GIPSA , which was earlier the official coordinating agency for only four PSU general insurance companies but now expanded to six after the inclusion of GIC Re and AIC, the officials of big four PSUs are bound to lose out on becoming CMDs or EDs as smaller organizations like GIC Re and AIC will churn out more eligible candidates faster, particularly, those who have two years or more years of residual services left when the government is preferring candidates with longer terms.