A dedicated professional, Mr. Venkatachalam has been efficiently driving NLG towards new horizons of growth. He took over the reins of the company in 2003 and facilitated its growth into the largest insurance company in Oman and a major insurance player in the region with business operations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait, in addition to Oman. From a pure Life insurance company, he diversified its product portfolio to General and Medical Insurance; today NLG offers a wide range of insurance solutions, customized as per market needs. He also ensured the expansion of its business operations into other countries in the GCC region.
Owing to his dedicated efforts, today NLG is listed in the Muscat Securities Market and has grown into one of the largest insurers with a market share of around 65% in health insurance in Oman and is amongst the top players in the UAE. NLG also has a large personal lines portfolio, especially motor insurance where it is one of the top 2 insurers in the country. With its more than 190 sales/service touch points and over 500 dedicated insurance professionals, it touches the lives of about 1 Mn customers.
INNOVATING FOR SUCCESS
A leader who continually encourages innovation, Mr. Venkatachalam personally reviews all the innovative ideas and concepts put forth by the employees and devises varied strategies and interventions for the growth and expansion of the organization. By virtue of his sheer dedication, NLG has emerged as a pioneer in Digital Transformation in insurance sector and provides a comprehensive online sales and service platform through website, mobile app and web-based General Insurance Management systems. He also established bidding process for motor insurance claims to provide transparent, fast and best price claims management.
Under his leadership, NLG has acquired TPA company ‘Inayah’ in the UAE to further strengthen claims management. He also ensured the establishment of back office support in India to provide faster and economical business operations.
He has also been actively involved in the conceptualisation of ALFA – an online training platform that offers a wide range of knowledge and skill enhancement program for employees.
BUILDING A BETTER WORLD
A socially-responsible leader, Mr. Venkatachalam leaves no stone unturned in making the world a better place. He asserts, “As leaders in the insurance industry, we understand that it is our moral duty and responsibility to give back to society. Every year we mark a part of our earnings for CSR. We make various efforts especially in the field of health, education, environment and cultural heritage. Be it distribution of school kits, books or conducting health camps, blood donation camps or constructing facilities and providing aids for differently-abled. We also participate strongly in various cultural activities of the local markets/countries that we operate in and be a part of the developing society.”
Talking about some of the measures he had undertaken to cope with the challenges faced in the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation, he says, “We have done a good job so far in terms of managing the crisis due to the prevailing COVID 19 pandemic situation and could very well run our business operations smoothly in all the markets that we operate, which includes Oman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Kuwait. We have done well in terms of navigating through the challenges from the start as we were business ready for any such eventualities through our well-structured Business Continuity Plan. Not just the company’s management, but the employees at all levels and across departments responded well and responsibly as a large part of our operations was being done online and virtual with the lockdown that was put in place.”
He further elaborates, “We could manage to do business as usual even while keeping in line with Government directives of lock down and social distancing to keep our customers as well as our business partners and employees safe. It was a challenge, but every-one in the company rose to the occasion and we could achieve good results which is evident from our first half financial results. Another positive thing is that we did not have to reduce our operating staff by even one and we have retained all our employees. Some of the innovations/initiatives that we undertook were promoting online/digital sales through multiple channels – website, social media, online GIMS, mobile app, encouraging the use of digital Medical card instead of the usual plastic card in order to maintain social distance and reduce contact, providing VPN based Work From Home facilities for our employees, formation of COVID 19 committee to ensure the safety and health of all our employees which included Doctors, teams from Infra/admin and HR. We also reached out to our customers and business partners through digital media and informed and updated them regarding the situation and the measures we were taking to cope with it. We also facilitated claims management digitally, with least personal contact so that customers do not face any difficulty and are able to benefit from the insurance cover they have taken from us.
He adds, “All in all we have contributed $455,000 towards endowment fund supporting government initiatives to overcome the threat of COVID 19.”
A LONG SAGA OF ACHIEVEMENTS
For two consecutive years – 2018 and 2019, Mr. Venkatachalam was recognised as The Best CEO of the Year and NLG was adjudged the best company in large cap segment at AIWA Awards. Under his able leadership, NLG has won various awards and accolades for its outstanding growth and business achievements namely ‘Best Life Insurance Company’ at Insurance Awards by World Finance, and ‘Bizz Awards’ by World Confederation of Business for three consecutive years – 2015, 2016, 2017. NLG also received ‘Innovative Digital Services-Insurance’ Award at The New Age Banking and Finance Awards 2019 and was recognised as the ‘Most Trusted Brand in Oman – 2019.’
For its outstanding contribution towards the growth of Oman, the company was recognized by Forbes Middle East. It received the title of ‘Best Insurance Company – Oman 2020’ under the category of ‘Digital Transformation’ from Global Banking & Finance Review 2020.