Shepherding an organization to become the ‘Fastest Growing Life Insurance Company in Sri Lanka’, is no easy
task but achieving that status from a humble beginning of policies with a premium of LKR 50/= only, is something
that’s heard in folklore. That’s why the phenomenal community centered rise of Sanasa life is a topic of many case studies in academic and business forums.
Sanasa life Insurance always prided itself of standing strong amidst challenges. With a very strong heritage rooted in community development and financial inclusivity, Sanasa Life has indeed done very well compared to the older lager insurers we hear of.
Sanasa Life Insurance has come a long way in uplifting society, and Indika Kiriwandeniya earned the trust of his board and his staff for over 21 years. A proud alumnus of Nalanda College, Indika Kiriwandeniya; Managing Director of Sanasa life Insurance, commenced his career as an office assistant at Sanasa Insurance, which was a brokering
company at that time., Indika was appointed as the Managing Director due to his hard work, commitment, and innovative thinking. He has played a vital role in contributing to knowledge empowering programs and initiating innovations to the Insurance industry.
Indika has exponentially developed the company throughout his tenure, amidst the many difficulties faced. He takes pride in understanding the industry as well as his team, and developing strategies that have enabled Sanasa to not only survive, but also to thrive. His forward thinking is showcased by the virtual technology he introduced to the
organization with the support of a few members long before the world started talking about work disruptions due to the Covid pandemic, Sanasa Life seamlessly transited to a ‘work from home’ culture during the 2020 global crisis thanks to its wise investments in ITC
Growing the assets of Sanasa Life Insurance from Rs.25 million to Rs.3.3 billion is another significant contribution Indika made upon taking up the role of Managing Director. Due to his commitment and hard work, he won the prestigious ‘Life Insurance CEO of the Year 2021’.
Indika is confident of his resilience and innovative edge in retaining the company’s identity. “The customers of SANASA is what creates SANASA Life Insurance and it has and will always be there for the SANASA Community regardless” he reiterated.
According to the latest Insurance industry record, Sanasa Life Insurance PLC moved up to 9th place in the industry. What are some of the strategies you have followed?
Our main target audience is mostly the remote and rural population that other Insurers don’t actively pursue and our main strength is the Sanasa Society network. Sanasa Life insurance has connected with more than 1250 Societies Island wide, and we have a very trusting business relationship with them. Besides concentration on the captive audience, we have another two sales channels that service the open market and corporate businesses. Having three diverse sales channels significantly contribute to company revenue whilst giving us a well spread and balanced portfolio
How are you facing the current economic crisis?
Exploiting niches efficiently and keeping a close tab on the cost has helped us keep the momentum thus far. We actively eliminate cost heavy processes whilst consciously develop market-oriented product offers. Furthermore,
like I mentioned earlier we always try to remain agile and ready to adapt to new market opportunities as needed. As Sanasa Insurance mainly services segments that are not traditionally exploited our challenge remains managing our distribution costs. This has helped us have the right fortitude to adjust and prevail during the challenges faced due to both Covid and the economic crisis.
How do you treat your staff during these crisis situations?
Our team is our strength. Having started with only just 20 employees, we now have 600 employees in both Life & General Insurance. The team has worked tirelessly during these difficult times to adjust and continue
developing Sanasa. We have given priority towards rewarding our team, ensuring their job satisfaction their wellbeing and welfare. One of the accomplishments I am particularly happy about is the 25% salary increment
to all our staff which we initiated during these challenging times. Furthermore, we have also promoted and rewarded employees based on their performance. We also introduced a work from home system, allowing employees the flexibility to continue work during lock downs and the breakdown in transportation. An added bonus of this was the ability to reduce costs.
What are your plans for the future of the organization?
Our motto is ‘Sri Lanka’s fastest growing insurance company’, and currently we are positioned at number 09. We have taken a structured approach thus far where the Company growth is concerned, we were very conscious
at the start to ensure our procedures and policies were well within the regulators expectation, then we ensured our capital adequacy matched our ambitious growth appetite. We have doubled our year-on-year top line consecutively for two years and if the current business trend continues, we will be able repeat that once more. We are carefully watching the way the economic situation is panning out and feel the cost per customer visit is going to be the key factor for most organizations. Our focus for the next two years or so will definitely be on how our internal systems can be improved for remote delivery of services by further developing our ITC capabilities. We are becoming more stronger than ever before. It will be challenging with the current situation but with our team, I’m sure we will reach our objective though the odds are not at its conducive best.