SLIC’s recent declaration of the highest-ever life insurance bonus, a staggering Rs. 10.4 billion, is a testament to their commitment to delivering excellence and their promise to the policyholders. A glimpse into the company’s financial success reveals a profit after tax of 12.4 billion and a cumulative turnover of 41 billion, which provided a solid foundation for such a remarkable bonus.
One of the key factors contributing to this achievement lies in SLIC’s exceptional investment management strategies. With a keen eye on growing its assets, the company has seen significant growth, reaching an impressive Rs. 274 billion, and the life fund has reached a staggering Rs. 156.7 billion. These numbers reflect a focus on strategic objectives that have transformed the organizational culture into a performance-driven one, empowering employees with KPI-based performance evaluations and rewards.
In the face of economic challenges and downgrades that affected the nation, SLIC maintained its resilience, earning recognition from Fitch Ratings as the only Insurance company in Sri Lanka to be rated with an A(lka) rating. Fitch’s rating reaffirmed their prudent management and commitment to their fiduciary service responsibility.
Moreover, Chandana’s leadership has led SLIC on a digital journey that brings convenience to customers through transformative processes and innovative policies. The company’s dedication to adapting new technology for superior customer service has resulted in an authentic and loyal customer base, solidifying its position as a dominant force in the industry.
Looking ahead, sustaining the momentum of success lies in SLIC’s well-crafted investment process, overseen by an investment committee comprising stakeholders representing the state. Additionally, their ability to identify new markets, introduce innovative products, and adapt to changing landscapes emphasizes their attentive management approach.
The insurance industry is undergoing a transformative phase and Chandana acknowledges the crucial role that data plays in driving these changes. As the company actively engages in collecting and analyzing data, new trends and factors are constantly emerging, enabling them to better understand their customers’ needs and offer personalized services. Chandana believes that this shift towards customer-centricity will drive the industry to become more customer-friendly, aligning with the evolving expectations of policyholders.
One of the key challenges in Sri Lanka is the prevailing dependent culture, where insurance is often overlooked in favour of material objects. Chandana recognizes that digitization holds the potential to revolutionize the insurance landscape, making complex products more accessible and customizable to individual needs. He emphasizes the importance of a personalized and targeted marketing approach, recognizing that all customer’s requirements differ, whether it’s for life insurance or non-life insurance like motor vehicle coverage. Furthermore, he is keenly aware of the broader environmental, social, and governance frameworks that impact the industry. He stresses the significance of embracing ESG principles while also ensuring profitability to sustain such initiatives. SLIC has been proactive in adopting these ethical and sustainable practices, staying ahead of the curve in the insurance sector.
In line with its commitment to innovation, SLIC has invested heavily in technology, making strides in the digital journey. Chandana highlights recent efforts, such as providing customers with a digital platform also known as Virtual Claim Inspection that allows drivers to provide their accident details and photos, speeding up the claims process. Furthermore, to simplify customer experiences, SLIC has harnessed technology, from digital signatures to hassle-free underwriting and virtual claim assistants, ensuring seamless customer onboarding and engagement. The company has bolstered its technical team and continues to explore new markets, keeping the momentum high through regular campaigns. Chandana attributes SLIC’s success in navigating the evolving business landscape to the strength of their team, who are adept at leveraging opportunities and addressing challenges.
Despite facing the challenges brought on by the pandemic and the economic crisis, SLIC has navigated through the uncertainties with resilience and innovation. Chandana acknowledges that while there’s still a long journey ahead, SLIC has already made significant progress towards normalcy. The company seized opportunities presented during the challenging period, using it as a catalyst for positive change. They reevaluated their structures, compensation, and staff engagement, redefining the way they do business.
As the pandemic brought health and insurance to the forefront of people’s minds, SLIC recognized the importance of customer convenience and embraced digitization. The company introduced innovative products like the School Fee Protector, addressing the impact of the pandemic on private education. Moreover, SLIC relaunched Wealth Plus, offering customers flexibility in premium payments and digital services, streamlining operations and enhancing efficency.
SLIC’s commitment to brand investment and digital marketing has paid off, ensuring continued value and customer engagement. While being prudent in cost management, they didn’t compromise on their marketing efforts. Chandana highlights SLIC’s dedication to customer service, expanding its network through branches and customer service centres as well as using of digital platforms to ensure customer convenience.
Amidst challenges, SLIC demonstrated unwavering customer empathy, reaching out to both customers and non-customers across communities. This approach has not only strengthened their relationship with existing customers but also set a solid foundation for future growth.
At the heart of SLIC’s success lies Chandana’s relentless focus on people transformation, understanding that a satisfied internal workforce is the key to delivering exceptional customer service.
Implementing a series of innovative initiatives, Chandana nurtured a culture where core values were embraced, and mindful decision-making became the norm at all levels of the organization. Embracing diversity, promoting open dialogue, and establishing grievance committees with whistle-blowing policies created an inclusive and transparent work environment where everyone’s voice is heard. Through a paradigm shift towards a performance-driven culture, SLIC employees now operate with clear KPIs, with individual reviews and rewards driving continuous improvement.
With a keen eye on market demands, SLIC’s mandate is to provide ‘Insurance for All’ by catering to numerous segments. For an instance introducing products such as Medi 60, Motor Plus Drive 60 for senior citizens, affordable covers like Jana Rekuma which is a personal accident cover and Medi Plus an individual health insurance plan extended to the masses demonstrating a commitment to touching the lives of every Sri Lankan. These strategic pillars, alongside investment optimization, have fortified SLIC’s resilience amidst challenging market conditions and positioned the company as a beacon of customer-centricity in the insurance industry.
Risk management is of paramount importance in the insurance industry, and SLIC takes a meticulous approach to assessing and mitigating potential risks to safeguard both the company and its policyholders’ financial security.
Chandana emphasizes the significance of maintaining certain ratios, such as the capital adequacy ratio to ensure the sustainability of the business. The company utilizes a robust risk dashboard to constantly monitor and update the probability and impact of identified risks, adapting to the ever-evolving landscape. SLIC follows the ISO 31000 risk framework, enabling them to identify, assess, and mitigate risks across strategic, financial, operational, and asset domains. The company places great importance on governance, risk, and compliance frameworks, aligning internal control systems with the risk management framework and adhering to regulatory compliance at all times.
To mitigate risks effectively, SLIC employs a comprehensive approach, which includes rigorous analysis, algorithm writing, and ensuring adequate coverage to control exposures in line with risk appetite. Building strong partnerships with reputable reinsurers like Swiss Re and Munich Re enhances the company’s risk management efforts. Diversification of the product portfolio across various types of insurance customers reduces overall risk exposure to specific segments or product categories. Continuously monitoring risk exposure, financial performance, and market conditions enables timely adjustments and strategy refinements to maintain financial stability.
Throughout SLIC’s more than six decades of existence, the company has focused on striking a balance between providing comprehensive coverage to policyholders and ensuring long-term financial security. These risk management practices, combined with adaptability to market changes, have positioned SLIC as a resilient and customer-centric insurance provider, committed to protecting the interests of its policyholders while maintaining financial stability.