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Do you meet the job requirement?

Freny Patel | July 15, 2003

Armed with an insurance diploma from a leading management institute, Ramesh Thakkur has landed a fat salary in one of the top private life insurance companies and earns a monthly 6-digit package.

Thakkur, a fresh science graduate, was in the job market for 18 months till he decided to take up a one-year insurance diploma, and automatically landed a job.

At a time when the job market has virtually died down, there are immense number of openings in private insurance companies. It is expected that by 2003 end, new job creations in this sector alone will touch one lakh!

Ten thousand alone in terms of direct employees, close to 50,000 direct agents, well over 20,000 employees to man various brokerage firms, and a host of others required to help other intermediaries like corporate agents, third-party administrators, and direct selling agencies.

And this is just the requirement the industry is looking for this year alone!

Over 10 companies in both life and non-life insurance sectors are looking for fresh blood to meet their growing business needs. Even as insurance is not today an academic discipline, it is fast emerging as one.

The Bombay University has engaged a team of ex-insurance personnel to co-ordinate a two-year post-graduate diploma course in insurance management, which will take off shortly.

Many management institutes are eyeing this academic segment as well. Clearly, this is the time for graduates to thinks of pursuing a career in the field of insurance.

Even doctors and chartered accountants are in high demand, but if you are a fresh graduate, your choice of institute might just land you a job.

Take Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, its visiting faculty not only trains, but also recruits the students on completion of the course.

This management institute, whose prime objective is MBA, offers a one-year insurance management development programme as well as a four-month intensive course, aimed to train young graduates and professionals for opportunities in risk management.

With many students completing their graduation and looking at becoming MBAs, management institutions are looking at ways and means to combine an MBA curriculum with a insurance diploma as in the case of Narsee Monjee Institute.

"Our prime objective is MBA, but here's an important segment that can offer value addition for institutes like ours and for our students," said the institute vice chancellor H N Mankad.

The visiting faculty of lecturers are from the industry -- insurance companies, global brokerage outfits, and Indian corporates.

Often having taught the students, many CEOs choose to recruit them in their respective organisations. Royal Sundaram, AON Global Services and Cholamandalam are just a few among the many, which recruited the students from this campus.

Said a senior insurance official with a foreign company: "There is so hard to find the right professionals trained with skills to join the insurance sector. Having taught a class of bright and committed students, it is only natural that I would pick out a few."

It is not that there are not enough training institutes, considering that the IRDA (the insurance regulator) has imposed 100 hours training for agents and brokers.

This has in fact brought about mushrooming of training institutes across the country. Every centre has at least one accredited institute.

However, the IRDA has not imposed any formal education or training for the insurance employees. This means that the responsibility of training employees rests solely with the company itself.

As most are engaged running day-to-day operations, they are forced to outsource this activity. Management institutes aware of the need are trying to bridge the deficiency gap.

Insurance companies like ICICI Prudential Life, Tata AIG and SBI Life are sending their employees to better understand reinsurance and risk management, said Mankad.

This means institutes like Mankad's and many more are minting money, encouraging others like the Garware Institute of Career Education, affiliated to the Bombay University to start their own diploma courses.

The latter will shortly offer a two-year diploma course on insurance.

What these institutes are looking for

  • Fresh graduates from science, commerce, law faculties with minimum 50% marks.
  • Other professional streams like CAs, CS, ICWA or equivalent.
  • They need to appear for a written test and an interview to qualify.
  • Courses vary from Rs 18,000 to Rs 40,000. Bombay University will be charging Rs 28,000 for the four semesters.

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