Pradeep Mishra, General Manager at LIC International, UAE, highlights the role played by the insurance provider in helping individuals achieve financial freedom
Please tell us about the operations of LIC International in the UAE and its overseas presence.
The operations in the GCC basically began in 1989 with its headquarters in Bahrain. In 2005, the company opened an initial fully registered branch office in Dubai and later in 2016, it established a fully-fledged branch in Abu Dhabi. LIC International is a subsidiary of LIC of India, who hold a 99.7 per cent ownership of the company. Despite being headquartered in Bahrain, the UAE branches represents a majority percentage of all life insurance sold by the company throughout the GCC. Its journey over the past 33 years is an exemplary story of sharing and fulfilling the dreams of prosperity of thousands of NRIs in the UAE.
Which products are applicable for NRIs living in the UAE? What has the customer satisfaction quotient been for the NRI community?
The types of products and services offered are very similar in nature as those sold by LIC in India, with the distinct difference being that the products are uniquely denominated in dollars, aligning them with the dollar-pegged UAE dirham, a fundamental and increasingly attractive proposition. The company enjoys a strong brand connect with the Indian diaspora as its products are designed keeping in mind the ethos of Indian financial habits. We enjoy a relatively niche market and attribute the success to our dedicated customer-centric and competitive investment options through the provision of a wide range of products, fulfilling the complete financial needs of customers.
The products sold range from Endowment and Savings, Education and Marriage and Retirement plans through to the conventional and standard term life products, all marketed with a clear and well-defined understanding of the average NRI’s capabilities and requirements. Short-term Guaranteed Return Fixed Maturity Plans and Guaranteed Return Annuity Plan are some of the most popular product ranges of the company in the UAE.
How does LIC International provide financial freedom of retirement needs?
Financial freedom means being prepared for your dreams and having sufficient financial income to be able to do what you want in the golden years of one’s life. The financial ecosystem is rapidly evolving, and a decade or more of judicious investments is often sufficient to help you achieve your financial goals, but true freedom comes through planning and preparing for risks. Retirement is typically referred to the end of your working life and it is the time when financial freedom matters the most.
The age old saying that — “You may either die too early or you may live too long” — is certainly applicable when contemplating the enjoyable period of one’s life, but in reality, with the unfortunate new ‘norm’ of no longer being able to depend on children's financial support during the ‘Golden Years’, proactive retirement planning is the definite need of the hour. As such, each and every parent cannot and should not become an additional burden on your child’s already heavily burdened shoulders.
How has the organisation leveraged its digital ‘portfolio’ offerings? How do you foresee the ‘internet / social media’ helping the current and prospective policy holder consumer base?
We have our firm belief that the digital economy is going to be the new normal post disruption of working ecosystems after the pandemic. Our focus has been on creating a digital infrastructure for interfacing with employees and engaging customers, virtually matching with the market demands at a competitive advantage. Ensuring customer service by working from home has been the new normal for us. However, we still believe face-to-face interaction is a must for understanding the nuances of financial planning.
We believe that social media in the insurance industry is a powerful strategy to educate our prospective clients and help the company to grow and thrive. It is a booming sector, and we are now adopting various measures to reach the desired audience. We use social media to connect with our customers on a very personal level.
Message for Indian diaspora
The only reason to look back on the past, is to see how far India has come — bringing to the world, its proud culture, unmatched heritage and eternal optimal vision for the future, whilst always remembering India’s rich traditions, perpetuated by its dynamic and inspired younger generation. Congratulations Mother India we have so much to be proud of as we celebrate a glorious and united 76th Independence Day.
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