Akhila Srinivasan: Keeping Every Promise
Femina|August 31 2015
Akhila Srinivasan: Keeping Every Promise
Akhila Srinivasan is one of only six Indian women to make it to the Forbes list of Asias 50 most powerful businesswomen of 2015. Shes deeply engaged in making change happen in Indias villages, particularly for women and children. Neeti Jaychander gets a measure of this powerhouse.
Neeti Jaychander

Akhila Srinivasan is a breath of fresh air in the frenetic corporate setup we have come to expect today. The managing director of Shriram Life Insurance Company responded politely to my request for an interview, decided on a time that worked for both of us, and actually stuck to it. As she ushered me into her cabin on the dot, I realised it was probably this commitment to every promise she makes that has seen Akhila grow from strength to strength. “The recognition is a great privilege and honour,” she says of her inclusion in the Forbes list, “and I owe it to the Shriram Group collectively. I joined in 1986 and today it is one of the largest players in the financial services space and has credibility in the market.”

When the company entered the life insurance segment in 2005, Akhila was asked to lead the new business. She built a team and the secured business through agents who had to be trained. She realised very early that as far as products go, all insurance companies cater to all sections of the community. So to differentiate, she capitalised on one of their main advantages their bank of 80,000 chit fund agents, of whom at least 20,000 actively worked towards life insurance. “We did not spend huge monies like the bigger players setting up infrastructure, promotional campaigns and so on. We had very cost-effective operations.”

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August 31 2015