Insurance is very rewarding and young and agile people are heartily welcomed in the sector

Suresh Prasad Khatri is an established name in the insurance business in Nepal who has over two and half decades of experience in the sector. He is the CEO of National Life Insurance Company Limited since May 17, 2021. Prior to his appointment in the post, he was Deputy CEO of the company. Khatri, who has done MBA from Bengaluru, India, started as an Executive Assistant at National Life Insurance 28 years ago. In a conversation with the HRM, he talked about his achievements, changes that have occurred in the insurance business over the years and career prospects in insurance for young graduates. Excerpts: 

Tell us about your first job.
I started my career in insurance as an Executive Assistant at National Life Insurance 28 years ago.

Q: How did you get into the job?
I had completed my MBA at that time and I joined the job. This helped to start my career in insurance.

How difficult or easy was it for you to get the job at that time?
In those days, no insurance-related courses were taught at colleges and universities. So most of what I have learned is mainly due to my experience and personal study.

What major achievements were there for you professionally?
Over these years, I have grown in a professional way. I have gained practical experience in various aspects of the life insurance business. In my long career, I have worked in various key departments of the company which has helped me reach this position today.

It›s been over two and half decades for you in the insurance sector. How do you observe the changes in insurance from a career development point of view?
The insurance sector has changed drastically from the early days. People were very reluctant to buy insurance products in those days. People were also not eager to get insured in a private sector company. Now the scenario has changed, and people visit our offices to understand about life insurance.

These days, companies with private investments have the bulk of the insurance business. We now have the necessary infrastructure in the country to run the life insurance business. Over the years, insurance has grown as an industry in Nepal. Life insurance penetration has also increased significantly in our country. Recently, the government introduced a new Comprehensive Insurance Act 2079, which is expected to further develop the industry in a healthy way.

You started your career in insurance at National Life Insurance and you’re heading the same company now as the CEO. What changes the company has gone through over these years?
National Life insurance was a composite company doing life and non-life business in those early days. National Life started life business only in 2063 BS, and the company’s growth has been very satisfactory since then. Manned by very experienced and trained staff, the company has highly saleable credible products in its portfolio, it is operating in nearly all districts of Nepal, and its Life Fund has crossed Rs 58 billion and it is offering very good returns to policyholders by way of attractive bonus rates.

What advice do you have for young graduates who are looking to develop their careers in insurance?
Insurance is a very good sector to pursue careers. Insurance is very rewarding and young and agile people are heartily welcomed in the sector. At the same time, insurance is also full of challenges. It will be helpful to young and aspiring people if they gain good insights into the theoretical aspect of insurance in their studies.

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