Air India to hire chief strategy officer, COO for budget arm

The decision came as part of its continued efforts to restructure and beef up management, as the national carrier carried out a major shake-up among its top-level executives

In a bid to restructure its top hierarchy, Air India (AI) plans to hire some senior executives, including a chief strategy officer (CSO) and a chief operating officer (COO) for its low-cost international arm Air India Express, reports PTI.

The decision came as part of its continued efforts to restructure and beef up the management, as the national carrier carried out a major shake-up among its top-level executives, airline sources said today.

In the exercise which will come into effect from 15th July, a reshuffle of jobs handled by six executive directors was carried out. It would also see shuffling of eight general manager level and three deputy general manager level officers.

Now, National Aviation Company of India Limited (NACIL), which runs Air India, plans to hire a chief strategy officer and a chief operating officer for Air India Express, the sources said.

Air India Express does not have a COO since the exit of Captain P P Singh, who completed a three-year contract with the airline last September.

NACIL also plans to hire a chief information officer to oversee its IT division as well as a chief communication officers to handle its corporate communication division and a chief human resources advisor, the sources said.

The chief strategy officer would be responsible for managing the business transformation office and work closely with CMD Arvind Jadhav and COO Gustav Baldauf to ensure that the turnaround strategy is translated into action, the sources said. He or she would also be responsible for identifying and tracking strategic initiatives, they said.

These decisions come over a month after COO Baldauf was appointed.

The national carrier is in the process of taking major steps to restructure itself by curtailing costs and enhancing revenue and savings.

The move comes ahead of a meeting of the Group of Ministers (GoM) on Air India, headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, next month.

The GoM would deliberate on the measures taken by the ailing national carrier to effect a turnaround after suffering an estimated loss of Rs5,400 crore in 2009-10.


India Inc's hiring activity soars 21% in June

According to jobs portal, hiring has been bullish in the first six months of this year, with 22% more recruitment seen in the January-June period of 2010 compared to the same period last year

India Inc's hiring activity grew by 21% in June this year compared to the year-ago period, led by the improving business sentiment, according to job portal, reports PTI.'s monthly job index — JobSpeak — moved up to 947 in June this year compared to 784 in the same month of 2009.

Hiring activity in June also showed an improvement over the previous month as well, with the job index increasing by 4% in June from 913 in May, the study revealed.

"Companies are actively hiring now and have shed their 'wait-and watch' policy. The hiring growth in June is secular in nature, with a balanced rise seen across all sectors and cities," Info Edge (owner of COO and director Hitesh Oberoi said.

Hiring has been bullish in the first six months of this year, with 22% more recruitment seen in the January-June period of 2010 compared to the same period last year.

"The first half of 2010 has been very encouraging, as most of the key industry sectors have been able to move out of the slowdown phase and are heading towards recovery," Mr Oberoi added.

The IT-enabled service (ITeS) sector has been bullish on hiring, with the sector registering a notable growth of 25% in the job index for June compared to May.

Other key industry sectors such as telecom and oil and gas exhibited strong hiring growth, with the sectoral job indices moving up by 14% and 11%, respectively, in June compared to May.

On his outlook for the months ahead, Mr Oberoi said, "Second half of 2010 is expected to create increased opportunities, as indicated by the increased gross domestic product (GDP) figures of the country."

Among cities, Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore witnessed an upsurge in jobs in June, with their job indices moving up by 10%, 6% and 4%, respectively, compared to May.

Similarly, demand for professionals in production and marketing moved up by 4% in June from the previous month, he said.


Agents go on sales overdrive for ULIPs before implementation of new IRDA norms

Come September, the new ULIP norms will kick in, and the rush to sell these products is becoming intense

From incessant phone calls to text messages, insurance agents are once again trying every trick in the book to make people buy Unit-linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) before 1st September, when the new guidelines come into force. This time, agents are pushing ULIPs with a lot more vigour. They are trying to convince customers that it is the right time to buy these products.

An agent called up yours truly and said, “Sir, you should buy our pension ULIP plan now, before 1st September, especially before the (new) IRDA regulations.” Another informed Moneylife that the old lock-in periods are better than the ones applicable from 1st September. The agent’s statement is a complete contradiction in terms, as many insurers consider ULIPs to be a long-term insurance-cum-investment product. An agent has also issued an ad in a local Pune daily, claiming that now is the ‘right time’ to buy ULIPs.

As per the new Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) guidelines, insurers will now have to increase the lock-in period for ULIPs from three to five years which means that during this period there would be no residuary payments on lapsed, surrendered or discontinued policies — and agent commission will be spread out. A top-up on insurance premiums will now be treated as a single premium, meaning that every top-up that one makes will have to have an additional insurance cover backing it up as well. However, despite the new guidelines, insurance agents are back to their old tricks, and are trying to push sales before the new norms kick in.

This is because agents’ commissions are going to drop after 1st September. As per the new norms, IRDA has insisted that the fat commissions, which insurance companies were paying, would have to be spread over five years. Insurance companies were doling out upfront commission as high as 30%-40% to distributors in the first year. They will now have to spread this commission over the five-year lock-in period, which has put off many distributors. So until 1st September, they will be allowed to go about their daily business (as usual) with the prevailing norms.

“The push is mainly for pensions, as product and commission structures will be changing, so agents are pushing (these products),” said an official from a private life insurance company, preferring anonymity. Probably the thorniest issue for insurers is the fresh stipulation that all pension products should guarantee a return of 4.5% to protect the lifetime savings of an insured person from adverse fluctuations at the time of maturity.

ULIPs are hybrid products that combine elements of investment and insurance, and have been a big investment magnet for insurance companies. According to the Life Insurance Council of India, an industry body representing 23 life insurers, of the Rs2,00,000 crore-plus life insurance premium collected in the first 11 months of the past fiscal, more than Rs91,000 crore were generated from ULIPs.




7 years ago

Irda failed to protect the investors and was just a spectator to the insurance companies mis-selling of ULIPS before Sept 1, 2010. The Premium collected by the Insurance companies in the month of August is probably highest in the history of ULIPs sales. It is Regulatory Failure, and nothng else.

Ashish Chauhan

7 years ago

agent job, my contact no 9278765502

Anand Agarwal

7 years ago

Myth: Charges in Mutual Funds are very low.
Reality: Charges in MFs are very high in the long run
Myth: Commisions paid to agents are very low in MFs
Reality: Commisions paid to agents are exhorbitant in MFs
Visit to see the startling facts.

vijay upendra

7 years ago

Better to have a financial literacy programmes
to improve financial literacy so that
customer will wakeup for the realities.
Vijay Upendra

Keshav B Bhat

7 years ago

Dear Sir,
I can not understand how people come to conclusion that all ulips have upfront commission of 30 to 40%.
There are differant ulips with differant commission structure There are ULIPS with 2% commission but why people are not saying all ulips carry 2% upfront commission?
I dont mean to justify misselling but I woder If agents are misselling why customers have to buy it?. Everybody has the greed for quickmoney so they like to hear only to the people who show the illustration of high returns. But if they use their common sense they can identify this as any expert in the feild. Why only insurance products , every product salesman gives a very rosy picture of the products and services offered by him/her but buyer has to judge the suitability of the product to him or her. When a insurance agent calls why cant the customer veryfy the creditability of the agent before signing on the proposal form?.
Most of the people who say I am cheated by an insurance agent - ask them the real facts in private- they are not bothered to read the brochures, proposal for and ask the details and the suetability of the products revealing his/ her needs. Often I come across people just say i got a ULIP of so and so insurance company what is the perfomance of that company's ulip. But they never try to understand the same ULIp can give differant perfomance depending on the funds selected. Another big sikness with the clients is that after three years i can stop premium and if i want i can withdraw. If their requirement is the investment for thee years and withdrawing it why should they take the trouble of taking a ULIP in first place. When ever an IPO hits the market there are no of people who wants to subscibe even without bothering to know the basic requirements to subscibe in an IPO. For all these customers has to be ready to discuss with the people who know about it and there is nobody to give free lunches as the person spends time to give details also has to make a living.
I think that explains most of the facts
Keshav B Bhat

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