Indian firms are using health cover for hiring, retaining employees

Almost 41% of the companies use healthcare cover as a talent attraction and retention tool, while 11% use it to minimise losses arising out of employee health issues

Despite a hike in health premium costs, over 40% of Indian companies consider healthcare cover as a value differentiator for employees and use it in their hiring and retention strategy, a survey has said.

"Rising premium costs have not reduced the importance of healthcare cover as an employment value differentiator. Indian companies continue to use it as a part of their hiring and retention strategy," Watson Wyatt, a global consultancy firm, said in its Health Care Benefits survey.

"Almost 41% of the companies use healthcare cover as a talent attraction and retention tool, while 11% use it to minimise losses arising out of employee health issues," the survey said.

The survey covered 125 of India's largest employers and from across industries, mainly from the private sector, reporting an average revenue of more than Rs400 crore.

According to the survey, most Indian companies providing healthcare cover to their employees are grappling with an average 10% rise in premiums over the last three years.

"Rising healthcare costs are making corporates strive to strike the balance between increasing premium costs and their talent management strategies," Watson Wyatt India head of benefits practice, Kulin Patel, said.

To achieve this objective, it is crucial that companies constantly review and customise healthcare plans, Mr Patel said.

"It is vital that employers design appropriate healthcare plans, employ efficient ways to manage them and ensure that employees understand their value," he said.

Corporates are constantly devising different strategies to control healthcare costs, the survey said. The survey found that 74% of the companies are stressing on employee education around healthcare.

Despite rising premium costs, economic turbulence and the difficulty in maintaining an affordable healthcare cover, 58% of the companies surveyed did not deduct any premium costs out of employee salaries, it said.

"Importantly, over 46% of those surveyed did not plan to share the costs with the employees even in the coming year," the survey said.

The survey revealed that only 17% of the companies cover post-retirement medical expenditure. Post-retirement medical benefit is mainly provided by companies in the public sector, while a very small proportion of private sector companies provide such long-term benefits.

Commenting on the rise in premiums, the survey said that one of the main reasons for the rise was the advent of sophisticated medical technologies. However, employees seeking excessive care and malpractices like over-recommendation of services are also contributors to this hike in premiums, the survey said.


Indian kids will now get mechanical toys

The legendary toy brand Meccano has entered into an agreement with My Baby Excels to market its product in India

Aspiring engineering kids can now take a few lessons at home soon.
My Baby Excels has entered into an agreement with Nut and Bolts to sell its iconic brand Meccano in India.

Meccano, established in 1901 by Frank Hornby, is a model construction system comprising re-usable metal strips, plates, angle girders, wheels, axles and gears, with nuts and bolts to connect the pieces which enable the building of working models and mechanical devices.

My Baby Excels is a premium toy label, representing international bestsellers like Leap Frog, Disney Plush and WowWee in India. Meccano will also launch its extensive product line including the construction range, tuning range and multi-model range, among others.

"We are pleased to partner with Meccano and forward their cause in India. India is a hotbed of engineering talent and we look forward to leverage the demand here. Moreover, the brand enjoys a cult status among enthusiasts in India. We will be focusing on widening the reach and base of the product line,” said MN Kapasi, managing director, My Baby Excels, in a release.

Excel Productions Audio Visuals owns Excel Interactive (a leading gaming company and India licensee for Electronic Arts and Disney Interactive Studios).

The toy, earlier known as "Mechanics Made Easy" is based on the principles of mechanical engineering. The construction kits gained immense popularity, which later became known as Meccano.

In September 1907, Mr Hornby registered the Meccano trade mark, and in May 1908, he formed Meccano Ltd.

Meccano caters to children above 5 years and young adults.

The products are priced from Rs599 onwards and will be available at all leading stores across the country.



K S Peiris

6 years ago

how can i order direct from india to colombo sri lanka. need to find out srilanka dealer at colombo


6 years ago

I am an enthusiasist in Meccano sets. I am glad to know that it will be available in Idia thro My Baby Excels.I wish to have the catalogue with pricings of the sets so that I wish to gift a set to my Grandchilren.
Truly yours,

Udit C

7 years ago

Why this title... Meccano comes to india!" is great news in itself.

SME sector optimistic over export potential

Exports from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are growing despite rising cost of raw material and international competition

Exports from the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are increasing, despite high raw material costs, difficult global markets and stiff international competition.

According to a survey conducted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), 42% of exporters recorded a rise in volumes during the first half of FY10 while about 50% exporters saw an increase in volumes in the second half. It said that around 56% exporters expect an increase in exports in dollar terms while 42% foresee a decline.

The survey revealed that rising cost of raw material, international competition, price competitiveness and delay in payments are the key impediments limiting the growth of exports.

The top five regions for exports by Indian MSMEs are Europe, North America, South-east Asia, the Middle-east and the Far-east. A majority of them anticipate that Europe and North America are the markets with most potential for their exports.

A recent Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) study said that SMEs are expected to contribute 22% to India's GDP by 2012, up from about 17% currently.

The Indian government has recently announced that it would raise Rs1,000 crore for developing MSMEs under the 11th five-year plan.


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