Dr Jaideep Devare is the Managing Director of Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd (MIBL).
In this interview, Dr Devare shares MIBL’s experiences, pains, and benefits gained in the transformation carried out at MIBL (website: here), through the People CMM® initiative. MIBL was appraised and rated at maturity level 3 through a SCAMPISM Class A appraisal in Dec 2015 (see details at the CMMI® Institute site, here).
AlignMentor: Congratulations on being the first insurance organization in the world to have been rated at maturity level 3 of the People CMM®. And thank you for agreeing to share your experiences.
Q: Please tell us about your organization – MIBL.
JD: Mahindra Insurance Brokers Limited (MIBL) is a subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Limited (MMFSL). We have a Composite Broking License, which enables us to operate as a Direct as well as a Reinsurance broker in India. We are one of the few insurance broking companies in India to have been awarded the ISO 9001:2008 certification. Now, we are the world’s first organization in the insurance sector to achieve People CMM® maturity level 3, reflecting our quest for excellence.
MIBL is committed to providing value to its customers by understanding their insurance needs and risk profile, and providing innovative, cost-effective, customized solutions to ensure total customer satisfaction. MIBL represents the interests of the customer, and acts as an intermediary between the customer and the insurance company. MIBL’s role encompasses various activities right from risk profiling to claims administration for customers. MIBL coordinates with the insurers and re-insurers to get the best deal and the most ideal risk protection cover for our customers.
As on today, our insurance solutions have reached out to over 150,000 villages across India, and have serviced over 6 million cases in the rural and semi-urban markets. Our presence in many locations across various states in India gives us extra mileage to serve our customers in markets that are under-penetrated and under-served.
Our company’s long-term vision is: “To be the first Indian company amongst the Global Top 100 Insurance Brokers in revenue by 2020”.
Q: Please tell us why and how and why you decided to adopt the People CMM® model. And please share some experiences of your People CMM® journey.
JD: In the last eleven years, MIBL in India has organically grown from 50 to 750 employees. As the organization grows, maintaining employee experiences, building and sustaining employee engagement requires focused efforts and disciplined practices that are consistently and fairly executed across the organization to continuously engage and inspire people. We believe that happy and engaged employees provide the best of services to our customers.
We take pride in the strong culture we have developed since day 1; this culture being one of our strengths. Our core values and the Mahindra ‘Rise’ pillars inspire us to focus on customer delight, quality service, challenging conventional thinking, accepting no limits, and driving positive change. However, over time, we came to realize that we needed something more if we were to gain an edge in the over-competitive market. In terms of human capital, this meant an increase in our employee engagement, control over attrition, and higher momentum on customer-centricity.
We asked ourselves 3 key questions, for which we had to find relevant answers:
- How successful is our business today?
- How can our human capital develop personally as well as contribute to the growth of our organization?
- How ready are we for the future?
As we are into a people-centric and knowledge-intensive business, the role of human resources is crucial to the success of our company.
To keep up with the wave of digitization and globalization, we felt, we would need to focus on cultural transformation, building organization capabilities for future business growth, creating robust HR process delivery models, and driving HR process excellence. These thoughts provided an impetus to synergize people, process, technology and culture, and that’s how we thought of embarking on the PCMM® journey.
Q: There is a feeling that the People CMM® is applicable only for IT companies. Yours is an insurance organization – what is your impression now that you have implemented a part of the People CMM®?
JD: We understand that IT companies were the early adopters of People CMM®. The robust people practices enabled them to attract, engage, and retain employees, especially Generation Y, the Millennials.
In my opinion, PCMM® can be beneficial to any organization which is people, quality and customer-focused. Any organization serious about business performance, people development, and organization strategy and goal alignment, should adopt this model. I believe that organizations have limited growth not so much because of ineffectual business strategy, but more because of a cultural impediment due to which employees get negatively impacted, and are unable to give of their best. If this hypothesis is true, then people play an important role and act as catalysts for growth. Any business strategy may not work if the people and culture do not support progress.
So, people-focus can serve as a competitive advantage for any organization. The PCMM® model is helping us in such a cultural transformation, and can help any organization, irrespective of the industry segment.
Q: What were the key benefits that you expected and realized in implementing the People CMM®?
JD: Some of the challenges in the financial/ insurance sector are high employee attrition and low employee engagement levels. We expected to improve our employee engagement and to reduce attrition levels. Our larger objective was to align HR with business strategies and drive excellence in HR processes to achieve our Vision. We have started realizing great benefits in our journey over the last 15 months.
A few of these are: a) Improved employee engagement scores b) Reduced Attrition levels c) Significant improvement in transparency and effectiveness of our internal communication channels, which have further enhanced our trust Index levels d) A robust competency framework aligned to our various people practices e) Better execution of strategic business projects at a faster pace now.
Holistically, we have improved in our agility, responsiveness and customer-focus across the organization.
Q: Please share some of the challenges that you faced in the implementation of the model @ MIBL.
JD: Ensuring inclusivity was a challenge as our employees are spread across India in over lots of locations, servicing customers in the rural and semi-urban markets. It becomes difficult for the HR team and people managers to be in regular, direct touch with them. We utilized the power of technology as an effective mode of communication in order to reach our employees across the country.
Also, as this is a cultural transformation process, initially we experienced a little resistance from some, but we were able to overcome this, as our employees were already aligned with our aspirational Vision 2020, “To be the first Indian company amongst the Global Top 100 Insurance Brokers in revenue by 2020”.
Leadership involvement and “walk the talk” played an important role in overcoming such resistance. Various sensitization programs, reinforcement of company’s Vision, enhanced communication channels worked well to overcome such challenges.
Q: What are the other models/ frameworks that your organization has adopted?
JD: Internally, we have our Group’s unique ‘The Mahindra Way’ (TMW) model in place, which is based on TQM. I would say the PCMM® model complemented the TMW model, and we hope to move to the next level in our TMW assessment later this year.
As mentioned earlier, we are also aligned to ISO 9001:2008.
Q: Now that you are maturity Level 3, will you be pursuing higher maturity levels of the People CMM®?
JD: Yes, we have already embarked on our PCMM® maturity level 4/5 journey, and our team is energized to implement various processes such as knowledge management, mentoring, empowerment, data analytics based business decision-making, and continuous innovation.
Institutionalization of various processes and initiatives are very important to reap business benefits in the long run, and therefore we have planned the implementation phase over a 2-3 year horizon.
Thank you Dr Devare, for your time and sharing your thoughts. And wish you and MIBL all the best!
Dr Jaideep Devare is the Managing Director of Mahindra Insurance Brokers Ltd (MIBL).
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