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HDFC Life's Growth Driver

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Vibha Padalkar, 

MD and CEO, HDFC Life
age: 53
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Vibha Padalkar has led HDFC Life for 13 long years now. While the industry grew 3% in FY2021, the largest private life insurer (in terms of Overall New Business Premium in private sector) grew 17% in terms of WRP (weighted received premium). Padalkar attributes this to agility, product innovation, balanced distribution and technology. "We rarely sell a product which already exists. We follow a bottom-up approach. In that melting pot of ideas, we put a host of things, including which way interest rates will move, what will US 'taper tantrum' do to India, oil prices, as well as socio-economic and demographic changes and start thinking of a product," says Padalkar. Adoption of digital has also helped, especially during the pandemic. "We have an offering called 'Wise' where we can pitch to a new customer digitally as if we are sitting right next to him. I can run small illustrations on the platform too," she says. The company saw a 33% Y-o-Y fall in its profit after tax to ₹302 crore in Q1 FY22 because of a steep rise in death claims due to Covid-19.