PRODUCTIVITY OVER NUMBERVivek Jha, who has been the CEO of Nepal Life Insurance for six years, started his corporate journey as an auditor. Soon after acquiring his degree, he joined R Bajracharya & Co firm, working in the financial department, with the flexibility of working for various consultancy projects. He later joined NB Insurance Company, as DGM. After his experience in management, he joined Machhapuchchhre Bank as compliance and finance chief. In 2010, Jha had a breakthrough moment when he was offered the position with Nepal Life Insurance. In this interview with the Post’s Alisha Sijapati, Jha talks about team work and equity within an organisation and shares a few tips on leadership skills.
Vivek Jha, who has been the CEO of Nepal Life Insurance for six years, started his corporate journey as an auditor. Soon after acquiring his degree, he joined R Bajracharya & Co firm, working in the financial department, with the flexibility of working for various consultancy projects. He later joined NB Insurance Company, as DGM. After his experience in management, he joined Machhapuchchhre Bank as compliance and finance chief. In 2010, Jha had a breakthrough moment when he was offered the position with Nepal Life Insurance. In this interview with the Post’s Alisha Sijapati, Jha talks about team work and equity within an organisation and shares a few tips on leadership skills. Excerpts:
Chartered accountancy is considered to be a lucrative career. Why did you switch to management instead?
I have always had the tendency to stand out as a leader. While growing up, I was used to seeing my father take up challenging managerial decisions at his workplace; this, I think, helped sow the same seeds in me. Because I have always been good at technical subjects from early on, chartered accountancy fitted my suit. However, while working for few projects as an auditor, I did come across opportunities to lead a team and it strengthened my interest in pursuing it more aggressively. Chartered accountancy is a complex subject to pursue, once you acquire the degree, you are left with abundance of opportunities. However, my actual interest lies in entrepreneurship and management.
As the leader of an organisation, what sort of strategies do you apply when motivating your employees?
Every leader must know that just because you are motivated to maximise the business of your organisation, not all your employees will be on the same page as you are on. You need to think of ways to help your employees think on the same level as you. Usually most leaders push their employees to put work as their number one priority but what I believe is that family comes first above everything else. If you are in a
happy, comfortable space personally, then only can you prosper professionally. It equally applies to everybody.
Also, I believe in productivity not the number of employees we have. It is important that a leader inculcates the value of learning and constant growth into the employees. If there is no growth, you career and your life will stagnate. That is a sure way to kill productivity.
In the insurance sector, salesmanship and offering impeccable customer service is a priority. What sort of training is provided to employees at your organisation to ensure they become better at providing great service?
In an insurance company, customers are the very source of income for us. Our organisation works only because of the customers. Therefore, at Nepal Life Insurance, we ensure that there is a strong team in all departments that work in sync together. If there is synchronicity, operations run smoothly. As I come from technical background, I used to believe that to make a company profitable, it’s all about numbers but I have been proven wrong. To make a company successful, you need marketing, branding and you need to take so many other things into account. I believe marketing is an art, it is like hypnotism. You need to understand the behaviour of your customers. I believe that customers should be treated as a friend, like a guest at home. If you don’t leave your guests unattended at home, then why would you do it at your work place?
What characteristics do all efficient leaders have?
A leader should be a team person. A leader needs to set the right example. If you want to do something, mean it and practice it. If you do that, you will be well-respected and trusted by your colleagues. To become a leader, all you need to do is be true to yourself. If you aren’t honest and true to yourself, how can you make your team believe in you? A leader must show results and walk along with his/her colleagues and grow together with them. You cannot be a leader overnight, you need to fall and fight obstacles. You can only become a true leader if you have started from the ground.
The working culture settings have been gradually changing over the due course of time. People no longer believe in 9-5 jobs. So, how does your organisation function in those parameters?
Thankfully, at Nepal Life Insurance, we don’t believe in timings. It barely affects us. We believe in productivity rather than timings. It is unfortunate that in many organisations people have to work overtime but us, we try to wrap up as soon as we finish the daily work. I think until and unless it is important nobody should work after office hours.
What are your top tips for ensuring better management at workplace?
Nobody is going to be in your workplace if you don’t give them the due respect they deserve. The market is huge and everybody needs qualified and efficient people working for them. Upgrade yourself. Add value to your work and the work and lives of others.