STAY ON TOP OF YOUR GAME

FPJ BureauUpdated:Saturday, June 01, 2019, 08:05 PM IST
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Mr Vijay Kumar Sharma is Managing Director and CEO of LIC Housing Finance Ltd, a premier housing finance company promoted by LIC of India in 1989. He joined LIC HFL as Director and Chief Executive in December 2010 before being elevated to MD in March 2013.

AS NELSON MANDELA, SAID, “ YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE PHENOMENAL TO DO PHENOMENAL THINGS”

Mr Sharma joined the LIC of India as a Direct Recruit Officer in 1981. His stint of over three decades with the country’s biggest insurer has been a journey of challenging assignments especially in not ceding ground to competitors, be it insurance or housing finance space, he says.

He was handpicked and parachuted to the hot seat to lead LIC HFL at a critical juncture when the Company was battered by adverse publicity due to arrest of the then CEO. He not only stabilised operations but continued with the growth momentum by expanding the loan book from Rs. 38081 Cr from F 10 to Rs. 77812 Cr as at end of F13, showing a CAGR of 27%. The market share in retail loan category improved to 10% as at end of March 2013 from 7% as at end of March 2010 and notched a step higher to become the third largest player in the housing finance market. During the last three years, loan disbursals grew at a CAGR of 18%. Revenue surged from Rs. 3470 Cr in F10 to Rs. 7659 Cr in F13 at a CAGR of 30% during the last three years. Profit after Tax for the first time in F13 crossed Rs. 1000 Cr mark in F13, it stood at Rs. 1023 Cr.

He has won several accolades in his illustrious career. It was the time when the insurance field was thrown open to the private sector and the monolith had to put up a formidable challenge. Assuming charge as Zonal Manager of Southern Zone of LICI in 2009, he succeeded in turning around the fortunes of the zone by arresting the consistent de- growth of the preceding six quarters and propelling it make Number One Zone by November 2010. He spear- headed Karnal, a rural division of LICI, as Senior Divisional Manager and catapulted the division to Number One in the country in premium income ahead of all other metro centers. Other prominent marketing assignments were in Eastern and Western Zones of LICI as Regional Manager ( Marketing).

As Executive Director of Pension & Group Schemes in LICI, he pioneered the launch of many schemes.

“ Aam Aadmi Bima ojana” , a prestigious government scheme, was launched and implemented in more than 11 states. “ Janshree Bima ojana” for Women Self Help groups all over the country was launched in Andhra Pradesh. He was the architect of “ Abhaya Hastam”, a pension scheme for the unorganized sector of Andhra Pradesh Government.

Mr Sharma currently is a Director on the Boards of LIC Nomura Mutual Fund AMC Ltd, LIC HFL AMC Ltd, LIC HFL Care Homes Ltd and LIC HFL Financial Services Ltd.

He believes in the importance of being standardsfocused.

He is widely regarded as a strategic leader recognized for making sweeping improvements to efficiency, product development, marketing and information technology. Acclaimed as a “ Crisis Manager”, he has also proven his ability by stabilizing operations and leading turnaround growth strategies. He is also known for driving operational and financial efficiencies to establish and achieve results in the core metrics of the organization. His negotiation skills have been honed over 30 years of extensive experience in insurance and financial sectors. He is also seen as a “ People’s Man” who believes in a “ bottom- up” approach and an ability to see the Big Picture and translate this to reality.

Judge a man by his questions

“ I believe leaders should be passionate with a deep sense of engagement and figure out things by questioning. As Voltaire said, ” Judge a man by his questions rather than his answers.” It is also important to be receptive with a sense of bringing people together, and to have a simple mindset that is able to distill information down the line, giving people a sense of clear mission.

Articulate quantifiable core metrics for employees overarching the goals of the organization, and a balanced approach with the traits being both analytical and creative are also necessary. One must maintain a lifestyle that gives maximum energy.

Invest in continuous learning

Education is the vehicle of knowledge and success. It gives a set of values and moulds character.

It is a continuous process of learning whether from experience, people, success and failures.

Hence it makes one well rounded, knowledgeable, complete and makes life purposeful. To quote Nelson Mandela, “ ou do not have to be phenomenal to do phenomenal things”. To stay on top of your game, invest in continuous learning.

Working hard is not enough

Working hard is not enough but maximising abilities by smart thought process is the key. It is important to set boundaries for work but it is equally important to go outside boundaries to be with the flow. To aid this, one can – • Set aside time for focused effort.

• Look for ways to do things better and faster.

• Spot troubles early and fix them immediately.

• Recognise the point of ‘ diminishing returns’.

Big Ideas must resonate with consumers

An exclusive home loan product for women “ Bhagyalakshmi” in January 2013 was a clutter- breaking idea in a marketplace filled with generic home loan products.

For LIC HFL it became the force multiplier in loan approvals and a unifying force in our overall brand marketing campaign. There was a paradigm shift in the women consumers’ mind as to the ownership in the property thereby ushering a new way of thinking and feeling about property. Its pricing advantage of being 25 basis points lower than our other home loans throughout the loan tenure has been quite distinctive.

Any “ Big Idea” to become a game- changer should resonate with consumers in a meaningful way. Our loan sanctions of around Rs. 5000 Cr since its launch bears testimony to this.

Set deadlines

• Overcome procrastination and set schedules with deadlines.

• Goal setting should be challenging but realistic.

• Pay attention to physical and mental energy levels through the day and make adjustments to your schedule.

• Learn the art of saying “ No” to jobs that are inconsistent with your priorities.

• Above all, set up processes that are seamless and run without your intervention.

Cope with the challenges

The worst may be over for the Indian economy, but the road to recovery is long and winding one.

Industrial production numbers, weakness in the rupee, interest rate movements, capital inflows and current account deficit are the areas to be keenly to be watched. RBI still grapples with inflationary pressures and left key rates unchanged in its recent policy announcement.

The realty sector faces its own challenges. But given its linkages to other core sectors, the demand for housing will continue unabated. This is aided by factors like favorable demographics, increasing income levels, urbanization and low level of housing finance penetration which stands at 9%. With moderation seen in gold investments, one can foresee demand in real estate to pick up in the second half of the current fiscal.

Focus is most important

“ Focus” is the single most important factor in determining success. It reinforces you to be proactive instead of reactive.

Focus shapes belief, confidence, determination, motivation and awareness. If focus is what to achieve, “ Execution” is the key, as it is all about making it happen.

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