R. M. VISHAKHA
MD & CEO
RM Vishakha, MD & CEO, IndiaFirst Life, is recognised for her result-oriented leadership approach towards challenging assignments including start-ups, restructuring and reorganisation, and was previously associated with the company as the Chief Business Officer.
Prior to IndiaFirst Life, she was with Canara HSBC Oriental Bank of Commerce Life Insurance Company Limited as the Director of Sales and Marketing.
At IndiaFirst Life, Vishakha’s constant endeavour is to maintain a critical balance of functional and company objectives, and to manage employee, manager, distributor and shareholder expectations. Through her ability to drive strategic growth backed by resourceful implementation, she scaled multiple career-defining milestones, including bringing into being the first-ever retail bancassurance model within public and private sectors as well as foreign banks, and building and developing the Group Insurance business.
Prestigious publications including the Fortune Magazine, Business World, Forbes, and Business Today, have enlisted Vishakha among contemporaries across industries. Recognising her achievements through a three-decade long journey in the Indian insurance domain, RM Vishakha has been recipient of the CA Business Leader – Woman Award from ICAI (Institute of Chartered Accountants of India), an eminent, Indian statutory body.
Vishakha, a veteran member of the BFSI fraternity and thought leader, continues to partake in august forums such as the ICAI’s Bahrain and Doha chapters, and the Global Insurance Forum held in Germany. Her thoughts and corporate philosophies, aimed at inspiring and motivating a new generation of thinkers and leaders, have elicited much public and social media acclaim.
Vishakha is a commerce graduate and a Chartered Accountant. She is a Fellow of the Insurance Institute of India and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Systems.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer
A traditionalist who enjoys questioning conventions, Rushabh Gandhi is a veteran in the Indian banking and insurance sector.
After spearheading the company’s Sales & Marketing department for three years, Rushabh went on to become the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of IndiaFirst Life.
Prior to joining IndiaFirst Life, he was Director – Sales at Canara HSBC OBC Life Insurance. Rushabh also served at Aviva Life Insurance and Birla Sun Life Insurance. With his deep understanding of the insurance industry and its market dynamics, Rushabh delivered high-performance results across organisations. His expertise in sales, business development and distribution strategy, led him to contribute significantly to the establishment of successful sales models for all the brands he was associated with.
Rushabh is a post graduate in Management Studies from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS).
A. K. SRIDHAR
Director & Chief Investment Officer
AK Sridhar, an accomplished veteran with experience and insight into finance, investment management, mutual funds and insurance industries, is the Head of investment Management and ALM functions at IndiaFirst Life.
Before joining the company, Sridhar was the Chief Executive Officer of UTI International (Singapore) Ltd, an investment management company, based out of Singapore. Sridhar also served as the Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) of UTI Asset Management Company Ltd. managing an AUM of USD 10 billion.
Actively contributing his views on financial markets in the various professional forums and academic circles in India as well as South-east Asia, he contributes as a thought leader for an upcoming generation of investment professionals.
Sridhar holds a bachelor’s degree in Physics, while also being a qualified Chartered Accountant. He is a member of the NSE – IISL Index Policy Committee and Capital Market Committee of the Indian Merchant Chambers (IMC).
Director- IT & Operations
Mohit Rochlani, Director – IT & Operations, IndiaFirst Life Insurance, is at the helm of multiple operational facets and digital disruptions at the company. A founder member of the company, his professional journey across some of the leading financial institutions, spans two decades.
Areas that fall under Mohit’s remit include underwriting, among the most critical functions of the insurance business, along with managing the company’s Customer Service and Operations units, as well. He spearheads the complete customer and distributor journey together with being responsible for the retention and persistency of the business generated.
Mohit is credited to have set up IndiaFirst Life’s operational processes, and subsequently take on the role of revenue generation and relationship management through the Bancassurance channel.
Mohit holds Master of Management Studies (MMS) in Finance from the University of Mumbai and Bachelor of Electronics (BE), from the Maulana Azad National Institute of technology.
Company Secretary & Head - Governance
KR Viswanarayan, Company Secretary and Head – Governance, IndiaFirst Life, brings with him a wide-range of expertise in the areas of finance, taxation, fund accounting and operations, fund raising, mergers and acquisitions, investor servicing, secretarial and compliance that have lent itself towards shaping the company’s strategic roadmap. The company’s legal, secretarial, risk, audit and compliance functions come under Viswanarayan’ s scope of responsibilities.
Previously, Viswanarayan held leadership positions with Times of India, DSP Merrill Lynch Mutual Fund and Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund. He has also worked in sector-specific venture funds at firms including JPMorgan, Urban Infrastructure and LIC HFL.
A commerce graduate from the University of Mumbai, Viswanarayan is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary. During the early stages of his career, he was among the few professionals trained at Merrill Lynch, Princeton, and JPMorgan, New York, in the USA, to develop proficiencies critical to delivering in line with developments in the economy.
Chief Financial Officer
Kedar Patki, with his extensive career spanning over two decades, comes with a demonstrated history of working in the insurance industry. He spent a majority part of his professional journey in the realms of finance and operations, both in India as well as in the overseas markets with his specialisation in Planning& Budgeting, Strategy, Accounting, Tax, Management, Offshoring and Insurance.
Prior to IndiaFirst Life Insurance, Kedar was a CFO at IDBI Federal Life Insurance and has served several companies such as Tata AIG General Insurance, SBI Life Insurance, AXA, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance and Akzo Nobel India, where he managed regulatory reporting, investor relations, and relationships with industry associations and forums in addition to core Finance responsibilities.
At IndiaFirst Life, Kedar is responsible for managing end-to-end Finance, Planning & Budgeting, Taxation and Investments operations of the organisation.
He is a commerce graduate from the University of Pune and a qualified Chartered Accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
Chief Marketing Officer
Sonia Notani, Chief Marketing Officer, is a founder member at IndiaFirst Life, with wide-ranging expertise in the BFSI space. In her decade-long stint at IndiaFirst Life, she has handled a well-rounded portfolio across functions and verticals. Currently, she spearheads the company’s Marketing, Products, Customer Experience, PR, Strategic Alliances, Direct & Digital Sales functions.
Her career began with the Aditya Birla Group, after which Sonia went on to serve at multinational companies such as Citibank, Reliance, and KPMG, before eventually joining IndiaFirst Life. In her earlier profile as the Chief Strategy Officer, she handled the portfolio of Products, Strategy, Analytics, Strategic Alliances and PR.
Recently, Sonia Notani made it into the world-renowned Fortune magazine’s “40 Under 40” 2019 listing, that acknowledges the most influential young people in business. Apex trade body, ASSOCHAM, too has recognised her contributions to the Indian life insurance space, with the “Women Leader in Insurance – CSO” award. As a thought leader, Sonia continues to carry the “forthright substance” baton through her zealous participation in panel discussions and authored pieces, to be part of a dialogue-based ecosystem while raising awareness around life insurance as an important risk protection tool.
Sonia, an alumna of the St. Xavier's College and Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, is an Economics graduate who also holds an MBA degree.
Chief and Appointed Actuary
Peuli is the Appointed Actuary at IndiaFirst Life. Her in-depth understanding of the actuarial functions, financial risk analysis and reporting, regulatory framework, compliance requirements, and the financial processes and functions demonstrate the expertise she brings to the table from serving in the investment and actuarial functions of banking and insurance sectors, in India and abroad.
Prior to joining IndiaFirst Life, she was Appointed Actuary at Reliance Life Insurance Co. Ltd. She has spearheaded the valuation, actuarial and investment units at Exide Life, and as part of her stints in USA, at Deutsche Bank and New York Life International, as well.
Recipient of multiple honours from the Institute of Actuaries, India, Peuli is also a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries, India, and holds a Master’s degree in Quantitative Economics from the Indian Statistical Institute.
Chief People Officer
Praveen Menon, Chief People Officer, is responsible for talent management, succession planning, change and performance management, training and development, infrastructure, and procurement at IndiaFirst Life.
Since 2015, when he joined the organisation, Praveen’s strategic contributions continue to centre on incorporating the ever-evolving people practices. Through this, the endeavour is to promote an empowered and performance-driven environment receptive to upskilling and holistic development.
Praveen served entities such as Axis Bank, AC Nielsen, IDBI Federal Life Insurance, Citibank and HSBC in his past stints. In these organisations, he is credited to have fuelled the evolution of employee journey through apposite best practices complementing business goals.
As a thought leader, Praveen continues to actively lend his perspectives on people management and adapting to evolving aspirant demands, at eminent forums and amidst academia, across India.
Praveen, an alumnus of the Welingkar Institute of Management, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, holds a Business Management degree, MBA in Finance, and a degree in advanced Human Resources.
Country Head – Bancassurance Sales
Sunanda Roy heads IndiaFirst Life’s Bancassurance Sales, thus responsible for forging a stronger and better optimised bancassurance channel. In this capacity, he is at the helm of insurance distribution via IndiaFirst Life's partner bank (Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank) branches spread across India.
A management professional with extensive strategic and operational acumen, Sunanda has demonstrated vision with focussed implementation during his prior stints at Modi Telstra - Airtel, Max New York Life, HSBC Bank, and Canara HSBC OBC Life. He has led organisations’ progress from start-up stage to a phase of significant growth in revenue, profitability and market share.
Sunanda leads the sales & distribution, business development, revenue growth, and channel relationships, in tandem with IndiaFirst Life's endeavours around delivery of best-in-class offerings and digitalised service experience.
Sunanda completed his Post Graduate Diploma in General Management from the EMERITUS Institute of Management, Singapore, besides being an alumnus of the University of Calcutta from where he secured his Bachelor’s degree. He holds a Chartered Wealth Manager Certificate from the American Academy of Financial Management, Singapore, and a General Management Certificate, from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.
Head – Strategy and Business Transformation
Anjana Rao, Head – Strategy and Business Transformation, is at the helm of strategic initiatives at IndiaFirst Life and is tasked with driving a center of excellence within the company. Earlier, she led the Change Management vertical within the organisation, driving the company to fulfil its objectives around digitalisation of its value chain, including metamorphosis of its end-to-end sales process and automation, and rollout of new business and underwriting processes, among other contributions.
In a career spanning close to two decades, Anjana has spent the larger part of her corporate life serving the Indian insurance (Life and General) sector. The domains she holds expertise in span across project management, change management, and business transformation centred on leveraging IT and process.
Prior to joining IndiaFirst Life, Anjana was engaged at Ernst and Young, Oracle India, Universal Sompo, SBI Life Insurance and ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, where she led a host of IT transformation projects, aside of driving CMMI implementation projects.
Anjana holds a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Maths from the University of Raipur. A Project Management Professional (PMP) from the Project Management Institute, she is also an alumna of Pt. Ravi Shankar Shukla University, Raipur, having finished her MBA in Marketing and HR from the institution.
Country Head – Alternate Channels
Subhankar Sengupta Country Head – Alternate Channels, oversees IndiaFirst Life’s partnership businesses comprising the regional rural banks, broking and corporate agency, rural and micro channels in association with the agency, and Direct Sales channels. His responsibilities thus centre around extending insurance penetration avenues beyond the company’s parent banks, Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank.
A seasoned executive with a professional journey spanning over 23 years, he dedicated 12 years of service to the Indian life insurance domain. Subhankar’s experience and appreciation of contexts across versatile businesses comes from his association with Cadburys, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and Tata AIA.
Leading the establishment of new business channels of distribution and sourcing affiliates & partners, Subhankar specialises in evaluation and selection of suitable channels across varied geographies. He is tasked with enhancing the footprint of IndiaFirst Life across multi-channels including third-party distribution, internal teams, broking, corporate agencies, direct-sales teams, RRBs and Agency as well. Towards fulfilling the objective of bringing life insurance to the last mile, he brings in an understanding of the rural markets in enabling customised distribution options.
Subhankar holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Management, West Bengal, besides having completed his bachelor’s in commerce from the University of Calcutta.