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.
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 & private sectors as well as foreign banks, and building and developing the Group Insurance business.
Prestigious publications including the Fortune Magazine, Forbes, Business World and Business Today, have enlisted Vishakha among contemporaries across industries. Recognising the achievements through her three-decade long journey in the Indian insurance domain, Vishakha was honoured with 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.
Chief Financial Officer
Satishwar Balakrishnan is the Chief Financial Officer at IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company. He comes in with wide-ranging experience in finance, information technology and operations management within start-ups and leading life insurance organizations, in his career spanning close to two decades. His core area of specialisation lies in the area of streamlining business operations to drive growth, increased efficiency & improved bottom-line profit.
Satishwar is a founder member of IndiaFirst Life and is responsible for financial accounting & control, business planning and budgeting, investment operations along with industry analysis & intelligence supporting decision-making for corporate initiatives. Prior to this, he has also led the Information Technology, Process, and Operations teams, with the responsibility of driving highly strategic, IT-driven transformational business initiatives to support organisational goals.
Previously Satishwar was with Reliance Life Insurance Company as a Business Controller. He has also been a founder member of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance Company. He started his career with S.B.Billimoria & Co. (Chartered Accountants).
Satishwar holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Mumbai, and is a Chartered Accountant.
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.
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 Strategy Officer
Sonia Notani is a founder member at IndiaFirst Life. Her wide-ranging expertise in the BFSI space spans across areas including product management, strategic initiatives, business strategy, training, social commerce, branch operations, channel sales, and business acquisition and establishment.
She began her career with the Aditya Birla Group, and went on to work with multinational companies such as Citibank, Reliance, and KPMG, before joining IndiaFirst Life, eventually. At IndiaFirst Life, Sonia continues to steer several strategic projects, along with leading a range of functional profiles. Currently, she heads Product Development, Strategy & Analytics, Corporate Communications and PR, and Strategic Alliances.
Recently, the apex trade body, ASSOCHAM, recognised her contributions to the Indian life insurance space, with the “Women Leader in Insurance – CSO” award. She continues to carry the “forthright substance” baton through her zealous participation in panel discussions and authored pieces, with a view to be part of a dialogue-based ecosystem while raising awareness around life insurance as one of the important risk protection tools.
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 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.
SVP & Head – Alternate Channels
Sunanda Roy heads IndiaFirst Life’s Alternate Channels, i.e., forging non-bancassurance partnerships & direct life insurance distribution, thus extending insurance penetration avenues beyond the company’s parent banks, Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank.
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, distributor & channel partnerships, 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.