The representatives of all participating Companies at the Inaugural General Insurance Sales Congress
Traditional drums and dance heralded the beginning of Sri Lanka’s first General Insurance Sales Congress (GISCO) on the 10th of May 2016 at the Grand Ballroom of Waters Edge. The theme of the congress was ‘Growth through Innovation’. Over 500 delegates representing insurance companies werepresent at the event.
The day’s program began with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp by Chief Guest, Mrs. Indrani Sugathadasa the Chairperson of IBSL, Mrs. Damayanthi Fernando the Director General of IBSL, Dr. Christian Bartsch of Munich Re, Mr. Chandra Schaffter, Mr. Dirk Perera the President of the Insurance Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) and other leading personalities of the insurance industry. Following the national anthem and an inspiring curtain raiser, Mr. Samitha Hemachandrathe Chairman Marketing and Sales Forum of IASL, delivered the welcome speech, in which he pointed out some of the key objectives and choice of theme for the event. “Innovation is the key to success, progress comes only through innovation”, he stated. He ended by stating that if each participant could take away at least one idea oninnovation from the congress, the effort that had gone into organising the event would not be in vain.
The President of IASL, Mr. Dirk Pereira expressed his delight at seeing such a large number of participants. He placed special emphasis on the competitive nature of the insurance industry and the constant change of the needs of the customer. “One cannot stay still”, stated Mr. Pereira, “Growth is not going to happen if you keep doing the same thing over and over.”
Chief Guest, Mrs. Indrani Sugathadasa conveyed her appreciationto the IASL for having taken the initiative to organize the first General Insurance Sales Congress. In the beginning of her speech, Mrs. Sugathadasa explained the necessity of insurance in public enterprise and its value to the economy. She also highlighted the importance ofinsurance advisorsworking closely with customers in order to provide tailor-made solutions. However, she went on to point out that the lack of penetration of insurance in Sri Lanka is acause for concern.
In his keynote address, Dr. Christian Bartsch highlighted the importance of innovation to grow the insurance industry and went on to present a number of innovative ideas that had been introduced to the global insurance community over the recent years.
Mr. Chandra Schaffter presented a detailed history of the insurance industry inSri Lanka, titled, ‘Insurance – Then & Now’.
In his address Mr. Ajith Gunawardena the CEO of Ceylinco General, described the beginning of ‘VIP on the Spot’ and its success throughout the years. Mr. Gunawardena also joined in the panel discussion that followed along with Mr. SanjeevJha, CEO of Union Assurance General and Mr. Fazal Ghaffoor, CEO of Amana Takaful Insurance. The discussion was moderated by Mr. Manjula De Silva Chairman of the National Insurance Trust Fund. The panelists’ discussion was centered on the process of innovation, its role in the culture and structure of an insurance company and its importance in the production of effective products.
Following the lunch break Mr. Dammika Kalapuge conducted a motivational session with the main objective of encouraging innovation among the audience. The inspirational session was followed by a second panel discussion under the theme – ‘Sales Growth through Customer Retention and Innovation’. Mr. Rukman Weeraratne General Manager UAL played the role of moderator while the panelists consisted of Mrs.Thanuja Hingulage DGM General Insurance – SLIC, Mr. Roshan Ranasinghe General Manager Ceylinco General Insurance, Mrs. Dayalani Abeygunawardena COO Janashakthi General Insurance, Mr. Eric Upashantha the Top Sales Achiever of Union Assurance General and Mr. Thasleen Ammonof Amana General Insurance.