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Parag Raja

Parag Raja

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer

Parag Raja is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Bharti AXA Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in India. He leads the company in its next phase of growth and transformation and aims to achieve its mission of protecting and empowering every Indian through insurance.

An industry veteran, Parag has a career spanning nearly 21 years, including the last 19 years in the life insurance industry across two organizations – Max Life Insurance Co. Ltd and Aditya Birla Sunlife Insurance Co. Ltd. Prior to Bharti AXA Life Insurance, he was the Chief Distribution Officer at Aditya Birla Sunlife Insurance and led a team of over 6,000 employees of diverse functions nationally.

Parag, a conscientious and result-oriented leader with deep-rooted values and a global outlook, has a strong bias for action with a proven track record in delivering sustainable results. He planned and executed the strategic direction for expanding Aditya Birla Sunlife Insurance’s footprint across India and spearheaded robust sales growth. At Max Life Insurance, he grew through the ranks in the Agency channel to become the Head of Agency, and was also instrumental in building the Axis Bank partnership to make it the largest non-captive and third-largest bancassurance relationship in the country. He replicated this success with the HDFC Bank relationship at Aditya Birla Sunlife Insurance and also signed up many other key banks and corporate agency alliances. In the financial services space, he has also worked with ICICI Bank and ANZ Grindlays Bank.

An avid writer, Parag is a Post Graduate in Marketing Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from HR College and a Master in Commerce from Sydenham College, Mumbai.

Jaishankar Balan

Jaishankar Balan

Head – Human Resources

Jaishankar Balan is the Head – Human Resources at Bharti AXA Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in India.

In his current role, Jai leads the HR agenda across domains like Talent Management, Learning & Development and Compensation & Benefits. Further, he is responsible for creating an enabling culture of Learning and Growth for the expanding workforce of the company and also driving performance-centricity while deploying appropriate tools of Reward and Recognition.

With over 15 years of experience in the HR domain across Consumer Goods and Manufacturing Sectors in blue-chip organisations like Marico Ltd., Colgate-Palmolive (India) Ltd. and the Aditya Birla Group, Jai brings to the company a unique blend of expertise which helps navigate the Human Capital challenges facing the company’s growing business.

He holds a graduate degree from Sydenham College of Commerce & Economics, Mumbai, and a Masters in Personnel Management from the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune.

Murli Jalan

Murli Jalan

Head – Tied Agency

Murli has over 25 years’ experience in Sales & Business Development across Manufacturing, Banking and Insurance sectors with strong command on quality distribution build-up. He has a proven track record for result orientation of short term goals with an eye on long term outcomes.

In his last role, Murli was Head, Variable Agency & Direct Marketing at Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Co. Ltd. Previously, Murli had stints at Max Life Insurance and TATA AIA. As Head - Variable Agency at Birla Sunlife, Murli set up one of the fastest growing agency channels in the LI industry and took it to positive VNB within 3 years of operation. The channel’s average productivity grew over 50% for 3 consecutive years with significant savings on budgeted Opex and substantial margin improvements as well. As Head of Direct Marketing, Murli led a complete shift of product mix with significant reduction in ULIP dependence resulting in YOY growth within a year.

Murli is happily married to Monica, who is a Banker and they are blessed with a daughter Esha, who is 16 yrs. old. Murli is passionate about building businesses and counts reading and traveling among his hobbies.

Nilesh Kothari

Nilesh Kothari

Chief Financial Officer

Nilesh Kothari is the Chief Financial Officer at Bharti AXA Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in India.

In his current role as a CFO, Nilesh provides financial direction, oversight and control for the company.

He has been an integral part of the finance domains in the company since 2008 with extensive exposure across strategic planning, finance control, investment operations, procurement, IFRS reporting and profitability analysis.

Prior to joining Bharti AXA Life Insurance, he worked with SBI Life Insurance with significant exposure across finance functions and headed planning and budgeting control function in his last role at the company.

Nilesh is a Chartered Accountant by qualification.

Nitin Mehta

Nitin Mehta

Chief Customer Officer

NITIN MEHTA is the CHIEF CUSTOMER OFFICER of Bharti Axa Life Insurance who will lead the Customer Service & Operations function.

Nitin has 19 years’ experience in geographies such as India, Indonesia, Thailand & China in organizations like Amway, Frito-Lay, KPMG and Aditya Birla Group. He has rich functional experience in Strategy & Project Management, Operations and Sales & Distribution. Nitin has successfully developed business plans and implemented strategic initiatives across diverse businesses including Financial Services. During stints in Operations & supply chain, he led Supply Chain transformation projects.

In his last role at Birla Sunlife, as Head - Distribution Development, he was responsible for design and implementation of Distribution strategy, R&R and Sales Automation for 5 channels – Agency, Variable Agency, Direct Distribution, Banca & Third-party distribution. His interventions led to transformation of Tied Agency resulting in significant improvement of metrics like FLS productivity & attrition, Persistency & overall expense gap.

Nitin is a qualified Chartered Accountant and holds an MBA from ISB, Hyderabad.
Nitin is passionate about traveling and discovering new cultures and meeting different people. He counts teaching and astrology among his hobbies.

Rajesh Walia

Rajesh Walia

Head – Distribution Enablement Group

Rajesh Walia is the Executive Vice President and Head of Agency Channel at Bharti AXA Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in India.

With over 25 years of experience in the life insurance industry, Rajesh leads and manages agency team pan-India for the company.

Prior to this, he worked with LIC, Bajaj Allianz and Birla Sun Life and led large sales teams, distribution strategy and revenue assurance functions at Head office level in the previous organisations. His strength lies in large-scale interventions for building distribution and enhancing efficiency metrics.

Rajesh is Master of Science in Mathematics and pursued research at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. In his leisure, he loves to watch Ted videos on various topics to keep him updated. He is passionate about singing, films and sports.

Sandeep Nanda

Sandeep Nanda

Chief Investment Officer

Sandeep Nanda is the Chief Investment Officer of Bharti AXA Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in India.

With over 25 years of professional experience across various public, private equity and debt markets, Sandeep heads the investment team at Bharti AXA Life Insurance that plays a key role in the systematic approach followed by the company in investment analysis and portfolio management. Prior to this, Nanda was with Bharti AXA Investment Managers as Head of Investment Research.

A graduate from IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad, Sandeep has been previously associated with organizations like Societe Generale, Natwest Markets, IL&FS, and Sharekhan. He has also worked with Dresedner Kleinwort Wasserstein as its Vice President and Research Coordinator for India.

Sanjay Sabharwal

Sanjay Sabharwal

Head – Alternate Agency

Sanjay Sabharwal is the Head - Alternate Agency at Bharti AXA Life Insurance. In this role, Sanjay will lead Variable Agency and initiate forays into Insurance Manager (IM) and Insurance Marketing Firm (IMF) domains.

He has total experience of 33 years, predominantly in consumer durables & life insurance in Agency & Premier distribution channels. He has successfully designed and executed strategies to grow overall productivity multi-fold in his previous organizations. He has led Agency transformation projects, through strategic initiatives, scaling up business revenues and establishing control measures.

Prior to joining Bharti AXA, Sanjay was associated with Reliance Life Insurance where he was heading Premier Distribution Channel, responsible for revenue growth, FLS productivity, persistency and institutionalizing various work-systems & processes. Previously, he has also worked with Future Generali Life Insurance and Max life Insurance.

Sanjay completed his Master in Business Administration in Marketing/HR from Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad & is graduated from Meerut University. Sanjay is married to Deepti Sabharwal. Both are blessed with 2 daughters Aishwarya & Alisha.

In his spare time, he enjoys travelling, reading, watching movies and focus in Yoga and meditation to keep himself physically, mentally and spiritually fit.

Vinod D’Souza

Vinod D’Souza

Head – Legal & Compliance

Vinod D’Souza is the Head – Legal, Compliance, Fraud Control and Company Secretary at Bharti AXA Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in India.

With over 15 years of professional experience, including 13 years in the life insurance industry, Vinod has worked in different areas including legal, secretarial, compliance, fraud control and risk management in his career.

Prior to Bharti AXA Life Insurance, he has worked with Birla Sun Life Insurance, Thomas Cook and Internet Securities Inc.Vinod is a Company Secretary and Law and Commerce Graduate from the University of Mumbai.

Angshuman Nag

Angshuman Nag

Senior Vice President and Head of Direct Distribution channel

Angshuman Nag is the Senior Vice President and Head of Direct Distribution channel at Bharti AXA Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in India.

With his rich experience of 21 years, Angshuman’s expertise is in the areas of Direct Marketing, Operations, Business Development, Risk Management, and Strategy.

Prior to working with Bharti AXA Life Insurance, he has been associated with TATA AIA Life as Vice President and National Sales Head – Direct Sales Force, and has played a key role in building sustainable and highly profitable business models in digital and offline environments.Angshuman is a qualified Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant and a Black Belt certification in Six Sigma. He is passionate about cricket, cooking and counts reading and travelling among his hobbies.

Pankaj Gupta

Pankaj Gupta

Chief Technology Officer

Pankaj Gupta is the Chief Technology Officer at Bharti AXA Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in India.

With over 22 years of rich experience, his expertise lies in the areas of IT strategy, Enterprise Architecture, Digital Transformation and delivery of large-scale technology enabled business transformation programs. Pankaj in his earlier role was the Head – Enterprise Architecture at Max Life Insurance and was responsible for the development of IT strategy and Digital Business Technology Platform for the enterprise. Pankaj has completed his Bachelor of Engineering in Computer Science from NSIT (formerly Delhi Institute of Technology) and is an expert in technologies like Enterprise Integration, Micro-Services/SOA API Management, CMS, CRM, DevOps, Distributed Systems, Web/Mobile, BPM/Robotics, and Intelligent Automation. He enjoys engaging with his kids, connecting with friends, and reading.

Pankaj Gupta

Varun Gupta

Chief & Appointed Actuary

Varun Gupta is the Chief & Appointed Actuary at Bharti AXA Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in India.

He has over 16 years of diverse experience in Strategic and Leadership roles across leading organizations in the Indian Life Insurance sector. He has led teams in areas such as Risk Management, Actuarial domains, Financial Planning & Management Analysis, Products and Strategy.

Prior to joining us, Varun was Chief Risk Officer at TATA AIA Life Insurance. Previously, he was Chief Products & Strategy Officer as well as the Appointed Actuary at Pramerica Life Insurance over a tenure of 6 years. He began his career at Max Life Insurance, where he spent 7 years in roles across Actuarial Risk, Reinsurance, Product Pricing, US GAAP reporting, ALM and Business Planning

Varun is a B.Tech (Mech.) from IIT-BHU and went on to do an MBA in Finance & Marketing from IIM-Calcutta. Thereafter, he completed his fellowship from the Institute of Actuaries of India and Institute of Actuaries of UK in 2007. He went on to continue being involved with the Institute of Actuaries as Chairperson of their Examination Group. Varun's interests lie in history & Indian Politics

Sandeep Mishra

Sandeep Mishra

Head - Partnership Distribution & Group Business

Sandeep Mishra is the Head of Partnership Distribution & Group Business at Bharti AXA Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in India.

He has over 18 years of strong experience in Relationship Management and Capability Building across Distribution channels in his past roles at premier Life Insurance industry leaders.

Prior to joining us, Sandeep was Executive Vice President & Head – HDFC Bank Relationship at Aditya Birla Sunlife Insurance.Previously, he has also worked with Max Life for over a decade - initially in the training function and later in Bancassurance as part of the start-up team of their AXIS Bank relationship. His last role at Max Life was Corporate VP & Head - North, Axis Bank Relationship.

Sandeep is a Economics graduate and has completed his PG from Times School Of Marketing, New Delhi.Sandeep is an avid reader and enjoys creating developmental & self-improvement content across social media platforms.