Abhinay Sali (XLRI) - Insurance

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Name: Abhinay Sali

College: XLRI Jamshedpur

MBA Batch: Business Management 2015-17

Summer Internship Industry: Insurance

Location: Gurgaon

Profile: Finance

Brief Project Description & Responsibilities:

The project was to review the travel policy of the organisation and try to optimize the costs to enable the organisation frame a new travel policy. Key responsibilities included, going through each step of the travel claim or request process in detail and finding out inefficiencies in the system.

What was the overview of the project? Elaborate with some details

Insurance is a runs on thin margins. If there is a lot of money being lost on overheads it would be lethal to the company. I was given the responsibility to look at the travel overheads of the company viz; flight bookings, hotel bookings, conveyance claims etc; I analysed the data for the past few years and found that there is unnecessary cost accounting to 2-3 crores per annum due to the weak travel policy of the organisation. Based on my findings in the data, I proposed a few changes to the travel policy which got implemented later.

Share your daily routine & overall summer internship experience.

The company had flexible timings though the official timings were from 9 a.m to 5 p.m I had to collect the data for months from the travel desk periodically and perform the analysis in excel. To do that I had to firstly set the data right. The data entry had hygiene issues for example Ahmedabad was written as Ahemdavad, Ahamadabad etc; setting the data right was a huge challenge with thousands of such issues making the analysis a tough job. Then there were people who claimed flight travel charges from Delhi to Delhi, Chennai to Chennai. It was bizarre to find out that the claim has been processed and the payment made. The hotel booking and conveyance had their own issues. However, there was good support system and I was given complete freedom to look into the policy and in cases of suspicion I have even gone through the invoices. The experience was exciting because it had more to do with policy than finance. And any changes made by the organisation could reflect on CV directly. The best thing of my experience with organisation was a word of appreciation from the CFO.

How was the selection process conducted?

It was CV based shortlist in the first round then there was a Skype interview

What were your key learnings from the summer internship?

• Even great companies miss out on invisible costs that are hidden in outdated policies.

• Given any kind of data, if you torture it enough it confesses to anything. If you don’t excel quickly you will lose the race out quickly

• Insurance industry isn’t as rosy as it looks with the regulator strongly playing on the 20 odd players in the market. To win the race company has to be perfect in every respect in strict completion

Three tips would you give to your juniors

• Try and see if your project can make real impact to the organisation you work in. It makes you feel good as well the organisation will see your contribution in a positive light.

• Summer internship is when you get to enjoy life given the fact that you have money too. So, do enjoy, work would anyway happen. Everyone is an M.S Dhoni in finishing it off in B-schools

• Any organisation has certain degree of bureaucracy, we need to obedient and flexible to deal with the system.