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Women are excelling in every corner of the industry. Being passionate, determined and hardworking are just a few of the skills that a woman possesses. They’re slowly breaking the gender barrier in a profession that is dominated by men. Leading by example is our dynamite and efficient Insurance Advisor, Rashmi Shetty. To her, the life of an independent insurance advisor has been a challenging, yet extremely rewarding experience.
Read on the excerpts below as she talks about how the culmination of setbacks and success together makes the professional journey worthwhile.

Can you express your views regarding the career independence of women and talk about your personal journey?

It happens more often in our society, women are being educated but when it comes to embracing the role of independent, career-driven women, that’s when society starts to dictate its own terms on us. I was always of this opinion, that I must put my education into some useful form. Especially after marriage, I realized that women must be independent. It can be in the form of having an own opinion, a stable income source through job or business. Protecting your individuality lies with you. Otherwise, what is the difference between an animal and a human if we can’t act independently?!

Can you share your professional journey? Things that lead you to be an independent life insurance advisor?

My journey began in 2008. I’ve been practising as a life insurance advisor for the last 12 years. I gained the required experience by joining the office of my father’s friend who was a development officer and worked on my skills as an insurance agent. My initial plans were however quite different. I was interested in fashion, and so after my commerce graduation, I finished my fashion designing course. I was faced with few restrictions from home initially, as the fashion industry requires us to be out there late at night. I did freelance work for quite some time.
It was then that my dad began to direct me towards the insurance field. I was obviously not too keen on the idea of being an agent. But began to pursue my career in this field irrespective of my resistance. It was a death claim, however, that changed my entire outlook insurance and my role as an insurance agent. A very close friend of mine lost her husband and we realized how important insurance is in our not-so-stagnant lives. It was after this need-of-an-hour realization that I began to take my work more seriously, followed by a newfound purpose of helping and advising people about the many benefits of insurances in times of crisis. I attended many webinars and acquired a lot of information about this vast field and it’s been no turning back ever since.

Rashmi Shetty

You also specialize in orphan policies, right? Can you throw some light on that, please?

The role of an agent or advisor is very much important for catering for the after-sales service of an insurance policy. But when the agent or advisor exits from the policy or is no longer a part of the policy due to certain reasons, that policy becomes an orphan policy. These policies more or less aren’t catered because not many agents/ advisors come forward and take the responsibility. Policy is to fill the servicing gap created due to the exit of an agent and increase the persistency of life insurance policies.
I was always passionate about social services and with due respect, wanted to give back to society. My needs were met by taking up these orphan policies.

Did you witness any changes/ challenges in your business post-covid world?

Definitely, we’ve been getting very good responses from the people. This sudden and drastic change has instilled the importance of health and life insurance among people. Earlier, the people were sufficient with the cover of 5 lakh. Now they’re actually exploring the prospects and cover options of 1 crore. Of course, people are understanding the fact that owing to the pandemic, everything is moving at a slower pace. It’s not just a particular state or a country’s problem. It’s a global catastrophe. Initially, yes, we did meet with few people who were hesitant to meet us. It is only recently that people are opening up to meet. Also, on the flip side, it is difficult to hold on to certain companies from other sectors as they’ve been affected on a larger scale.

Rashmi Shetty

Have you recently been awarded for your achievements?

I’ve been winning MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table) for the last 10 years and the pandemic scenario also got me the opportunity to get 10 big sized policies to procure insurance business of amount equal to one million dollars.

What do you think about women entrepreneurs and the common challenges faced by them? Being a woman in charge, have you faced any unusual situations doing business in India?

Even though women have progressed in many ways, still it’s a male-dominated society. If I specifically talk about my field, the approach given to a male insurance agent/ advisor is completely different from a female. There are still prejudices set in the minds of the people when speaking to a woman. Even the people I was working with had some questions, bizarre to the minds of a woman, like how long will I work, about my punctuality, about my ability and skills. Yes, society is advancing but it is relatively slow. I can talk about a personal experience where my client wasn’t interested at all. He was talking about everything else in the world, other than the insurance. He just wasn’t taking me seriously. Since I was at the initial stage of my career, I had to endure him and clients like him. I had no courage and also I didn’t want to lose a prospective client. But over the years, I gained experiences and pushed myself further towards growth. Now I’m confident enough not to take any unprofessional approach towards me.

How do you envision the future of your career?

The pandemic surely had a lot of negative impact on us. But we can also shift our perspective and witness the positive impact that it left on us. It has been an eye-opener for everyone that the earlier you start, the better you’re safe from any unforeseen situations.

Do you want to part with any last message for women?

Lead your life on your own terms. Nobody but you should dictate the path of your life. Recognize your own identity and search for your own purpose in life.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rashmi-shetty-3b3192b3/

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