As LIC decided to go for a change of guard, a curiosity was generated. Yesterday, it formally announced that its managing director V K Sharma has taken additional charge as chairman, replacing S K Roy who was relieved of his duties. Sharma has been serving as the managing director of the country’s largest life insurance company, since November 2013. He joined the body as a direct recruit officer in 1981. Notably, Sharma served as Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation from December 1, 2010 to March 18, 2013. Having a vast experience in the finance sector, Sharma possessed a CV with enviable credentials. Throughout the career spanning almost three decades, Sharma held several important positions in all the Zones of LIC of India in both administration and marketing areas.
He served as a Director of Life Insurance Corporation of India until August 13, 2012. Sharma served as Whole Time Executive Director at LIC Housing Finance Ltd from March 19, 2013 to November 2013 and its Director from December 1, 2010 to March 19, 2013.
Apart from this, he also served as Managing Director of Amtek India Ltd. until December 2, 2009. Earlier, he served as an Executive Director of P&GS at Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) from 2007 to 2009. He served as Zonal Manager of the South Zone of LIC of India. He serves as a Director of Life Insurance Corporation of India and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited. Mr. Sharma has been an Independent Non-Executive Additional Director of ICICI Bank Ltd. since March 6, 2014.
He has been an Independent Director at ACC Limited since February 6, 2014. He served as a Director of Hindustan Motors Ltd. from October 26, 2009 to August 13, 2012. He served as an Additional Director of The Tata Power Company Limited from May 19, 2015 to July 01, 2015. He served as a Director of ECE Industries Limited from December 19, 2008 to July 06, 2009. He served as a Director of ECE Industries Ltd. from December 19, 2008 to July 6, 2009.
LIC, which is celebrating Diamond Jubilee, is the largest financial institution with over Rs 22.10 lakh crore in assets, which is over 15 percent of India’s GDP of Rs 134 lakh crore. With a profit of around Rs 40,000 crore in the last fiscal year, LIC is the most profitable entity in the country, next only to the Reserve Bank of India, which transferred Rs 66,000 crore of its surplus profit to the government in the past fiscal year.
He steered LICHFL to growth after a setback in 2010. He helped expand its loan book by 79%, from Rs 46,340 crore in October-Dec of 2010-11 to Rs 83,216 crore in July-September of 2013-14. He helped in rebranding the company and made it one of the most sought after stocks in the financial services sector. Sharma, a postgraduate in Science from Patna Science College, joined LIC as a direct recruit in 1981. He successfully turned around the operations of southern zone making it the number one zone after assuming charge as the zonal manager in-charge in 2009-10.
With government bonds yielding less than 7% and equity markets turning volatile, Sharma has to make its investment department much more sophisticated than what it is now. It was also the beneficiary of cycles – where it stepped in to buy on behalf of government whenever there was a sell-off and sold when there were rallies – and this strategy may not work as well in the future.