“The Dream and The Drive“
New heights for Indonesian financial protection giant.
Niharika Yadav helms PT AXA Financial Indonesia and is tasked with leading the financial services giant to achieve a sustainable and professional agency network and to develop partnerships and grow the AXA direct businesses.
A native of Ajmer, Rajasthan in India, Niharika holds a Masters in Business Administration in Finance and possesses more than a decade of experience in the field of insurance, driving distribution and performance strategy around the region.
Leading a business in an industry with over 130 players locally, Niharika strives to create differentiation in their proposition in order to access the vast uninsured population of Indonesia. Customer centricity sits at the heart of all their product offerings, where they focus on customers’ needs and delivering the best, while offering a comprehensive range of products.
Like other businesses, the current Covid-19 pandemic has brought many changes to the way Niharika and her team work, interact and live. An earlier investment into developing their digital platform called AFI DNA proved to be an insightful move, as the system provided their agents with a paperless and non-face to face feature for selling their products, increasing efficiency and improving productivity, especially essential during this current climate.
Despite the pandemic, AXA Financial Indonesia has still managed to achieve few momentous milestones under Niharika’s dynamic leadership, including higher customer trust, which is reflected by a higher NPS (Net Promoter Score) from the market with 51.5 points, while the market average is at 41.4 points. Their digital platforms (AFI DNA and AFI ONE) have also been credited with supporting agency sales force, enabling the achieving of almost the same results as the previous year, despite weathering one of the most challenging business climates.
Niharika cites her father as a role model, and one of her biggest sources of inspiration, from whom she learnt how to be conscientious about responsibility, act with integrity, and never take short cuts to success. On the corporate front, apart from the global leaders at AXA, Niharika also credits the mentorship of Akhil Gupta of Bharti Enterprises, who has developed her perspectives and shaped her leadership style.
With a hands-on style of leadership, Niharika is very much involved in the day to day operations of the business, where she feels her presence continually encourages and motivates her team members to promote productive performance. She believes that hands-on leadership also means committing to trust, transparency and mutual respect. Employing the 3E Principle in her leadership style, she ensures that all employees acknowledge and understand the company vision by empowering them and improving the quality of strong team resources, as well as igniting the employees’ spirit, and making achieving the company’s vision a priority.
Supporting her leadership style, Niharika also applies the CSE Principle, which are Clarity, Speed and Execution. This principle represents clarity of goal, and the speed and execution in achieving the goal. She believes in being an authentic leader and building honest relationships with her team, promoting openness without the boundaries of hierarchy.
Success, in Niharika’s own words is ‘being able to inspire and empower people to be a better version of themselves’. Her leadership in the field has been recognized on numerous occasions with her being named ‘The Best CEO, Employee’s Choice Award 2020’ by The Iconomics and ‘Most Innovative Women Award 2020’ by National Award Foundation.
“A full hundred percent of PT. AXA Financial Indonesia’s staff participated in their recent pulse survey, which in itself points to extraordinary buy-in to the organization and the way it is run. This is in no small part due to Niharika Yadav’s belief that employees are her most valuable asset. Her merging of her Indian heritage and philosophy that values kinship is also one of the things that make this top executive inspiring.”
Shanggari Balakrishnan, Chief Executive Officer, MORS Group