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Digital Transformation

Looking Beyond The Horizon

Looking beyond the horizon

It was a high-paying position at a premier organisation with a slew of perks attached — the proverbial “dream job” that could pave the way to many other senior roles in the industry. However, in 2022, when Dipak was 44 and had reached the pinnacle of his career, he decided it was time to hang up his boots to devote himself fully to his entrepreneurial endeavour.

The sun is shining brightly on India’s future, and there is talk that the next decade will be India’s decade. Dipak is a firm believer in it, and he says he wants to maximize the impact he can make in his limited capacity with unlimited freedom. Operating freedom is what he calls it.

Is this yet another instance of someone being bitten by the startup bug, or is it plain excitement for India’s economic ecosystem and environment?

“There’s a fine line between bravery and folly,” Dipak quipped with a smile on his face.

“Are you nervous?” we queried.

“To be honest, I did have a few butterflies in my stomach at first, but this was decided long ago. It’s like you’ve been working up to this for a while, and just before you step onto the pitch, you get the jitters, but now everything’s settled down.”

Dipak is a distinguished industry leader and an authority in the insurance sector. Throughout his more than 24 years of experience, there were hints of a serial innovator and tech entrepreneur.

Dipak is one of the few who have led both life and general insurance technology. His career span, beginning in 1998, was full of innovative initiatives as he played several strategic roles including the CTO of TataAIG General Insurance (2016–22), SVP IT at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance (2004–16), Aviva Life (2002–04), and Lifetree Convergence Ltd. (2000–02).

During his tenure, he played a key role in transforming TataAIG and ICICI Prudential into technologically advanced benchmarks with best-in-class metrics in automation, digitalization, and autonomous business capabilities.

Dipak, who earned a Bachelor of Technology in Computer systems with a specialisation in “Strategic use of IT,” and began his corporate job at a young age, was among the youngest to ascend the career ladder. His zeal to have a greater impact beyond boundaries led him to actively participate in group-level initiatives in the BFSI, e-commerce, manufacturing, digital consumer app, and other sectors.

We asked him: “Would you like to share your plans at this point? We are sure it has to be big considering what you are willing to sacrifice for it.”

“I invested in people with my trust. And that’s the real foundation. I believe in the businesses am associating myself with. There are some fantastic products and opportunities available. My interest in tech startups has manifested in creating industry-leading capabilities in computer vision, AI, information security, digital SFA and low-code platforms among others,” he said.

“I want to build a sustainable and profitable business,” he added. “Running after value and not after valuation, legacy and lottery.”

Engineering is Dipak’s passion, and he enjoys creating things. “I turned my passion into a career, and I really enjoy problem-solving, where I work on the technology-business mix to solve problems and create new capabilities. Everywhere I go, I am fortunate to have a fantastic team supporting me. We believe in life’s larger goals, so we rise above the trivial. We are driven by our enthusiasm. As for me, operating freedom was the most important factor. It allows me to spread my wings without being constrained in any way, and hence, I had decided well in advance that I will make this transition when I am 44 years old, and I worked backwards to get myself ready for it.”

Dipak said he is not alone in this journey. “The same level of passion and commitment is displayed by my business partners, all of whom have given up lucrative careers in the quest for entrepreneurial excellence. Whether one succeeds or fails in a particular endeavour is unknown, but either way, great lessons will be learned. I am looking forward to maximizing outcomes and creating value for my customers and stakeholders.”

When we asked him what was on the agenda, he said, “Tech and tech-enabled businesses, InsureTech and HealthTech.”


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