Indian companies are rapidly becoming aware of the new-age risks and are fast gearing up to manage and mitigate those risks, including threats emanating from cyber risk and geopolitical risks.
“In India, knowledge about cybersecurity is increasing and cyber covers being asked for has increased manifold. Many companies are taking war risk cover amid rising geopolitical tensions. People are seeking cover against political risk where they have assets in other countries,” Alok Agarwal, Executive Director, ICICI Lombard General Insurance said Mumbai chapter of Risk asterclass as part of the India Risk Management Awards (IRMA) organised jointly by ICICI Lombard General Insurance and CNBC TV18.
The theme of the discussion was ‘De-risking businesses in the age of technological disruption’. The discussions were part of the run up the sixth edition of the India Risk Management Awards (IRMA).
Agarwal pointed out that in the last four to five years, the requirements of industry have been changing dramatically. “Cyber may be the talk of the town but things like climate change are affecting everybody. Geopolitical risk is there. We all know about the Saudi Aramco done attack. The tensions around Strait of Hormuz where there is heavy movement of oil tankers resulted in marine insurance cover increase by 50 times. In cyber, the next incident will be different from the previous one. So as in insurance company our product portfolio is definitely changing. In the long term the pace of change might be very fast,” he said.
Sandeep Goradia, Head, Corporate Solutions Group, ICICI Lombard General Insurance felt real value comes from developing effective risk management solutions. “At ICICI Lombard we have been introducing multiple risk management solutions in diverse fields such as loss minimization for marine solutions, IoT-based hydrant solutions as well as valued-added solutions, like wellness audit and property loss prevention solutions,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Aneel Gambhir, CFO, Bluedart showcased how ICICI Lombard lent a helping hand in providing solutions to the company’s problems. “As a courier company, we have nearly 4,000 vehicles plying intra-city and inter-city. Along with ICICI Lombard we developed an app-based model for tracking vehicles to minimise loss due to incidences such hijack of vehicles. Every vehicle can now be tracked not only for its efficiency but also to maximize usage. We get 24/7 support from ICICI Lombard. Such solutions give visibility and improve efficiency,” Gambhir said.
On risk management, Deepak Patkar, Group Chief Risk Officer, Magma Fincorp stressed on creating awareness within the staff on risks. “Everybody who is doing something within the organization, for the organization, needs to be risk manager. There are three things that need to be put in place: awareness, awareness and awareness. You have to make your people aware. The biggest risk-mitigation in place is constant awareness programme,” he said.
Dr Ranjana Pathak, President, Medical Affairs and Pharma Co-vigilance and Global Head - Quality, Cipla said companies should have formal risk assessment programmes. “Risks have to be written out, understood and formalized and signed off. List each risk and see whether there are mitigating controls,” she said.
Risk assessment should be an ongoing one. “Erase your risk register every year and recreate fresh register. You have to see what the emerging risks are. We sometimes overestimate the pace of change but underestimate the impact of change. So we need to do the balancing of the two and see what is coming, ahead of time,” Anil Agarwal, Chief Financial Officer, Atos Syntel, said.
Mukesh Agarwal, Executive President- Finance, Ultratech, the manufacturing is increasingly facing risk of cyber threat. “Cyber attackers are not stealing your data but stopping the plant. In one power plant they blasted the boiler from cyber-attack. This is a new risk. Regulatory risk, especially those related to environment is becoming very tough,” he said.
Bharat Panchal, Chief Risk Officer, India, Middle East and Africa, FIS Global, felt detection of risks and preparedness for response to it central to tackling new-age risks. “Risks emanating from usage of technology are not static though IT or solutions remains static for a while till new versions comes but the threat remains dynamic. You have to continuously monitor. You cannot prevent everything. The thing you need to do is how soon you can detect and one you detect the response time to mitigate the risk."