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According to R. Kannan, president, Actuarial Society of India, the opening up of the insurance sector in the country has pushed up the demand for qualified and senior actuarial students. “About 2,000 candidates enroll with the ASI as students every year. But the total number of actuaries available in India is only about 225. Of these there are just 40 people in the 20-60 age group,” says Kannan. “On the other hand, each of the 15 life insurance and 15 non-life insurance companies needs at least two to three qualified actuaries.”

While there is no concrete forecast on what the demand for actuaries will be, E Balaji, COO, Ma Foi Management Consultants, a human resource consulting and recruitment firm that signed up about 40 actuaries for a single BPO client, says that there is generally a 20-25 per cent shortfall in supply.

R Krishnamurthy, managing director (distribution consulting), Watson Wyatt Insurance Consulting, agrees that insurance liberalization has exposed a big gap in the demand and supply ratio of actuaries. “When the Life Insurance Corporation of India was the monopoly player and general insurance was subject to a tariff regime, opportunities were limited and there was no incentive to qualify as actuaries,” he says. “Now there is a demand for freshly qualified actuaries, especially in the employee benefit sector. Till now, this sector was largely handled by chartered accountants, but changes will call for professional actuarial valuation.”


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