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Achieving work/life balance

Posting date: 17 Aug 2023

We speak to Vishal Singh, Head of Transformation in L&G Insurance, who's managed to transform both the customer experience in LGI and his personal life. Now Vishal no longer misses out on family moments, and even has time to make biryanis for the neighbours! 


For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved solving problems, which is what naturally led me to spend most of my career as a consultant. However, as much as I enjoyed being constantly thrust into different situations, being asked to find solutions and drive change, unfortunately, this came at the expense of missing school meetings and important family time.


So, when it came to make a decision about a permanent role, I knew I couldn’t compromise on my need to drive change. I also wanted to keep learning about new aspects of technology and find ways to implement them to benefit the business. For me, joining L&G was the perfect fit. I was given an opportunity to help drive the business forward and make positive changes that had an impact. What’s more, I could do all that, without missing out on important family moments. I was even able to spend more time in the kitchen making my signature Biriyani for friends and neighbours!


My route to my current role is probably not what most people would expect. I have an undergraduate degree in Physics, Chemistry and Maths, and a master’s in Computer Applications, because it was a tradition in my family to work in engineering. Although at first, I planned to rebel and pursue a degree in Commerce, I ended up visiting a university and falling in love with its basketball team! They said the only way they’d let me play was if I studied sciences. This meant my parents got their wish: I studied sciences. But I also got my wish of captaining the university basketball team!


Basketball had always been a passion of mine, but when I was young, I actually wanted to become a soldier. In Year 8 I tried to get into military school and then I tried again in Year 12. I also tried for a third time straight after graduation. At that point, I had to accept it wasn’t going to happen for me, so I decided to pursue a career in IT. I won’t deny that it was a tough experience, but I’m glad I gave it my all, because now I can look back without any regrets. After all, as long as you do your best, that’s good enough, as some things are just out of your control. 


"My current role at L&G is two-fold. From a transformation perspective, I look at how we can drive automation and improve processes."


After university, I decided to go against the grain and, although it’s unheard of in India for parents to ask you to leave home, that’s exactly what I decided to do, as I wanted to make my own way. I joined a call centre and worked in a Customer Services role, gradually working my way to being an Analyst. Then I progressed to Business Analyst, Project Manager, Scrum Master and Programme Manager roles.


After that, I worked as a consultant for 13 years, which took me to the Middle East and then to Europe, the US and South America. This experience gave me a different perspective on life and eventually led me to L&G. Now I’m here, I always try to take a holistic approach to any challenges that my team or I face, and always put the user at the heart of our decision-making. 


My current role at L&G is two-fold. From a transformation perspective, I look at how we can drive automation and improve processes. During my time at LGI, our insurance division, I’ve led the launch of ONIX from IT & Change for Group Protection business & I’ve introduced test automation for which we have already seen a great return on investment. I have also implemented step change, which has enabled us to adopt a more agile approach to programme delivery. Two years on, and we’re now working in a completely agile way and we’re using DevOps principles, which help us deliver services much more quickly for our customers. I’m also responsible for the IT for Group Protection in our Insurance business, and ensure that our Technology products work as they should. We’re constantly introducing new features and enhancing products to help us improve that customer experience.


Although, like any regulated business, L&G can at times be complex, I’ve never felt any restrictions on my creativity when delivering solutions. No one has ever told me I can’t try something new and, as someone who loves a challenge, I enjoy being part of a team that works together in a blame-free culture to drive change. It’s been very exciting, as we’re trusted to make things happen. 

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