Moti Singh was just 19, when he came to Srinagar from his village, and started working as a salesman in a shop. Today, he has emerged as an insurance agent, who has brought business of more than 70 crores for LIC- the highest for any agent in the state. Ibrahim Wani reports
In 1978, when Moti Singh came to Srinagar, he had nowhere to go to. With the meagre money he had come with, he put up on rent at a place in Sutra Shahi, Srinagar. Hailing from a village, Ichama in Beerwah, he had come to the city, with high hopes of making it big. “I had just passed my class 12th exams when I came to srinagar looking for work,” he says. Now, he started looking for work.
Soon, he landed a job as a salesman at a shop- Aslam Attachi house in Palladium Gali, Lal chowk. He put all his effort into the work and it was not long before his reputation as a salesman grew. Seeing his salesman skills, the manager of National Insurance Company (NIC)-a general insurance company, approached him with an offer to work as an insurance agent.
Moti deliberated on the matter and in 1982, after 4 years of working in the shop, he decided to try out his luck in insurance. He left the salesman job, and put all his efforts into the new profession, that of an insurance agent.
In insurance, Moti excelled. “I used to earn around 8,000 rupees even in the 80s,” he says. As a salesman, he had earned just 1000 rupees a month.
Seeing his performance as an insurance agent, LIC came calling soon. Moti consequently left NIC and joined LIC in 1991.
At LIC, Moti Singh started bringing business at a pace, which was previously unheard of. In just one year, he did the impossible. “That year I brought in business of more than 1 crore in one year,” he says. Consequently ,in 1992 he became the first MDRT (Million Dollar Round Table) from the state- a position granted to only those who are able to surpass 1 crore business in one single year. And since then, he has held onto this position continuously for 18 years. “I have brought in business of more than 70 crores for LIC,” says Moti. No other insurance agent from the state other than him has been able to reach this position. “Even today after all this time, I am the only MDRT agent from the state.” he says.
Moti has clients all over the valley. “From Sopore to Anantnag and Ganderbal, I have insured people everywhere.” says Singh, who believes that only 30 % of the population of the valley has insurance currently. “Thus there is a huge scope for further business.” he adds.
Today, there are 14 insurance companies operating in the valley. Even in face of this increased competition , Moti is unfazed. This year he has turned up new business of more than 3 crores. “An insurance agent has to be sincere and honest,” say Moti, who believes that he is able to go good in insurance only because his clients trust him.
However, Moti also asks people to exercise caution while investing. He says, “People should do proper research before investing. They should see whether the company they are investing in, is in sound condition or not.” He also believes that it is better to invest in companies which are backed by the government. “Only trust an agent, who has a license,” he adds.
For a person who started his career as a salesman, today Moti has four insurance agents working under him. In 2 decades as an insurance agent, Moti has won numerous awards. Foremost among this is the All India Winners Cup-the award is given to insurance agents who get the highest business every year. Moti has won this award continuously for 18 years, since 1992.
Moti believes that insurance has come up as a very good career alternative today. “Even though insurance is a tough job, any agent who puts in good effort and is dedicated to his work can excel in the field. ” And that is his message to those people also, who are at the starting point in their careers. He says, “Always remember, the only secret of success is hard work, honesty and dedication.”