Fitness Needs to Come First

Fitness Needs to Come First
Aug 31

I always used to think that health and fitness are concerns of the elderly. It’s something people should start worrying about when they cross the age of 50 because till then the body will take care of itself no matter what you do or eat. I believed when you’re young, full of energy, working, travelling and doing other activities you won’t have to face any major health problem. But an unpleasant incident changed my perception.

I had a friend who was younger to me. He was an outstanding performer in his company and was a very cheerful person by nature. One day, I got a message from his wife informing that he had been hospitalized. I rushed to the hospital to see him and was told that he passed away even before the doctors could do anything to save him.  I was deeply shocked to know that it was a heart attack that took his life at such a young age. He had collapsed in his office and by the time he was brought to the hospital it was all over. I was shocked and greatly saddened by this incident. I was determined that this should not happen to any of my employees and promised myself that I will do everything in my capacity to ensure this doesn’t happen in my company.

My employees are my greatest strength and their prosperity is my top priority. During the course of my career, as I progressed, my priorities kept changing. When I started working, my priority was to learn about the systems and processes of the company- various policies, claims handling etc. I rotated myself in different departments and pushed my learning very aggressively. As I moved up in my career, as a Head, I concentrated more on the company’s market share and dominance in the market. As I moved further up, innovating and strategizing became my priorities. After taking up charge as the MD & CEO, customer satisfaction, the well-being and prosperity of my employees and their happiness at work has become my top priority.

We are now a 12 year old company and a lot of people have worked very hard towards making this company one of the best organizations in India. But one of my major concerns remain that somewhere in this process they have neglected their health. This is not good as I know of cases where people have lost their lives too early because they did not pay much attention towards their health and fitness. How can we correct it? At an individual’s level we all know that we have to take care of ourselves. Some of us do try sometimes and then we miss out. As a company I think it’s time we put our employee’s health on top-priority.

These days we find that people have problems like hypertension at a very young age; obesity has become another serious problem for a lot of people. Fitness levels are going down, lifestyle diseases like diabetes are increasing and as the average age of the company moves up these problems will get more severe. Then we may have a very good company but not healthy employees. It will be a very sad event to witness, especially for people who have worked very hard towards the success of our company.

I have been discussing this issue with the HR team and I am very happy to know that they have come up with a solution. We are looking at getting a health check-up done for all the employees over the age of 30. Based on the medical reports we will form groups of people with similar health conditions and work towards improving their fitness. I feel very positive about this initiative for employees and we plan to have an incentive structure for groups/people showing improvements. We will also have fun activities taking place. The idea is that in a year’s time we should be able to bring healthy lifestyle on everybody’s priority and bring a noticeable improvement in the overall health of the employees. It’s my personal commitment that I will lead a group and work towards improving my fitness level. I understand that I have gained weight and will definitely join a group which aims at losing weight.

The success of this initiative will give me immense satisfaction just as it does when I win business or when I see the company performing well. I hope that by the end of the year we are able to make a healthy company with happy, fit and prosperous employees. It is my strong belief that happier employees are able to provide better customer service. I would like to believe that these two issues are interlinked and once we get this right our standards of customer service will move up further.

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Tapan Singhel is the MD & CEO of Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company Limited. This blog has been initiated by him so that he can directly interact with all the valuable customers and employees of this company.

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