AVIVA NDB Insurance: Going beyond business

Thursday, 21 April 2011 00:50 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Best Corporate Citizens Review is a fortnightly series of reviewing some of the best corporate citizens in Sri Lanka by Daily FT in partnership with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce. The companies featured via this column are the 2010 winners of select awards of the Ceylon Chamber’s annual Best Corporate Citizen competition

Aviva NDB Insurance was the winner of the under 10 billion turnover category of the ‘Best Corporate Citizen Awards 2010’.

As a leading insurer whose business pivots on providing peace of mind, through financial protection, keeping individuals and assets secure, AVIVA NDB adopted the concept of promoting safety from the inception of the company and has been promoting all aspects of safety – in the home, at work and on the road.

The company considers achieving excellence an important ingredient in achieving national progress and prosperity and encourages academic achievements in school children for this reason, by offering higher education scholarships and workshops that promote excellence.


AVIVA NDB has several mechanisms in place to identify, evaluate and implement initiatives that benefit different segments ranging from the public at large to the customers, its employees and business partners. The objective of these mechanisms is to make sure that the CR initiatives are integrated with the company’s overall business objectives in the short term as well as in the long term.

The mechanisms adopted include brainstorming of identified strategies by teams spearheaded by the marketing division and carefully evaluating the relevance to the nation. An important factor is that most of their CR endeavours are implemented without publicity or business gain, and conducted purely for the betterment of society at large. The ultimate strategy evolved is endorsed by the Management Committee and guided by strategies adopted and endorsed by the Principals – Aviva.

Good of the nation

Going beyond business, AVIVA NDB Insurance targets its Corporate Responsibility initiatives for the good of the whole nation; this helps people to contribute as one family.

With the primary focus on safety and education, the company’s initiatives span a cross section of activities. The company’s safety initiatives go back to 1988 – the year it was established. AVIVA NDB sponsors the ‘National Safety Awards’ that has become the coveted benchmark of a safe, accident-free workplace. The award is presented in collaboration with two state organisations, the Department of Labour and the Employees Trust Fund Board.

Poson Safety Awareness Campaign

Every year AVIVA NDB launches an extensive CR campaign to keep millions of Poson pilgrims aware of the dangerous waters that have claimed many lives before the safety campaign was launched. Last year was the 17th successive year that the company held the Poson Safety Awareness Campaign that has reduced the number of deaths from drowning among pilgrims to zero with at least 150 lives being rescued over the years.

In 2010 AVIVA NDB Insurance enhanced its Poson Safety Campaign and made arrangements to run a special free shuttle service between Anuradhapura and Mihintale for the first time in Sri Lanka. The ‘AVIVA NDB Poson Vandana’ train was made available for the safety and convenience of devotees from 24 to 26 June.

AVIVA NDB’s safety campaign includes the distribution of leaflets starting from entry points to Anuradhapura with hoardings, banners, pennants and public address systems reminding pilgrims to safeguard themselves and their loved ones.

Most importantly, the company facilitates the presence of around 550 professional lifesavers at almost all the tanks and reservoirs with the collaboration of the Sri Lanka Police, Navy and the Life Saving Association of Sri Lanka. Last year they succeeded in saving 12 pilgrims

Another important aspect of safety awareness campaign is communication promoting utmost care when lighting firecrackers, which have significantly helped to reduce accidents during festive times, both at year end and during Avurudu.

The Higher Education Scholarship

Year 5 scholarship winners who topped the batch in every district at the Government Scholarship Examination and enter Advanced Level get this scholarship. AVIVA NDB supports each student with a scholarship of Rs. 1,000 a month until they complete their university education – a total of Rs. 60,000 to Rs. 84,000 per student depending on their degree.

The Higher Education Scholarship is unique because AVIVA NDB is the only insurer in Sri Lanka to unconditionally recognise academic excellence on merit alone without requiring meeting any other criteria such as having a Life insurance in force.

The number of scholarships offered has grown to 400. Those who have received the scholarship benefits number 225. The fund of Rs. 10 million set aside for this purpose in 1994 has now grown to Rs. 57.8 million through prudent investment.

‘Street to School’

‘Street to School’ is a worldwide programme of global Aviva and in Sri Lanka, AVIVA NDB employees participated in supporting the school at Ihala Hevessa, a remote hamlet in the Kalutara District, by voluntarily providing scholarships to 27 deserving students, bringing alive the concept of recognising that all children have a right to education.

Regional workshops

Regular regional workshops and seminars help to uplift and inspire different segments. ‘Guru Pubuduwa’ for preschool teachers facilitates early childhood development. ‘Samana’ launched on the theme of ‘creating an equally-abled society’ equips teachers to excel in the difficult task of teaching children with mental and physical disabilities. Motivational programmes are also held for small and medium scale entrepreneurs.

Empowering employees

Since Eagle transformed into AVIVA NDB Insurance, strengthened by global Aviva’s expertise in insurance and the financial acumen of NDB, the company has enhanced the quality of its sales force, empowering them to meet both Life and General insurance needs of customers. They have been repositioned with a new identity and transformed into ‘Wealth Planners’.

Last year the company entered into an MOU with the University of Wayamba and launched a university accredited course that leads to the Certificate in Personal Financial Management. This seeks to ensure that the sales force designing financial solutions for their clients are competent and equipped to provide professional financial advice.

Focus on safety

Aviva NDB Insurance’s safety awareness campaigns are directed at the general public and corporate organisations. While the communications on mass media during festive seasons are directed at all those who celebrate by lighting fire crackers, during the Poson season, the campaigns held in Anuradhapura benefit an estimated one million pilgrims who visit the sacred city, using the tanks and reservoirs in the area.

Apart from this, the National Safety Awards helps the manufacturing sector to focus on the need to create a safe environment for the nation’s labour force.

The higher education scholarships awarded to each and every child who tops the batch in each of the 25 districts in the country every year encourages academic excellence and inspires the nation’s school-going children. The ‘Street to School’ programme is directed at the less privileged children and is conducted with the voluntary participation of the company’s staff.

Regular workshops held for pre-school teachers, teachers of children with physical and mental disabilities has enabled over 10,000 teachers to benefit from the programmes. Regular workshops for small and medium entrepreneurs engage audiences that number over 200 each time the workshops are held at provincial locations.