SANASA Life Insurance Company’s (SLICL) Head of IT Nuwanpriya Gunawardena has been appointed as the Chief Operation Officer/ Principal Officer having successfully spearheaded the company’s digitalization drive over the past years.
Nuwanpriya Gunawardena has been instrumental in initiating the digitalization process well before the arrival of the pandemic in March 2020. He accelerated the digitalization process during the pandemic period to ensure that the company was able to successfully navigate the prevailing operational uncertainties. As a result, the company is now well-positioned to surge forward once the pandemic situation eases off and the economy is ready to open up once again. It was with his guidance the team members managed to work with an infrastructure-readied atmosphere. They have also digitalized the smallest scale branch operations to the top-level management operations through digital means. In order to manage board meetings, they have used state-of-the-art digital platforms.
When the pandemic arrived in March 2020 and the country went into lockdown, the company was able to rapidly switch overall processes to an online platform thereby ensuring a minimum disruption in its operations. This was done by successfully digitalizing its workflow management process. It has allowed SANASA Life to streamline the processes and increase productivity across the company by converting a majority of its manual processes that are outside the Core System into a digitized workflow. Although there were challenges during the early stages of this transition, as was the case with all other companies across the globe, the company quickly trained all staff on how to efficiently manage their work when working online, handle online meetings in a professional, productive manner and achieve the best outcomes that met the objectives of the company and its clients.
Additionally, a significant mindset change was required by the company’s workforce to adjust to the Work From Home (WFH) situation where there were numerous challenges such as connectivity issues and difficulty to find a suitable work environment for work at home. However, through teamwork, dedication, and a positive attitude, the team was able to make adjustments so that they worked well together for the betterment of all stakeholders. As the back-office staff was already well-versed in working with technology having being exposed to it through the digitalization initiatives, they were able to adapt quickly to the WFH operations. Overall, the company managed to carry out the change management process smoothly and achieved over 90% success in terms of digitalization.
Sharing his thoughts on his journey, Nuwanpriya Gunawardena, the new Chief Operation Officer (COO) stated, “I commenced my career in SANASA Life Insurance Company back in 2006 when I joined as an executive in the IT Department. My job role primarily involved networking and network security but over the years I went up the ladder by demonstrating passion, hard work, and dedication in every aspect of my job roles. I am proud to have commenced the company’s digitalization drive well before the pandemic arrived early last year because when it did hit us in March 2020, we were already on a sound footing in terms of using technology to carry out our day-to-day functions. In my new role of COO, I am confident of taking our digitalization initiatives to the next level so that together we can achieve even greater benefits of technology. Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to our CEO, Mr. Indika Kiriwandeniya for his strategic leadership and support in terms of driving this digitalization process. ”
SANASA Life Insurance has been a people’s brand in the field of insurance in Sri Lanka for nearly 30 years. It was established for the purpose of giving relief to the people of rural areas who did not enjoy the benefits of insurance when it really needed on death or disablement. In October 1991 All Lanka Mutual Assurance Organization (ALMAO) was established and the monthly premium was a small sum of Rs. 5 to Rs. 20 and thereby the foundation for an invaluable insurance company was laid. In 2003, SANASA Life obtained the license to operate as a Life Insurance company. Today, SANASA is one of the leading insurance service providers in Sri Lanka providing thousands of job opportunities to the younger generation.