Partha Banerjee

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A Visionary Leader in Legal, Compliance, and Regulatory Affairs

Partha Banerjee

Director & Head Legal, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs,

Niva Bupa Health

I n a landscape where short-term gains often overshadow long-term sustainability, Partha Banerjee’s leadership philosophy resonates as a refreshing paradigm shift. As the Director and Head of Legal, Compliance, and Regulatory Affairs at Niva Bupa Health Insurance (NBHI), Partha envisions his responsibilities as a vital part of building an enduring institution rather than a mere business entity. His journey is guided by the belief that institution-building is a meticulous, long-term endeavour that hinges on fostering strong alignment within the organisation. To Partha, everyone within the organisation is part of a unified team working towards a common goal.
One of the cornerstones of Partha’s leadership style is the unwavering emphasis on mutual respect and a shared purpose. He understands that a strong team is forged through bonds of respect and a shared commitment to the organisation’s values and mission. Rather than solely relying on financial incentives, Partha recognises that true motivation stems from the realisation that one is contributing to society by creating value, transcending the pursuit of profit alone.
As a leader, Partha recognises that ethical conduct is not an option but a necessity for an organisation’s survival. He views it as his second-most critical responsibility to instill a culture of ethics within the organisation, reinforced by stringent process controls and swift consequences for violations. By doing so, he creates a strong deterrent, ensuring that every individual associated with the organisation upholds its code of conduct. TradeFlock interviewed Partha to understand more about his leadership style and how he drives his team. 

Describe your leadership style's role in building a cohesive legal team and ensuring alignment with the organisation's long-term goals.

My leadership style centres on building a cohesive and effective legal team by instilling a sense of purpose and ethics. At NBHI, we prioritise institution-building over mere business operations, understanding that it requires strong alignment within the organisation. To achieve this alignment, I consider the entire organisation as my team, with the legal compliance team as a vital limb in reaching our objectives. A strong team is forged through mutual respect and a shared purpose. Sustainability and profitability go hand-in-hand, but to truly motivate individuals, we must help them see the value they bring to society beyond monetary gains. As a leader, my primary focus is to infuse purpose into every team member, foster respect, encourage innovation, and nurture a culture of empathy and ethical conduct. The General Counsel (GC) ensures compliance with IRDAI regulations, aligning products and services offered by HI companies with customer expectations regarding pricing, quality, timelines, and empathy during distress, safeguarding consumer interests. Also, ethics are non-negotiable, and therefore, I believe it’s my second-most critical role as a GC to establish an ethical culture and ensure rigorous process control to prevent code of conduct violations. Swift consequence management serves as a deterrent to maintaining ethical standards. Recognising that we are dealing with individuals with personal lives and challenges, I emphasise active listening and support. Continuous learning is paramount. I push team members to pursue ongoing education and organise training sessions that bridge theoretical knowledge with real-world events within the organisation.

What's your strategy for managing legal, compliance, and regulatory affairs in a fast-changing industry?

To gauge the effectiveness of a compliance and regulatory affairs department in the health insurance (HI) industry, key performance indicators (KPIs) should encompass several areas. Firstly, success in advocating for regulations conducive to business and consumer-friendly policies should be measured. The establishment of a compliance culture within the organisation is essential, as quantified by the number of educational sessions and communication effectiveness. On the other hand, KPIs should assess the accuracy and timeliness of regulatory filings. The department’s collaboration with regulators, ensuring no advisories or penalties, should be monitored. Proactive risk management in business models and effective contract management should be tracked. Also, the management of litigation and customer justice, along with timely legal responses, is crucial. Last but not least, the department’s ability to engage the board and leadership team by highlighting legal risks and facilitating course corrections should be evaluated. These KPIs collectively determine the department’s effectiveness in navigating regulatory changes, fostering compliance, and providing valuable legal counsel to the organisation.

How do you use technology like automation and AI to enhance departmental efficiency?

Efficiency is paramount in our department, achieved through technology like automation and AI. In the HI industry, AI plays a pivotal role, processing claims in seconds with nearly 98% accuracy, a task that takes minutes manually. As the GC, my role extends to influencing and strategising beyond legal functions. Automation is ingrained, with highlights including 60% “zero-touch” policy issuance, rapid claim approvals, and a highly effective fraud detection engine. We are also exploring data-driven solutions to streamline decision-making. These technologies enhance efficiency and empower data-driven strategies across the organisation.

What's your success mantra, and what leadership traits make you inspirational?

My success mantra revolves around the concept of ownership. Ownership empowers me to share credit with my team for successes and take full responsibility for any challenges. It enables me to fearlessly communicate potential legal and compliance risks to the Executive Leadership Team and the Board, creating alignment with them. This alignment forms the foundation for strategic action plans, which are executed efficiently using a five-step method: clarity, alignment, ownership, recording, and review.

What legacy do you aim to leave as an organisation's director and head of legal, compliance, and regulatory affairs?

My legacy goal as Director and Head of Legal, Compliance, and Regulatory Affairs is to transform the organisation into a revered institution known for its values, ethical culture, collaborative spirit, and professional excellence, while also enabling data-driven decision-making for efficient legal responses in litigation matters. GCs are increasingly tasked with developing ESG frameworks for organizations, providing a fulfilling opportunity to contribute meaningfully to society and the environment. Awards like the Golden Peacock Award, 2023, received by NBHI for ESG initiatives, reinforce the commitment to creating societal value beyond myopic KPIs.
















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