Women in Leadership: Q&A with Prachala Singh, Head of Operations, CPP India

Prachala Singh, Head of Operations for CPP Group India, joined the business in 2008. Prior to that she had been Head of Customer Services (North) for the Standard Chartered Bank – Wholesale Bank Division. She holds a degree from Delhi University and lives in New Delhi with her family.

The theme of International Women’s Day in 2021 is ‘choose to challenge’, highlighting the need to call out gender bias or inequality. How important do you think that is and what advice do you have to others about how they can do that?

This is critical as it is about clearing your self-doubts and challenging yourself in work. Take full responsibility of your thoughts and actions and challenge the world every day.

What advice would you give to women who want to be leaders?

A leader has to lead from the front and practice what they preach. Don’t ask someone else to do something you aren’t willing to do yourself. Know your values and make decisions in all areas of your life (business, family, and self) based on these. Be an effective communicator which includes being a good listener. Finally, be passionate and committed to your work.

We’d love to understand more about your role at CPP in India. Could you tell us about your responsibilities?

I am responsible for overseeing backend activities across the company, both manual and automated, along with CPP India’s inbound and outbound call centre and claims processing. This involves a range of tasks such as ensuring customer queries are handled quickly and effectively upholding the service levels. Claims processing includes coordination with multiple underwriters to ensure all claims are processed

So, what does an average day look like for you?

I always look forward to a new day as it promises new challenges and opportunities. A typical day starts with checking my emails and checking in with my managers who make up my key ‘three pillars’. These pillars comprise of the heads of the call centre, backend activities and claims. The rest of my day is usually dictated by the day’s priorities and often means meeting with colleagues and speaking to customers /service partners about any issues or concerns.

What is the office and team culture like at CPP India?

The office is a great place to work as enthusiasm is felt across the entire company. As we are continually innovating and releasing new products there is a constant sense of achievement as a company, which puts a smile on everyone’s faces.

As a team leader I always make a point of having regular interactions with all team members, taking time to reward and acknowledge their hard work as this goes a long way in motivating them. This mostly involves mentoring and coaching the team and is part of my job which I especially enjoy as my team is always eager to take on new challenges and grow within their roles.

What is your favourite thing about working at CPP India?

I would say there are lots of great new challenges to take on as part of working at CPP India, which means you must stay on your toes and keep alert, which I love about my job. New challenges also means new opportunities for learning and development, which is another part of my job that I am particularly passionate about. CPP India offers many great opportunities to grow and learn within your role.

CPP is also a fun and thriving environment to work in, as the team is always enthusiastic to learn and brimming with new ideas.

What would you say has been your biggest highlight since joining CPP India?

There have been so many which makes it hard to choose! Every new product that we have launched successfully has been a career highlight for me. Specifically, I am very proud of the Assetcare launch and setting up the Globiva call centre. The call centre was the result of our £2 million investment in the Business Process Management (BPM) company, which gave us the capability to better support our customers. Seeing this investment payoff is really rewarding.

You’ve also mentioned that you have been part of initiatives which have kept you learning throughout your career. Can you highlight a specific time where you have had to learn quickly on the job?

A recent experience which has taught me a lot is a relationship we have developed with a partner of ours. We started working with this partner with a basic offering of card protection which then multiplied into the launch of Fonesafe, Assetcare, Assetsecure and Livcare with numerous variants from the product side to servicing of claims and call centre servicing.

This has been the biggest learning curve for me recently as I had to manage business partner expectations across a wide range of departments such as IT, finance, marketing, sales and servicing. I also had to achieve this whilst simultaneously maintaining a relationship with the service providers of these products including underwriters and other service assistance providers.

How would you describe your career so far in three words?

So, I would say; Learning, logical and innovative.

On a more personal note, what do you like to do outside of work?

I personally enjoy the simple pleasures in life and tend to spend a lot of time with family and friends.

As your job can be quite intense, how do you balance your work life with your personal life?

I am lucky when it comes to balancing my personal and work life as I have a great support network at home but have always felt supported by CPP India around personal matters.

And to finish up, how would you describe the positive impact that CPP India has had on not only yourself, but your colleagues?

Every month brings a new challenge and a wealth of opportunities which means the team feel motivated across the board. We often engage in productive discussions around the products and processes as well which makes our day-to-day work life exciting and helps us make the most of our time.

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