Farzana Chowdhury ACII (UK), Managing Director and CEO of Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd. (GDIC) has recently been recognized as one of ten local SDG Pioneers by the UN Global Compact. Farzana is the first female CEO in the Bangladesh’s insurance industry and has been heading Green Delta’s insurance activities since 2013. Green Delta is the first non-life insurance company in Bangladesh to have received the prestigious AAA credit rating for two consecutive years. GDIC is also the first public listed company in the country to have International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group as an equity partner.
Farzana Chowdhury brings with her a wealth of experience in Retail & SME banking, microfinance, microinsurance, retail insurance, health insurance and other relevant areas. Being at the helm of the largest and leading non-life insurance company in the country, she has played an instrumental role in inspiring her team members. This has helped them introduce innovative, customized insurance products to cater to the needs of various customer segments of the society like women, students, rural poor, RMG workers, migrant workers and so on. She is especially renowned for her commitment to her work for the betterment of women empowerment across the country.
As mentioned earlier, her recognition as part of the Inaugural Class of SDG Pioneers at the UN Global Compact Leaders’ Summit in the UN Headquarters, New York comes as a testament to her endeavors in dedicating her efforts for the well-being of women from all walks of life. She was hailed as a pioneer for women’s economic security by the Secretary General of UN – H. E. Ban Ki-moon at the event.
During the event, Farzana said, “I am proud and privileged to be selected as part of the inaugural class of 2016 Local SDG Pioneers by the UN Global Compact for being recognized for Green Delta’s continuous efforts in promoting gender equity in Bangladesh. We believe this will inspire us to design customized, innovative products and services, creating a one-stop service solution platform for women in our society. Enhancing women health, security, social and financial inclusion is a pre-requisite for financial as well as social development and through our endeavors; we aspire to ensure insurance for everyone.”
The Local SDG Pioneers program was launched in 2016 as part of the UN Global Compact’s Making Global Goals Local Business campaign. The programme seeks out individuals who are demonstrating how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can enable businesses to unlock their economic, social and environmental potentials which can help the world positively. Over 600 nominations were received from 100 countries between February and April 2016.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which were adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at a historic UN Summit, have officially come into force from the start of 2016. Over the next fifteen years, with these new goals that universally apply to everyone, countries will mobilize their efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
Farzana’s recognition comes from her pioneering role in the success of Nibedita, which is the first ever comprehensive insurance scheme for women in South Asia. Nibedita offers women a platform to have social security and economic development. Besides the traditional areas, Nibedita provides extended coverage for victims of road bully, rape, and acid violence. Any women can access this policy. Nibedita provides a maximum coverage of Tk 10,00,000 with the minimum net premium of Tk 580 per person (inclusive of VAT) per Lac.
Currently, Farzana is guiding and counseling her colleagues at GDIC on how to add further value to the Nibedita scheme. A one-stop service solution platform is being created in which the policyholders will be able to access security, education, health legal advice, finance and lifestyle services through a dedicated Nibedita mobile app.
When asked about the scheme, Farzana postulates, “Green Delta Insurance Company Ltd. has created a platform for growth, corporate governance, youth leadership and especially women empowerment. More than 52% of our population is female today, and when it comes to human rights, women are always the ones that get neglected and their rights are frequently violated. Nibedita has been launched keeping the healthcare, safety and social needs of the females of our nation in mind, which goes beyond just providing insurance”.