Leader Speak

The coming-of-age story of Yashish Dahiya - and Policybazaar

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The story of Policybazaar is seen as inspirational for many reasons. Often, it is so because the kind of storms it has weathered and come out victorious as a unique, homegrown Indian brand. We at Policybazaar take pride in this narrative. Today, let’s add a few more layers to this story and look at it from a different vantage point. Each individual who has been associated and grown with the brand has given a part of himself/herself to it. Certainly, this is true for Policybazaar’s founder Yashish Dahiya. A recent interview of Dahiya by Jivraj Singh Sachar on the Indian Silicon Valley podcast, helped bring out this story. 

This is the story of an eight-year-old boy who found himself to be misfit among peers but grew up to do truly awe-inspiring things. This is the story of Dahiya and how he carved a niche for himself as a runner at school and an entrepreneur par excellence in the startup world.

Sachar told Dahiya that he saw his journey as one of “perseverance and confidence” and of “excelling across roles.” This prompted Dahiya to share, “As a child, I wasn't super confident. I was curious. There was always some fight happening between my classmates and I was a little kid lost in this situation. My identity came in the form of running - everyone started recognizing me. Ever since, I have never looked back. Once you have (that) confidence, you start doing well in other things.”

It was probably his struggle to find an identity so early in childhood that made Dahiya seek utmost transparency in anything he pursued. He explained, “When I tell people about my business, they are like “Oh my God, this is what governments do.” People talk about impact businesses; our entire business is impact-driven. It's a noble business. Someone like me who needs clarity, could only do a business like this.” 

It is with an almost enviable lucidity that Dahiya talks about Indian startups’ as well the the country’s overall growth. He said, “India is the biggest transformation opportunity in the world - such a growth opportunity does not exist anywhere else. In the next 20 years, the Indian GDP is probably going to go 5X. Roughly 8-10 percent of the world’s GDP will be added to India from where it is today. Ten percent of the world’s GDP is going to be created here - created from almost scratch...this means 60% of the companies leading this transformation are going to be new-age firms.” 

Dahiya also explained how he has often thought to himself that he cannot “live off the aura of a growing business.” His mantra of building a “solid” business has been to simply “make progress every day. Elaborating on how Policybazaar has witnessed consistent progress, Dahiya added, “A passion or vision is what drives you in downtime. It's almost like religion; it helps you weather the storm. For me,  the goal has been very clear.The aim of Policybazaar is to inspire confidence in the customer. We want them to know that issuance will be smooth, claims will be smoother. ” Recently, Policybazaar has even announced a new tagline, “Har Family Hogi Insured”. This tagline reaffirms the brand’s commitment to our overall goal of making financial security accessible across Indian households. 

For Policybazaar insiders and outsiders alike, Yashish Dahiya is a revered leader. The man himself, however, works towards a different agenda. He said, “I genuinely don't do things to be a leader - I like being free and I assume that others are like me. At Policybazaar, managers have more equity than the founders. Our culture is rooted in empathy, the ability to think about others. 
Selfish people do not carry on at Policybazaar - once in a while, we put others before ourselves.”

Talking about this sense of selflessness and sacrifice, Dahiya explained why Policybazaar is not his brand alone. He said that this brand belongs as much to him as it does to the entire PB family and even his own, biological family. While Dahiya’s family lived in the UK, he had to constantly to and fro as his business was in India. As his kids were very little at that time, they obviously did not enjoy their father’s absence. His daughter, Dahiya explained, grew to understand that Dahiya had just as much responsibility towards his work family. His son, however, cried at many goodbyes before he was old enough to fathom the arrangement. Summing up this emotional aspect of the story, he said, “My family has also sacrificed along with me - this is as much their victory as it is mine.”


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