As chief executive officer of Aditya Birla Sun Life Pension Management Limited (ABSLPML) since November 2016, Sashi Krishnan is currently at the helm of affairs of the organisation. ABSLPML acts as the pension fund manager of the NPS Trust under the National Pension System (NPS). An arm of Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited, it manages pension funds for the private sector in accordance with the applicable provisions of the NPS and guidelines of the Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority.
Krishnan began his career in 1986 as a fund manager in the Unit Trust of India, where he worked for about 13 years. He then worked at DBS Bank (Singapore) and DBS Cholamandalam Asset Management Limited prior to joining Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company Limited in April 2007. He was subsequently appointed chief investment officer of Aditya Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited in December 2011.
He prefers to follow an open management architecture with a flat hierarchy and a flexible management style oriented towards results. He considers his 32 years of experience in fund management and the ability to take strategic and tactical decisions to be his key strengths.
According to Krishnan, although the percentage of retirement funds in GDP is very small, the trend in retirement savings in India has started to catch up with its global counterparts, mainly due to three factors – growing affluence of the population, change in the social structure, and young demographic structure of the country. He considers pension funds a suitable option for financing infrastructure projects due to the long-term nature of both infrastructure projects as well as pension funds. However, the biggest challenge in this aspect is the smaller amount of money being invested in retirement schemes. “There has to be a thrust to invest money in pension funds so that the latter can be positioned to invest in the infrastructure space. Introduction of elements such as credit enhancement in the system can make it simpler to take a long-term view on returns from infrastructure projects,” he says.
A post graduate in economics and a graduate in chemical engineering from BITS Pilani, Krishnan also has a postgraduate diploma in management. On the personal front, he is passionate about reading. He works out regularly at the gym and likes to take a vacation at least twice a year. He and his wife, a teacher, have a daughter and a son, who are currently studying in the US.