The Gateway of India

The D&O Diary’s Asia Pacific itinerary continued this week with a stop in India’s largest city and financial capital, Mumbai. My primary reason for traveling to Mumbai was to participate in a professional liability insurance program co-sponsored by PLUS and the local Indian professional liability insurance organization, Bima Gyaan. Despite the travel distances involved and the time required, my visit to India was relatively brief. My opportunities to explore Mumbai were limited. I had just enough touring time to be reminded what an amazing place Mumbai is.


Mumbai is of course a world city with a long and venerable history and with tremendous architecture (as reflected in the Gateway of India, shown at the top of the post). Mumbai is also an absolute kaleidoscope of colors, sights, and sounds.


This is the view from my hotel window. You can see the Arabian Sea along the far horizon. The  blue patchwork in the middle ground shows tarps covering rooftops in a slum area. (My visit to Mumbai came at the end of the annual monsoon season.)


Even just a brief drive around involves a complete immersion in the city’s incredibly diverse and changing street scenes. I had only a very brief time to look around while I was in Mumbai, just enough to remember that Mumbai may be one of the most interesting cities in the world. It can in fact be overwhelming. After only a few short hours traveling around the city to see a few sights, I was pretty much exhausted.



A Mumbai street scene. The scene is fairly typical.


A crowded area of rare shade near the Gateway of India


The famous Taj Hotel viewed from the Gateway of India


In the Colaba Market


The Haji Ali Dargah, an offshore shrine to a Muslim saint


There are a lot of great reasons to visit Mumbai, but among the best reasons is the amazing food. Here’s a picture of one of my breakfasts, a serving of Uttapam (a rice batter pancake with a variety of cooked-in ingredients and a number of accompanying relishes and spices).


The Bima Gyaan conference was  held at one of the city’s premier hotels. It was an excellent event, well-organized and well- attended. I provided the conference keynote address. It was a pleasure to have the chance to exchange ideas with so many industry professionals, and it was an privilege to be a part of this successful conference. It was also great to meet so many professionals in the India insurance market who follow The D&O Diary. I congratulate the Conference Committee for organizing the event. In particular, I would like to thank the conference co-Chairs, Suresh B. and N. Raveendran, for inviting me to participate in the Bima Gyaan event again. If I ever get the opportunity to participate in another Bima Gyaan event again in India, I will be sure to include more time in my travel plans to allow more of an opportunity for touring the city and perhaps even seeing more of the rest of the country.


One of the things I really enjoyed about this conference was seeing so many good friends. From left to right, Anita Panditaa of ICICI Lombard; Aruno Rajaratnam, who many know as the Grandmother of D&O in Asia; and Prabha Chokhani of New India Assurance Co.


Another picture with friends, Richa Shukla, a Mumbai attorney and insurance expert, and Uttara Vaid of Uttart Vaid Advisory Services.


Here is a picture with some new friends: Jigna Gokani, Rajni Komari, and Kshitij Chautre. All three are with Tata AIG.



A picture taken during my keynote address


A group picture with all of the event speakers


With Farzan Khanzaheb of Raheja QBE. Farzon make a presentation about Side A DIC insurance


With Unnati Bajpai of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty


With the conference co-chairs and key program sponsor, from left to right: Suresh B. of XSentinel; Dan Jenney of PLUS; and N. Raveendran of ALEgION Insurance Broking Pvt Ltd.


The blog’s U.S. readers may be interested to see the upscale imported beer that was served at the conference reception.