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Memoirs Of A Life Insurance Icon based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Memoirs of a Life Insurance Icon: Khuda Buksh, compiled by Muhammad Rahim, is an English translation of the inspirational South Asian text that changed the meaning of accessible life insurance worldwide. To make the book globally accessible, the original Bengali text has been converted into English. Often times, grandiose revolutionary and world-altering acts, especially in foreign countries, are lost in history; however, the purpose of this book is to demonstrate just how big an impact Khuda Buksh and his life insurance ventures had on Pakistan and Bangladesh. What is most fascinating about this book is that it highlights the overcoming of entrenched, age-old, taboo perceptions of religion and life in Pakistan. The book narrates Khuda Bukhs's life experiences and the impact his contributions in life insurance had on molding the mindset and broadening the horizons of the nations of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh. Memoirs of a Life Insurance Icon: Khuda Buksh is a must read for students of South Asian studies, researchers, and anyone interested in an inspirational story about one man's endeavors to make more secure the lives of the people of his nation. Using first-hand sources such as interviews and secondary articles about Buksh, Muhammad Rahim conveys Buksh's resolve to spread life insurance awareness in a severely underdeveloped, third world nation. Interestingly, the book discusses, in depth, the negativity with which religious sects have shunned life insurance policies, and Buksh's ceaseless efforts to overcome this barrier. Known for his honesty and straightforward nature, the book shows how Khuda Buksh wins over the hearts of the people of both Pakistan and Bangladesh--formerly East Pakistan--through his seventeen years as a chief (life/general manager) of an insurance company. In Buksh's own words, "Be proud of your job. Let it be written in gold letters on the pages of your mind that it is your honorable duty as a life insurance salesman to mobilize...Keep your watchful eyes ever vigilant so that no breadwinner of your area of activities dies leaving his family uncared for." Though the book is primarily about life insurance, the underlying theme is to strive to excel at whatever you do. With regard to life insurance, Khuda Buksh is ultimately of noteworthy status. More than anything else, this book is full of intrigue because it is compiled by Buksh's third son, Muhammad Rahim. The book flows throughout and the various illustrations depicting the heart of life insurance in South Asia make the book that much easier to comprehend and relate to. Being able to access a first-hand account of Buksh's own words is also an element that is generally not available in most other mediums. Ultimately, the quote that is most emblematic of Buksh's passion--bordering on obsession--for his lifelong work, and spreading awareness for life insurance: "There is no necessity to build a memorial for him. The history of insurance in Bangladesh itself is a memorial for him. He had no equal, no parallel, and no rival. Insurance and Khuda Buksh are synonymous."
Chances are if you were born and raised in the United States, you've never heard of Khuda Buksh. Buksh is credited with almost single-handedly bringing life insurance to millions of people in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. A caring and humble man, who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others: this is one man you may want to learn more about. Born in 1912 in a small village in Bangladesh, Khuda Buksh joined the Oriental Government Security Life Assurance Company shortly after finishing his studies. While this may not seem unusual, it should be noted that Bengali Muslims at that time (1935) were unreceptive to life insurance. It was not the usual career choice for a man such as Buksh. Additionally, both he and his parents originally thought he would get a good government job. But Buksh realized that by taking up ".insurance salesmanship" he would ".be able to serve the cause of humanity in my own humble way. Memoirs of a Life Insurance Icon is a series of articles, interviews, memoirs, and newsletters written by those who knew Buksh. These recollections are filed into several sections that include Bangladesh Insurance Personnel Interviews and Memoirs; Pakistan Insurance Personnel Interviews and Memoirs; Interviews and Memoirs of Friends, Associates, and Family Members and finally Articles and Newsletters by Khuda Buksh. At the back of the book is an appendix with numerous additional insights into the life of Khuda Buksh. Whether reading an article by a colleague or friend, it quickly becomes apparent that Buksh was greatly respected by all who knew him. "In spite of being a top insurer, he always kept close contact with ordinary insurance workers like us." (S.R. Khan, pg. 68) and "The greatness of making people happy was an innate characteristic of Khuda Buksh." (M. Rahman Mahbub, pg. 225). While the articles paint Buksh in a very positive light, it was refreshing to also read of traits the writers found difficult. M.A. Chishti noted that Buksh could be ".very, very, stubborn...with regard to his principles." (pg. 122) though it must be said, this stubbornness also served Buksh well in his professional career. After reading what so many recalled of Buksh, I found the section of articles written by Buksh himself particularly interesting. What he thought of his career choice, "One becomes really noble by taking up insurance profession" (pg. 271) to what he saw in the future for life insurance, ".tremendous scopes for growth and expansion," (pg. 278) the reader will gain great insight into the mind of this insurance icon. For those not familiar with the insurance industry, particularly in the countries where Buksh worked, the frequent references to various insurance companies and organizations (Jiban Bima Corporation, Dhaka Improvement of Pakistan) may require repeated visits to a computer to look them up. Also, the text has been translated and is, in places, clunky and frequently missing particles. "While our insurance workers are standing at the crossroads looking helter-skelter to find out ultimate aim of life, this book will work for them as a bacon light." (pg. 299) However, I did not find the translation difficulties to be terribly distracting to the reading of the book. Quill says: A fascinating look at the man who brought life insurance, and a better life, to people in Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan.