A LEGEND PASSES AWAY
Many a Gem of Purest Ray Serene the Dark Unfathomed Caves of Ocean Bear. A diver dives to the bed of the ocean and picks up the Gems, Pearls and Diamonds.
Long ago in 1950 the Gem who was found by the diver was Mr Velarauru Nagabhushnam and the Gem who was picked up was Mr Suri Seetarama Sastry to Sell as Agent Life Insurance products of Oriental Insurance Company. Sastry was then working as an Accountant in an Oil Company at a small place known as Peddapally.
Sastry was born 90 years ago to Sri Purushottam and Smt Venkayamma and was 3rd in order among 8 sibilings. Sri Purushottam garu was a School Teacher at Bahubalendrunigudem Agraharam near Gannavaram Rly Stn. He could just study upto Intermediate.
Advesity and responsibility opens doors for opportunities. The oil mills where he was working got shut down. It is here that Insurance Products selling acumen was sharpened and he moved over to Warangal. From here he became an Ambassador to many bread winners of the family by selling Insurance.
He expanded his business to virgin horizons of Hyderabad and Nagarjuna Sagar where his brother anchored his dreams and his prospects of a strong career.
Nothing succeeds like success and his improved income levels made him close to many young Engineers of Sagar and he became friend philosopher and guide to many. His business volume drew the attention of LIC bosses at Hydeabad and he was rewarded with a permanent job as Development Officer. His job requirement was to recruit, train, motivate and groom young agents. He became known as a senior who would accompany his juniors in tough cases and close the deals, thus passing on hands on experience to his team mates – the Agents. He was well rewarded monetarily and in appreciation for his and his team’s success. It is this how I came into the picture. He sold the Idea of Insurance Business as a career to a young, energetic young lad of 21 like me who was fresh from the corridors of Arts College Osmania University. He sheltered me in his house till I found my regular abode with a junior engineer Mr Lakkaraju Satyanarayana.
Mr Sastry taught me the ABC of Insurance business and the art of canvassing and closing a deal successfully. He assured my father that he had put his son in a Income Churning Career and a job that had all the ingredients to make young minds to stick on to the profession.
The first income of Rs 50/- , though small, sent me into raptures and consolidated my decision to take up to this line for good.
When Senior Engineers were looking up for Financial Advice from a young person of 22 as me, the Image of the “burning lamp” got imprinted and implanted on my tender and passionate mind.
The Concept of Plan the work and Work the plan though is the slogan of LIC Agents, it was practically done for me and others by Mr Sastry. Day one, Work was planned by him and next day would be a follow up of the plan by him. If I missed out on the work plan, like a typical teacher he would question and answer himself Oh no money? Dont worry, keep this 100 and return it from your commission. Such was the Empathy of the great Guru.
I worked as a Full Time Agent under Mr Sastry from 1959 to June 1962 when I was selected as Development Officer at Devarakonda Nalgonda Dist In 1968 Mr Sastry was promoted as Asst Branch Manager and was posted to Guntur. I had the unique and privileged opportunity, to step into the shoes of my great Mentor and Guru, as Development Officer at Nagarjuna Sagar. I thank ever LIC for bestowing this great honour on me.
One All Time and Unparallel achievement of Mr Sastry was that 10 Agents groomed and mentored by him were absorbed by Corporation as Development Officers, and I had the rare fortune of being first among those ten.
Mr Sastry finally retired as Sr Branch Manager and settled down at Yellareddyguda Hyderabad. Unfortunately he was ineligible for pension as the cut off put by LIC was for those who retired post 1986. He gave good education and good assets to his children in addition to the great values he passed on to them in legacy. These Values will make his children take care of their mother and make her get over the absence, due to the loss of Mr Sastry.
I will fail in my duty if I do not thank and place on record Mrs Sastry’s motherly care extended to me in the early phase of my career. I got the best of the food from her be it a normal day or a festival. She treated me as a family member for which I remain ever grateful to the great lady.
I can humbly and proudly say that Mr Sastry was more an Institution than a person, who gave food, clothing and shelter to all that worked with him, besides the great career path that he gifted to each one of them.
I can proudly say that I am a product of Seetarama Satry’s vison and plalling. I pray God to rest his noble soul in peace and impart strength to his family to withstand the great loss.