A community, a company—and a career—that puts families first.
Not long after Hansini Jogee moved to the United States to settle in New Jersey, a New York Life recruiter approached her husband, Chandravadan, about becoming an agent for the company. “My husband told him, ‘You don’t want me, you want my wife’, ” laughs Jogee. “Of the two of us, I’m definitely more of a people person.”
Turns out, her husband was right. The year was 1982 and in the 30 years since, Hansini has built a successful career in no small part because her values align with those of the Indian-American community she serves.
As a young married couple of Indian descent, she by way of Uganda and he from South Africa, the Jogees were steadfastly committed to a set of values passed down through the generations, the most important of which is working hard to give their children a better life. the larger Indian-American community shares, as Hansini notes, three common traits. “One, we strive to leave a legacy for our children. Two, we are very frugal and conservative with money, but don’t hesitate to spend on things that reinforce our children’s cultural roots and provide them with financial security. And last, but not least, we pay for our children’s college education. We don’t want them to be burdened with debt when they start out on the world. The future is very important — we are all about thinking beyond today. Life insurance and financial planning are natural priorities for us.”
Hansini was also pleased that what matters to her is equally important to the company she represents. “I was encouraged when I first saw the company’s values of financial strength, integrity and humanity and its commitment to children, ” she notes. “And when I saw that we lived each of those values every day, it made my career choice seem like a natural fit. ”
To date, she has written roughly $700 million in life insurance for families in her community and beyond. She has clients in 25 states and travels frequently to check on their needs.
Chicken curry, with a side of life insurance
Initially, things were not easy for the Jogees. Before Hansini joined New York Life, they held three plus jobs between them, she as a state disability claims adjuster and a real estate agent, he as a retail salesman putting in lots of overtime. “We didn’t know anyone in this country, and we started out with nothing, but we were young and optimistic,” recalls Hansini.
Hansini’s first success as an agent came when an Indian friend took her to Thanksgiving dinner. “I was only 22 or 23 at the time, and he said to me, ‘Look, you’re young. I’m not buying any insurance from you yet, but I will take you to my family for the meal and you can tell everyone there all about your products.’ He figured even if they weren’t interested, I’d at least get some good chicken curry out of the deal, ” laughs Hansini.
“Well not only did I enjoy delicious curry with them, but as Indians new to this country, they were very interested in providing security for their families, and I actually ended up writing seven policies for them over that holiday weekend! ”
A Close-Knit Community with Strong Values
Soon after, Hansini began to develop a reputation in her community as a motivator and go-to person for all matters financial. In fact, building and maintaining strong client relationships is Hansini’s biggest point of pride. “One of my clients died suddenly in a car crash — he had a wife and three kids. I still go to see his wife several times a year. I help to reassure her, and she trusts and relies on me. That gives me a good feeling about my business. This is my service, to be very personally involved. ”
She also prides herself on careful estate planning. “When I work with a family, I want to make sure everything is fair and equal for all involved. I take the time to sit down with each person individually to talk to them — to listen and really understand how things need to be planned out. Every family is unique and each one has their own issues.”
“And since my clients reside all over the country and I don’t have much family in America, they have become like family to me. I stay with them when I’m traveling and they trust me to give them the best guidance.”
Points of Pride
As a successful Indian-American woman, Hansini strives to give back to other women. “One of the key things that differentiates me from other agents is that I really empathize with the wives and mothers. I try to focus on educating and inspiring them, and making sure they understand all the products and options available to them, ” she says.
Since 2009, Hansini has been a district agent, recruiting, developing and guiding new agents, and laying the foundation for a planned business succession. Based on Hansini’s success, Chandravadan decided to become a New York Life agent and today the couple share an office and an appreciation of how far they, and many of their clients, have come. “We come to this country with hardly anything, work hard, and really appreciate every dollar. Our values are so strong and we are so close-knit. We have a culture that believes in providing for your children first. Family matters most, and now together we strive to bring out the best in every family we serve.”