Contrary to the rumors we’ve heard from industry sources, Avaneesh Nirjar, COO and one of the co-founders of online insurance firm PolicyBazaar.com, hasn’t left the company, but is on an extended break, owing to ill health, both Yashish Dahiya (CEO) and Nirjar told MediaNama. MediaNama had heard from sources that Nirjar, who had started PolicyBazaar.com along with Yasheesh Dahiya (CEO) and Alok Bansal (CFO) five years ago, had left the venture, and there had been a farewell for him. “Avaneesh continues to be a shareholder and is still an employee at the company, but no longer involved with day to day operations. In the last year, we’ve built a Business Unit structure, and each unit is being managed by a BU head, Dahiya said. No one will be replacing him, since there were overlaps with the COO role.

Nirjar told MediaNama that the BU teams are running independently, but “I’m there to support them when they need me, and as a shareholder, I want to work towards the success of that business. If there is a need for me to go back in full time, I will go back in. There have been health issues, and there is philanthropic work that I want to do.” The PolicyBazaar website lists Nirjar as its co-founder, and says that he “was responsible for running business operations and executing business strategy ensuring operational excellence”.

Prior to founding PolicyBazaar, Nirjar was Director (Operations) at FirstEuropa Services, an online Insurance aggregation company operating in nine countries, for a period of two years. Founded five years ago, PolicyBazaar had raised Rs 40 crore in its second round (Rs 30 crore from Intel Capital and Rs 10 crore from Info Edge), and Rs 20 crore from Info Edge in its first round of funding.

PolicyBazaar has undergone some significant changes in recent times: the company switched to a call center based model after the web aggregation business became uneconomical, owing to changes in regulations from India’s insurance regulator IRDA.