Shriram Life Insurance to expand to N. India in 2 years
We have been mainly in South India till now. Expansion in next two years will be in North India,â T.K. Banerjee, Vice-Chairman, Shriram Life Insurance, told Business Line recently.
Shriram Life Insurance, a joint venture of Shriram Group with South Africa’s Sanlam, has 208 offices currently. It will be adding 50 more branches, mostly in North India, he said.
Mostly, our business has been sold to clientele of our diversified group. We will also reach out to others as part of expansion, he said. The company, which is among those with the lowest operating expenses, believes in steady expansion at lower costs.Actually, our strategy is to target clientele of our group. This helped reduce operating expenses and we became profitable, Banerjee said.
Shriram Life, which started operations in 2006, was the first private life insurer to report profits in the first and three consecutive years of operation. Even during expansion to the North, the focus would be on lower operating expenses and tier-II locations, Banerjee added.
It has 6,000 agents but prefers to go slow in raising this number. Shriram Life is expecting to close the current financial year with a total premium income of Rs 850 crore, he said. Last year when the life-insurance industry shrank, it had Rs 650 crore premium income.
There is no plan to infuse any fresh capital immediately. We have a capital base of Rs 175 crore and solvency ratio of 5 as against 1.5 which is mandatory. That’s the reason why we want to expand now, he added.
He said it might take another two or more years for life insurance to see strong growth.
After the introduction of new regulatory regime for unit-linked policies in 2010, life insurance had receded back at least by four years. It will take same or more time to fully revive, Banerjee said.
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