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Bharti Axa plans expansion, eyes 5% market share in 3 years

Last Updated: Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 13:40

Mumbai: Bharti AXA Life Insurance is targeting a five percent market share by end-2012 and has charted out an aggressive road map for expansion, a top company official said.
"We plan to have a market share of five per cent by 2012
and have significant expansion plans," Bharti AXA Life
Insurance Chief Financial Officer V Srinivasan said to a news agency here.

The overall life insurance market in terms of new
business premium is worth Rs 45,000-50,000 crore.

At present, the company, which entered the Indian market
in 2006, has one per cent market share with a total premium
collection of Rs 543 crore as on August 31, 2009.

The company also plans to beef up its sales force to
45,000 from the present 30,000 by end-this fiscal, he said.

"Ours is the fastest growth story. Despite (the economic)
slowdown, we have been able to grow faster than our
competitors," he added.

Bharti AXA Life insurance is a joint venture company
between India`s leading conglomerate the Bharti Group and
France-based financial protection and wealth management
service provider AXA.

To increase its market penetration, the life insurer
plans to leverage the reach of the Bharti Group, which has
interests in retail, telecom and agriculture businesses with a
significant retail footprint.

Bharti AXA Life has set-up virtual branches to distribute
policies using the retail and telecom outlets of the Bharti
Group, Srinivasan said.

"We will grow along with the Bharti Group and going
forward, we plan to open more virtual branches," he said.

Bharti AXA is open to tie-up with banks for selling
insurance policies but is awaiting the findings of a committee
set up by insurance regulator IRDA to review the
bancassurance model.

"The bancassurance channel interests us. Once the IRDA
committee comes out with its report, we will take a final
decision," Srinivasan said.

The company`s strategy in the future would be to focus
on having more virtual presence than physical branches.
Currently, it has 203 branches, he said.

The company currently sells its policies through Airtel
Relationship Centres and Bharti Teletech dealers.

"A good amount of our business is coming from these
virtual branches," he said, adding that the business from
virtual branches accounts for 25 per cent at present.

The private-sector life insurer, which has a capital
base of Rs 1,160-crore, will be adding another Rs 100-crore in
the fourth quarter of the fiscal, he said.

"In last six-months, we infused Rs 210-crore and will be
investing another Rs 100-crore in the 4th quarter," he said.

The company currently has eight life insurance products
which includes six ULIP products and one product each in
health and traditional, Srinivasan said, adding, "our strategy
is to focus strongly on ULIP products."

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, October 4, 2009 - 13:40

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