Tuesday, June 9, 2009

From South, Shriram Life Insurance now to go pan India

From presence confined to South, Shriram Life Insurance Company Ltd (SLIC) today announced plans to spread its wings to North, East and West India covering an additional 100 cities over the next three to four years.

The expansion plans of a Joint Venture between the Shriram Group and Sanlam, a leading insurance company of South Africa, entail expanding business to select Tier-I, II and III cities in these regions.

The announcement of these plans was made at a Press Conference addressed jointly here by Sanlam Group CEO Johan van Zyl and Shriram Group Chairman R Thyagarajan.

Mr Thyagarajan said SLIC will invest Rs 125 crore in three years for its expansion programme, adding that the premium target is up to Rs 1,000 crore in three years. At present, its premium income is between Rs 200 and Rs 300 crore.

''While we were late comers on the Indian insurance scene, we have decided to go early to Tier II and Tier III cities, a market not yet much tapped by the other private players,'' Mr Zyl said.

He said the company plans to recruit 5,000 Field States Officers and 500 Business managers to support its expansion plans.

Mr Zyl said the Company will offer innovative products with customised service to make a definitive differentiator in the market.

''We will really put a high premium on service and training will receive particular attention,'' he said.

''Our understanding of Indian customers clubbed with Sanlam's experience in the South African market in the insurance business will drive our growth. We feel this is the right time to take the business to newer levels of productive growth,'' Mr Thyagrajan said.

SLIC commenced its life insurance operations in India in February 2006. At the end of three years of operations as on March 2009, the top line in terms of cumulative APE achieved is Rs 443 crore.

This makes SLIC the fourth company in terms of performance among 14 players in the life insurance sector.

Shriram is a household name in South India and one of the biggest players in chit funds and transport finance business.

Sanlam comes with 90 years of experience in life insurance in South Africa and few other markets.

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