New India Assurance plans Qatar, Canada & Myanmar foray

Written by fe Bureau | Chennai | Updated: Jan 4 2014, 17:20pm hrs
The New India Assurance Company, the public sector general insurance firm, plans to expand overseas footprint by entering into countries such as Canada, Myanmar and Qatar in three to six months. It is already in discussion with the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (Irda) and the Centre to open either branches or local subsidiaries in these nations.

New India Assurance, present in 22 countries, is planning to open a regional office in Dubai to monitor the entire operations in West Asia. Speaking to mediapersons after an event, G Srinivasan, the chairman-cum-managing director, New India Assurance said, We will be reactivating our operations in Canada, Myanmar and entering Qatar afresh. Currently, overseas operations contribute around 20% of the total premium. We want to take this up to 25 % in three to four years time.

He said that the company had to come out of the Canadian and Myanmar markets because of various reasons including nationalisation drive in Myanmar. We came out of the Canadian market 30 years back but have been renewing our branch licence there. Approvals from the Centre, and Irda are awaited, he added.

New India will first open a representative office in Myanmar and would start business operations once the country permits new players. The company has overseas operations in 22 foreign countries earning a premium of around R2,500 crore last year and a profit of around R200 crore, he said.

In the domestic market, the company will be increasing its network to 2,000 offices including 1,000 micro outlets. It will hire around 1,100 freshers and hopes to close the year with a total premium income of around R15,000 crore. The company will be adding 700 micro offices this year alone to comply with the governments directive to have an office in towns with a population of 10,000 people.

Last year around 300 micro offices fetched a business of R200 crore. We will upgrade the micro offices into a full fledged branch office once they cross a threshold, Srinivasan said.