Bajaj Allianz aims to increase rural biz pie to 20 pc in 5yrs

Written by Press Trust of India | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 16 2013, 01:13am hrs
Bajaj Allianz General Insurance aims to increase its rural business to around 20 per cent in next five years from 6-7 per cent at present, and is planning big expansion in these regions, according to a top official.

"We aim to increase rural business pie to 20 per cent from the present 6-7 per cent in next five years. So, we are planning to expand our presence significantly to achieve this," the company's managing director and chief executive Tapan Singhel told PTI over the weekend.

Despite the economic slowdown, the company will pursue its expansion plans in rural areas as rural economy remains vibrant, Singhel said.

"Car sales are increasing in rural areas along with rise in sales of FMCG products. So, rural areas are going to drive the growth of general insurance industry in the future, for which we aim to increase our rural presence," he said.

Under-penetration of insurance products, especially non-life in rural areas, throws up a huge opportunity for the company, Singhel said.

As per the company, rural business will be driven by low-cost, high service model and supported by technology.

On the impact of slowdown, Singhel said the company will maintain its premia. "We know, pricing is under pressure due to slowdown. But, we will maintain premium rates," he said.

The general insurance industry has witnessed deep discounts being offered by general insurers in recent months in commercial line and group health insurance segments, among others.

He also said despite the slowdown in industry growth, his company is growing more than industry average.

Bajaj Allianz General Insurance is a joint venture between Germany's Allianz Group (26 per cent stake) and Bajaj Finserv (74 per cent stake).

Its gross written premium stood at Rs 1,506.36 crore during the April-July period of this financial year, as per insurance regulator IRDA data.