We will have 10-12 per cent growth in FY22, says Kotak Mahindra Life CEO

bhi Mumbai | Updated on April 12, 2021

Optimistic about the prospects of the life insurance industry, G Murlidhar, Managing Director and CEO, Kotak Mahindra Life Insurance, says expectations of improved economic growth, more awareness about insurance, and digitisation will give a boost to demand. In an interview with BusinessLine, he also expressed hope that the impact of the second wave of the Covid-19 will be limited as insurers have learnt to work through the pandemic. Excerpts:

How do you expect

the company to

perform this year?

How the company will do depends on the economy and the industry. My view is that India still remains largely underinsured and underpenetrated market. A lot of opportunity exists.

I think we’ll bounce back, and we will have 10 per cent to 12 per cent growth this fiscal. GDP will grow so we expect domestic savings will grow. Also, with increasing customer awareness, people are willing to buy insurance products, and I think the digital inclusive technology is really helping. I don’t see any problem for the industry. The outlook is is optimistic and we look forward to grow.

Are you worried about the second wave of Covid?

As an insurer, no, not really. Yes, this second wave of Covid is a problem, and there will be some impact on business and mortality. But I think it will be limited for some time, and it will be overcome. The way we do business has also changed quite a bit. Even during the first wave, business went on, we were still continuing to sell, and we still continue to so we did even today. The insurance industry on the whole hasn’t fallen behind substantially. We have learnt to work through this.

What is the strategy of the company, going ahead?

We are a very balanced company – we have equal sale of group and equal sale of individual products. And, on the individual side, we have agencies selling 50 per cent and the rest 50 per cent by non-agency, that is banca, and others. So, we are pretty balanced in what we sell and that will continue.

There’s a huge thrust towards digitisation, which will continue not only in fulfilment, but also in selling. In the last one year we have put together huge number of tools for digitisation. We will also work on direct B2C.

Is persistency still an

issue for the industry?

There was a temporary blip in the month in the initial part after the pandemic because there was also extension of the deadlines. But otherwise the industry has slowly caught up. It was bound to happen. We as a company really focus on persistency.

Do you expect the

demand for protection products to continue?

Protection saw a big spurt immediately after the pandemic broke out.

I think it is now settling, but it is still higher. Our protection business, too, has grown substantially and we want to see protection as a big share, and we will like to grow it.

Published on April 12, 2021

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