Religare Group plans to strengthen its turnaround by designing a new corporate brand identity in March next year, Rashmi Saluja, Chairperson, Religare Enterprises Ltd (REL), said.

Efforts are on to scale up the Group’s health insurance subsidiary Care Health Insurance and its equity broking subsidiary, Religare Broking.

“We believe that rather than talk about Religare 2.0, we may as well rename it and let the new name signify the next phase of growth for the group. This re-branding should happen in March 2022,” Saluja told BusinessLine .

Health Insurance rebranding

Saluja, who has charted the group’s turnaround in the last three years, highlighted the renaming of Religare Health Insurance to Care Health Insurance as a pointer to the group’s rebranding efforts.

“Care rebranding was a positive step. It wasn’t done merely to overcome the Religare shadow. We changed the name as one of our products, ‘Care’, was doing very well. It was a positive brand rub-off,” she said.

Saluja said that Religare Group will pump in ₹250 crore equity in Care Health Insurance in January and raise its shareholding to 70.5 per cent from 70 per cent.

“We are consolidating our equity in Care, not diluting our holding. REL will raise ₹250 crore and put that money in Care,” she said.

Care IPO

Saluja said the equity infusion will not change IPO plans for the standalone health insurer, likely to hit the market in FY23.

“While we are definitely going in for an IPO next fiscal, we want to realise better value. So why dilute it? It’s so much better to do this (consolidate) and go ahead when the primary market is really hot. We are holding back because of uncertainty around Covid-19. We will take a fresh look once the third wave passes by so that we are in a better position to decide on the timing,” she added.

Saluja said she was keen to attract domestic investors for the Care Health Insurance IPO as that would give stability and confidence to the management.

“I think investors have to feel that they are treated fairly, and they have to get a lot from the IPO. That is going to be our approach. We will ensure all stakeholders have enough on the table,” she added.

RFL debt restructuring

The ₹4,000-crore debt restructuring proposal before the banks is expected to be approved in January and Religare Finvest Ltd (RFL), the troubled NBFC arm of REL, will likely resume operations in February, Saluja said.

RFL is barred from undertaking fresh business as it has been under a corrective action plan (CAP) of the Reserve Bank of India since January 2018. RFL had hit a rough patch four years ago and faced financial distress due to alleged misappropriation of funds by erstwhile promoters Shivinder Singh and his brother, Malvinder Singh.

Saluja said REL, which had raised ₹570 crore capital from existing and new investors in June this year through a preferential allotment, will pump ₹411 crore in RFL once the debt restructuring plan gets the approval of a consortium of 18 banks.

Fund infusion in broking arm

REL has already infused ₹100 crore in its retail broking franchise Religare Broking, Saluja said.

Plans are afoot to rope in a strategic investor in Religare Broking and take the company public by March 2023, she said.

The balance ₹60 crore, out of the ₹570 crore raised, would be infused in the housing finance arm, she added.

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