Money & Banking

Retail business growing well, says IndiaFirst Life CEO

NS Vageesh Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 09, 2016

RM VISHAKHA, MD & CEO, IndiaFirst Life Insurance

Logs year-on-year growth of about 40%

IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company has seen good growth in retail business this fiscal, RM Vishakha, MD and CEO of the company, said.

The six-year-old life insurance company — formed by a joint venture between public sector banks Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and overseas partner Legal & General — has seen 40 per cent growth in its individual (retail) business.

Vishakha said, “We wanted to grow at 25 per cent year-on-year and there we have surpassed expectations. With stability in the management of both promoter banks returning last year (there was uncertainty for some time as top appointments at both banks were delayed), it helped and gave us the required impetus.

“We have achieved nearly 40 per cent growth year-on-year in our individual (retail) business.”

This year, while all three segments of the business — funds (including gratuity, superannuation funds, different benefit funds and defined contribution funds), group protection, and retail — have done well, the focus was on reviving the retail portfolio using the bancassurance channel, she said. Between the two promoter banks, the company has access to nearly 8,500 branches that can sell life insurance policies.

Premium collection

According to numbers from regulatory body IRDAI, premium collections for IndiaFirst Life in January were about ₹232 crore and ₹1,186 crore for the 10 months ending January. While not wanting to read too much into the recent monthly numbers which seem to indicate strong premium inflow (through group protection policies), Vishakha said that the overall trend was positive from June last year.

On profitability in the current fiscal, Vishakha said that the target would be modest compared to last year and would depend on the claims that have arisen in the Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyothi Yojana (PMJJY) scheme.

She said, “We got a huge upsurge in retail and thanks to the market, we got a huge upsurge in traditional policies. Typically, these upsurges mean higher upfront charges, since that’s the way the products are structured. I am hoping to continue the trend of what we did last year.”

The company had turned in its maiden profit of ₹6.9 crore in 2014-15. The company also saw infusion of ₹150 crore capital last year.

Published on March 09, 2016
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