Royal Sundaram opens three new branches

Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company has expanded its distribution network by opening three new branches in Tumkur (Karnataka), Cuddapah (Andhra Pradesh) and Dindigul (Tamil Nadu)

Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company has expanded its distribution network by opening three new branches in Tumkur (Karnataka), Cuddapah (Andhra Pradesh) and Dindigul (Tamil Nadu). The company continues with its plan to expand its services to urban, semi urban, and rural areas. With this new addition the company's network has grown to 86 branches in India.

Ajay Bimbhet, managing director, Royal Sundaram said, "This move is a part of our geographic expansion strategy in tier II & tier III cities." The branch design follows a standard template developed by Royal Sundaram to provide customers' comfort and agents' convenience. The company's expansion strategy is based on the "Hub and Spoke" model, wherein a mature branch expands its reach deeper by sourcing business from the smaller adjoining locations. This is done by strengthening relationships with local dealers, agents and associates. Once these areas start generating substantial business, these are converted into standalone branches.

Royal Sundaram offers a wide range of covers for products such as motor, health, personal accident, home, home content and travel insurance.

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Department of Posts targets to grow insurance base to 100 million subscribers

The Department of Posts is in talks with various consultants to formulate a roadmap for its life insurance business with an aim to grow the customer base to about 100 million subscribers in next few years

The Department of Posts (DoP) is in talks with various consultants to formulate a roadmap for its life insurance business with an aim to grow the customer base to about 100 million subscribers in next few years, sources said. "But, the talks are still in the initial stages and nothing concrete has been done till yet," a source in the DoP said.

The department has about five million policies under postal life insurance (PLI) with an amount of Rs58,132 crore, while under rural postal life insurance (RPLI), it has about 13 million policies with an assured amount of Rs67,162 crore. The growth rate of RPLI was 60% in terms of premium income in 2009-10 over 2008-09. The Department is committed to expanding insurance cover to reach a target of about 100 million customers in next few years, the source said.

The department has already invited expressions of interest (EoIs) to receive responses from eligible interested firms for providing project consultancy on "Long Term Strategy for Life Insurance Business of Department of Posts".

Given the recent regulatory changes, government policies and the need for greater participation in the evolving but still growing life insurance market, DoP wants a thorough diagnostic re-look at its entire operating strategy including a structural framework in the insurance division and to develop a road map for the future.

In that regard, the consultants chosen shall focus on the following areas as a part of the assignment, including analysis of insurance market, future outlook for growth and profitability, scope for expansion of products and clientele and key success factors for an organisation to succeed.

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COMMENTS

Binod

6 years ago

In one hand PLI has restricted the maximum sum assured at 10 lakhs combining all policies together. That means if someone has taken, say, an endowment policy with sum assured 10 lakhs, then he/she can not take a new policy from PLI as he has reached the maximum limit.

On the other hand PLI is aiming to increase its customer base to about 100 million subscribers in next few years. Why does PLI want to increase the number of customers only? Instead look for increasing PLI premium amount also and this can be done simply by removing this upper limit of 10 lakhs restriction.

Mumbai developers’ ‘Gudi Padwa’ dreams are less likely to bear fruit this year

Despite the festival season—cutting across communities, various freebies being offered and substantial discounts, buyers are staying away from property purchases. However, a few analysts feel that it would be better to cash in on the current discounts, as rates are likely to go up in the near future

Amid dismal sales figures, city developers and builders were looking forward to Gudi Padwa for some improvement. Unfortunately, despite the freebies and other attractive offers, buyers have shied away from purchasing properties.

"Last year, it was comparatively better," said a Borivali-based broker. "This year, it brings us no joy. We have not seen a single registration this year, and I know of other brokers in other parts of Mumbai who are suffering in the same way," he said.

'Gudi Padwa', 'Akshay Tritiya' and 'Dussera' are traditionally considered to be auspicious occasions for making purchases, and usually see a lot of activity in the realty sector. Many people register for buying properties, and builders and brokers too, offer attractive deals to woo them. Gudi Padwa, which comes around the time of Punjab's 'Baisakhi', the Tamil 'Puthandu', Andhra's 'Ugadi' and Kerala's 'Vishu', is a profitable time for developers.

Many developers have offered discounts up to 20% on property prices and other offers to attract buyers. Even those developers, who had been otherwise reluctant to restructure property prices, have offered some sort of incentive. For example, the Sanghvi Group declared the launch of 'Sanghvi Paradise' at Rs1,854/ per square foot (psf) for the first 50 bookings along with offering discounts of up to Rs3 lakh for Sanghvi Exotica and up to Rs100/psf for 'Sanghvi Valley', 'Sanghvi Ecocity'. 'Sanghvi Nakshatra' and 'Sanghvi Nisarg' and 'Shankheswar Nagar'.

However, the magic has not worked. Neither has this year seen many project launches. Ramesh Nair, managing director-west India, Jones Lang LaSalle, said in a report, "The number of launches is lower when compared to last year, as not many projects have been approved in the last four months. There is a noticeable trend towards smaller-sized units, obviously meant to catch the tail-end of demand."

It appears as if the festive spirit cannot outbalance decreasing affordability. As Mr Kalpesh Shah, treasurer, National Association of Realtors (India), pointed out, projects which offer affordable rates are the only ones likely to sell. In many cases, people have stayed away from developers who have not reduced their prices.

"But what do we do?", remarked a developer in Navi Mumbai. "The last year has been bad, and some people are under pressure to settle bank dues with the financial year ending. So, we couldn't offer much discounts."

However, some experts feel that it is better to register for property now. "Post festival, some developers may hike prices citing increased input costs", an analyst said. Mr Nair said that people who are willing to take advantage of the festive offers and pay 30%-40% down payment will make a profit.

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