Volvo plans Rs400-cr investment in India

“India will emerge as the second biggest hub after China”Volvo CEO

Volvo today announced plans to invest about Rs400 crore in India in the next five years. "With this kind of investment plan, India will emerge as the second biggest hub after China," Volvo Bus Corporation President and CEO Hakan Karlsson said.

In the first phase, Volvo plans to expand its industrial establishment capacity in Hoskote to 2,500 units in the next two years. At present, the facility can produce 1,000 vehicles, he said.

The company also plans to introduce a range of new products starting in 2012, he said. "This announcement backs Volvo buses earlier announcement to become a one billion dollar company selling 5,000 buses in 2015," Karlsson said. The second phase will see Volvo setting up a new industrial establishment, he said.
"Business planning process has already begun to set up the second factory in India," Volvo Buses India, MD and CEO, Akash Passey said, but declined to divulge where it would be.

Globally, Volvo has the biggest plan in China to expand its industrial establishment capacity to 3,500, Karlsson said. The company also plans to expand capacity to 30,000 globally by 2015, which would be thrice the existing capacity, he said. "We plan to expand our establishments in Asia to 15,000 capacity," Karlsson added.

Volvo expects global revenues to grow by Rs20,000-Rs 25,000 crore by 2015, Volvo Bus Corporation senior vice president (business region international) Rune Lundberg said. "At present our global revenues are in the range of Rs14,000 crore to Rs15,000 crore," he said.

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L&T to infuse Rs 500-cr in insurance business in next 3-4 years

"We have four micro-insurance products in our portfolio as of now, which have seen sound response from the consumers," Joydeep Roy, chief executive officer of L&T Insurance said

L&T General Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of engineering construction major Larsen & Toubro, will see a capital infusion around Rs500 crore from its parent over next three to four years. "We will infuse around Rs500 crore in next three to four years in our insurance business to support future growth prospects of the company," YM Deosthalee, chairman of the board of L&T Insurance said, on the sidelines of launching the company's first health insurance product.

The company, which started its operation last year, will fund this amount from the internal accruals of the holding company, he added. L&T General Insurance has started its operation with an initial investment of Rs175 crore and has set a target of collecting a premium of Rs1,000 crore in its first five years of operations. It also aims to be break-even in five to seven years. Referring to business growth, the company officials said there is vast scope in the general insurance space as its penetration is very low. However, the company has no plans to enter into partnership in this space in the near future. "We are not going to enter into any kind of partnership in the near future," Deosthalee said.

The general insurer, which is betting big on health insurance, has also the rural markets on its radar for growth. "We have four micro-insurance products in our portfolio as of now, which have seen sound response from the consumers," Joydeep Roy, chief executive officer of L&T Insurance said adding, that the company has no plans to enter into life insurance space as of now. He also said the insurer will come up with three to four new products every quarter as part its business expansion plan.

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Royal Sundaram strengthens foothold in Madurai

Royal Sundaram leveraging opportunities offered by the promising market of Madurai, consequent to a robust growth of over 35%

Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Company Ltd sees Madurai as a significant hub in Tamil Nadu for growth of its business. Leveraging the flourishing opportunities and to expand size of the market, the company strengthened its presence in the region. PM Venkatasubramanian, chairman, Royal Sundaram inaugurated the new premise, which aims to further fuel growth, and provide exceptional services to its customers. The company continues to extend its access to semi urban, urban as well as rural areas in the coming years.

Royal Sundaram has been present in Madurai since year 2001. Over the decade, the branch has been consistently evidencing growth and currently growing over 35% YoY (year-on-year). Ajay Bimbhet, managing director, said, “Royal Sundaram is witnessing double digit growth, which is better than the industry average. We continue to focus our business on tapping retail opportunities and increasing penetration. Expansion in tier II and III cities becomes one of the significant moves to do so. We have been growing our direct presence based on "Hub and spoke" model. In line with this, Madurai has supported smaller locations like Karur, Dindigul and Tirunelveli. We now, are expecting higher growth from this region and are fully geared to service our growing customer base and supporting our intermediaries in an efficient manner.”

"Hub and spoke" model is an expansion strategy of the company wherein a mature branch expands its reach deeper by sourcing business from the smaller adjoining locations. Madurai branch had been supporting smaller locations like Karur, Dindigul and Tirunelveli and held them up to grow in full-fledged independent branches. It now supports business of locations including Rajapalayam, Aruppukottai, Ramanathapuram, Sivaganga and Karaikudi. The new premise is in the heart of commercial centre, located at 12 A, Bypass Road, Madurai–10. The branch would be headed by K Parvathy.

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