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Bharti Axa starts insurance operations

August 22, 2006 18:45 IST
After dominating the telecom space, Bharti on Monday forayed into the life insurance sector with its joint venture with global insurance major Axa Asia Pacific launching its operations in India with two products.

Bharti Axa, the 16th player in the life insurance space, announced that it would roll out over 30 branches by December 2007, besides selling its products in other parts through strategic partnerships.

The company today introduced two unit linked products - Future Confident and Wealth Confident. "This small step today will be the front runner to a giant footprint in the future, just like our flagship telecom brand Airtel," Bharti Enterprises chairman and managing director Sunil Mittal said.

Bharti Axa will adopt a multi channel, multi-product and a pan India approach, the company said in a statement.

The Bharti Axa combine will leverage Bharti Airtel's well-entrenched distribution capabilities, its 25 million customer base among other things, while Axa will bring its knowledge base and leadership skills in insurance.

The life insurance industry collected weighted new premium income of Rs 22,000 crore (Rs 220 billion) during 2005-06, exhibiting a growth of 42 per cent over the previous year.

However, with an insurable population estimated to be around 20 crore (Rs 200 million), the current penetration rate is only 12 per cent.

Even as a percentage of GDP, the life insurance premium penetration rate stands at 2.35 per cent, all pointing towards a huge opportunity for insurance companies in India, which is rated as one of the fast growing economies in Asia, the statement added.

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