The Telegraph
Monday , July 6 , 2015
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Shriram Life branch focus

Jain: Upbeat

Mumbai, July 5: Private insurer Shriram Life Insurance is looking to open around 1,000 branches over the next 3-5 years to get a national footprint.

The Hyderabad-based company has been ramping up its presence outside south India over the past three years.

During this period, it has added around 300 branches, of which 80 per cent were in non-southern regions.

In eastern India, it has opened 80 outlets. About 12 per cent of its business come from Bengal, Odisha, Jharkhand and Bihar.

Manoj Kumar Jain, CEO and wholetime director of Shriram Life Insurance, told The Telegraph that though a portion of its business comes from the digital or online channel, the focus would be on scaling up branches.

The company now plans to consolidate in the south even as it adds 70-75 offices in states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Gujarat.

At present, it has 460 branches, of which 190 are in the south.

Jain, however, does not agree that opening more branches will increase costs.

"We have a low-cost operation model and this is our DNA. Moreover, these branches have not only helped us in attracting new customers, but also retaining them," he said.

For the current fiscal, Shriram Life is targeting a growth of 20-25 per cent in new business premium. The company's new business premium increased 28 per cent to Rs 498 crore in 2014-15 from Rs 390 crore a year ago.

Jain said the life insurer would also leverage on Shriram Group's network to improve its presence in the country, especially the rural market.

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