Shriram Life targets 30% growth

CEO Manoj Jain says insurance is not for savings, but for pure protection

Shriram Life targets 30% growth

 Shriram Life Insurance Company (SLIC) is targeting a growth of 30 per cent in coming years. While the insurance sector in India is growing at about 10 per cent, the company last year grew 25 per cent, said  Manoj Kumar Jain, CEO and wholetime director, SLIC.

Started in 2006, the company has so far insured more than 60 lakh lives. Talking about SLIC’s journey in the past decade, Jain says, “From 2006 to 2012, we did not go to the market. We did up-selling and cross-selling and only in February 2012 did we start our expansion. We opened nearly 275 branches from February 2012, and at present we have 488 branches. Earlier in 2012, 90 per cent of our business was from the South; now it is 60 per cent from the South, and the remaining from the rest of India. We have about 3,500 employees.”

Explaining how SLIC created the niche market, he says it first reached out to truck drivers. One of Shriram’s Group businesses is commercial vehicle finance, and the life insurance company targets the truck drivers.

No insurance, savings link

“We started giving life insurance cover along with the finance. The one-time premium is Rs 2,500 till they settle the loan, which will be generally between three and four years. Every month we cover 40,000 truck drivers and it is a huge market for us,” he says.

“Insurance companies are not known for giving good returns. They are only for pure protection. In India, people associate insurance companies with savings. We need to create awareness and educate people on how it is important to insure as only five per cent of our country has life insurance cover,” Jain said.

 “Nearly 25 per cent of SLIC business comes from the groups’ STFC (Shriram Transport Finance Company) truck financing segment, and another 25 per cent from group insurance. The remaining 50 per cent comes from  individual customers,” Jain said.

When asked where SLIC stands in the private life insurance segment, Jain said, “There are 23 private players and we are among the top six.”

According to him, the cumulative profits of the company were at Rs 308 crore and profits in the last financial year (2014-15) were at Rs 80 crore. Compared with the first quarter of the last financial year, the company witnessed a 32 per cent jump in premium in the first quarter of this financial year. “The company collected Rs 734 crore as premium in the last financial year.”

Future plans

Last year, SLIC sold close to 87,000 policies in rural areas alone. “You need to educate and spread awareness among rural people to sell policies. We identify a village with a population of 10,000 and it almost takes us one year to sell 100 policies in that village,” he says.

While the company offers 11 products, it recently launched Shriram Life Secure Plus, a non-linked, non-participating, term plan with return of premia at maturation.

“Three to four products are in the pipeline and we will launch them in the next two to three months. Among the new products, a pension plan will be something that we will be launching soon,” he said.

“We started giving life insurance cover to truckers along with the finance. Every month we cover 40,000 truck drivers and it is a huge market for us.”
 Manoj Kumar Jain, CEO, SLIC

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