Exciting times ahead

Venkatachari Jagannathan talks to Arun Agarwal on the future of the Indian insurance industry

"We are indeed heading towards some of the most exciting times in the history of general insurance market in India. Six out of the eight private companies in the industry have completed three or more years of operations," says Arun Agarwal, chief executive officer, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd.

In the same vein he adds, "Overall there is a greater sense of stability, proactiveness and innovation among all the private companies."

According to him growth will continue to be the thrust area for all the private players. And the key impetus for growth will be product innovation and customer orientation.

"One can already observe the shifts and change of focus into these areas. In the retail spectrum we have seen some really good innovations in non-tariff lines like health insurance, overseas travel insurance, personal accident insurance and others. We have also seen these products bundled very intelligently to cater to and reach the right customer segments."

According to Agarwal, the traditional lines of business like fire and motor still contribute substantially to the growth of the sector. "In the commercial business, companies are attempting to approach insurance with a more holistic view by building expertise in the areas of risk management," he says.