The dark horse

Bajaj Allianz has unexpectedly moved to second place among private life insurers. CEO Sam Ghosh tells Venkatachari Jagannathan how they did it.

Sam GhoshChennai: If there is one private life insurer that has caught industry watchers by surprise, it is the Pune-based Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance Company. After a sedate existence for a few years, the company suddenly started jumping ranks and is now in the number two position among private life insurers based on new premium income.

During the current fiscal the company has underwritten new business of Rs1,100 crore, compared to the previous fiscal's Rs1,002 crore (including new business of Rs860 crore).

CEO Sam Ghosh says the company is fast expanding its footprint: "We have 103 branches and 435 satellite offices over 500 locations all over the country. We plan to increase this number to 600 by next year." On the bancassurance front, the company's focus is on increasing the productivity of the co-operative banks and the regional rural banks with which it has tied up.

Excerpts from an interview: