Berkshire Hathaway waiting for further reforms in Indian insurance sector

Warren Buffett's Berkshuire Hathaway's plans to enter the Indian insurance sector clearly depends on the country's insurance laws, which at present restrict foreign direct investment (FDI) to 26 per cent.

India-born Ajit Jain, the company's head for re-insurance – and widely seen as a successor to the 80-year-old multi-billionaire Buffett's $136-billion empire – says the group is closely monitoring developments in the Indian insurance sector.

Berkshire Hathaway made its first foray into the non-life insurance sector in India recently, signing up as a corporate agent for Bajaj Allianz General. Berkshire India, the new entity, will be selling and distributing Bajaj Allianz general insurance products in India through its portal www.berkshireinsurance.com.

Jain, 59, a graduate of IIT Kharagpur, joined Buffet - known as the Oracle of Omaha - about 25 years ago. Buffet, the world's third-richest individual according to Forbes magazine, with net assets worth $50 billion, has been praising Jain for years in his annual letter to investors.

And when he met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi last week, Buffet remarked: ''Shareholders in my company have more faith in him than in me. I am just a name. If you have more like him send them over to me.''

Buffet also told Singh that when he asked Bill Gates (the Microsoft boss and the second-richest man on earth) in 1991, which institution should he recruit managers from, the latter replied IIT. ''He was right,'' Buffet told Singh.