Exciting role, great future

Chennai: He is a mechanical engineer and a chartered accountant by qualification. And now he heads India's leading private general insurance company. That is Bajaj Allianz General Insurance chief executive officer Sam Ghosh in brief.

After working in an accountancy firm in Britain, Ghosh moved to Australia to join an Allianz group subsidiary. He was involved in setting up Allianz subsidiaries in the Asia-Pacific region (the Philippines, Malaysia and the Pacific Islands).

In 1998, Ghosh came to India to take over the Allianz representative office. He was subsequently involved in the tie-up with Bajaj Auto to set up insurance operations. “The work is phenomenal, since the biggest challenge is to set up a green-field project. Very few CEOs have such an opportunity to set up a company from scratch in a new market. It is indeed very challenging,“ he says.

Ever since it started operations, the Rs 110-crore equity-based Bajaj Allianz has been notching up an impressive performance. “We have earned a premium of Rs 130 crore during the first half of the current fiscal,“ says a proud Ghosh. Last year, the company closed its accounts with a premium of Rs 142 crore and has sold more than 8 lakh policies till date. “The business generated from the Bajaj group is very negligible.“

While motor insurance forms a major chunk of its total premium income, Ghosh says his company is also a big force in the corporate/project insurance field, accounting for 35 per cent of the total premium. But Ghosh is silent on the company's underwriting results (the premium income minus claims outgo). Bajaj Allianz's total investment stands at Rs 200 crore.

With most of the new general insurers following the strategy of market penetration by accepting the co-insurance share in the case of corporate accounts, Ghosh says Bajaj Allianz will like to lead insurers wherever and whenever possible.