Aegon Religare Life Insurance Company, which started operations only in 2008 — a time when the financial crisis had hit the global and domestic markets — is now all set to go aggressive with its expansion plans.
Netherlands-based Aegon will infuse €100 million (R600 crore) in the life insurance venture. The Indian partners would proportionately increase their capital in the venture. However, the Dutch company is keenly waiting for the Insurance Amendment Bill, which was introduced in the Rajya Sabha by the UPA government before going in for Lok Sabha polls in 2009, to become law.
"We are very keen that the foreign direct investment limit is raised from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in insurance companies, we are ready with our plans to increase our stake immediately after it becomes law," Alex Wynaendts, chairman of the executive board and CEO, Aegon NV said.
Wynaendts said that India with a quickly growing middle class would be a focus market for Aegon. The life insurance company is planning to recruit 20,000 agents by March, 2011. At present, there are 9,000 agents. "India will be a key market for us: it has a growing middle class and the life insurance penetration is still low."
(The writer’s travel and stay were sponsored by Aegon NV)