Aviva plans expansion, eyes Indian rural market | india | Hindustan Times
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Aviva plans expansion, eyes Indian rural market

Aiming to increase its reach in the country, especially rural areas, Aviva Life Insurance has set up special branches.

india Updated: Apr 11, 2006 15:32 IST

Aiming to increase its reach in the country, especially rural areas, Aviva Life Insurance has set up special branches and tied up with cooperative banks across India.

"We have tied up with 15 cooperative banks having presence in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra and Sikkim to take our products to the rural areas," Aviva Life Insurance's director-marketing Vivek Khanna said on Monday night.

"We are also looking at increasing presence in the east and the north east," he said.

Aviva, a joint venture between Britain's Aviva Plc and India's Dabur group, was also keen to reach out to the underprivileged who did not have access to insurance so far, said Khanna.

"The association with Basix (a micro finance institution) has resulted in Aviva reaching the weaker sections of the society. For the rural areas, Aviva has adopted a different approach, which focuses on the special needs of the customer," he said.

"We have assured some 500,000 lives in the rural areas," he said.

At present Aviva has tie-ups with ABN Amro Bank, American Express Bank, Canara Bank, The Lakshmi Vilas Bank Ltd, Centurion Bank of Punjab and Punjab & Sind Bank and does 65 per cent of its business through bancassurance, the combination of banking and insurance business within the same organisation, he said.

"We are also planning to bring in some unit-linked products soon and have approached the IRDA for approval," he said without elaborating.

The company has a capital base of Rs 4.59 billion ($100 million) after infusion of Rs 1.39 billion in January this year.

"We are growing at triple digits for the last three years as against the industry growth of 30 percent. We expect to maintain the momentum this year also," he said.

Aviva was also looking at pension business and waiting for the pension regulations to be announced by the newly set-up regulatory authority, he said.

He said joint venture partner Aviva, Britain's largest and the world's sixth largest insurance group, was interested to increase stake in the company if the sector was further opened up.