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The new entrant - First Life Insurance

IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited, a joint venture between Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and Legal

Bienu Vaghela

12 Nov 2009

IndiaFirst Life Insurance Company Limited, a joint venture between Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and Legal & General has received its final R3 approval from the insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), and said that the company plans to launch operations in December 2009.

The announced on this was made by Shri. M. D. Mallya, Chairman & Managing Director, Bank of Baroda and Chairman of IndiaFirst Life insurance in the presence of Shri. R.S. Reddy, Chairman & Managing Director, Andhra Bank, Mr. Gareth Hoskin, Group International Director, Legal & General and Dr. P. Nandagopal, CEO, IndiaFirst Life insurance. The company plans to enter the market initially with a soft launch to test its processes and operational readiness. It plans to launch its operations in December. The initial product range would cover the typical needs of savings, education and retirement and would be followed by a whole range of protection, wealth accumulation, health, and group insurance plans.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Mallya said, insurance as we all know is extremely critical for the growth and development of the country. However, while we have been witnessing an increasing growth in our per capita income and saving rate, the same growth has not been witnessed in the insurance sector. insurance premium forms merely 5 per cent of our GDP.

There is a vast potential in the semi urban and rural areas that is yet to be tapped. Through this venture, we aim to take the benefits of life insurance to the masses. As always, it will be our endeavor to place the interest of our customers First, further added Shri Mallya.

The three promoters put together have over 360 combined years of service to customers across the world an envious achievement.

This joint venture brings together a real understanding of the Indian consumers by the promoter banks with international best practices developed by Legal & General. We aim to provide world class products and services, that are customized to meet the requirements of the Indian consumer, said Shri Reddy.

Shri Reddy added, While acknowledging the fact that the Indian consumer today has multiple choices available, we want to develop ourselves by virtue of our products and services as their First choice for any insurance and financial requirement. We aim to strengthen the bond developed with our customers over the years, by catering to all their financial requirements under one roof.

The company plans to initially focus on the bancassurance model. It plans to leverage the existing customer base of over 50 million customers of the promoter banks spread across 4,500 branches in the country. Each bank has its own segmentation and profile of customers. Both have a huge semi urban and rural network. The challenge for the company is to optimally exploit the entire potential provided by both Bank of Baroda and Andhra Bank.

Commenting on the joint venture, Mr. Hoskin said, Legal & General is really delighted to become a part of the dynamic Indian insurance industry. The Indian economy has huge potential for growth and we are glad that our joint venture will contribute to and be a part of this growth story.

Mr. Hoskin further added, Having partners with a well established presence in the Indian financial services domain and an excellent legacy of customer service are enviable advantages that this joint venture possesses. Our philosophy of putting the customer First together with our cost effective distribution model, will enable us to make a real long-term contribution to the Indian economy by broadening the choices available to our customers as they harvest the fruits of their economic success and invest them for a stable long term future for themselves and their families

The new corporate identity represents the company's personality. IndiaFirst aims to be modern in its outlook, creative in its approach, energetic in its attitude, focus on principles, cheerful and vibrant yet simple and clear in its communication. It aims to always place the Indian consumer First in everything it does.

Speaking on the new identity, Dr. Nandagopal said, Our name and logo are distinctive. They are a testimony to the commitment of our promoters of always putting our customers First in everything we do. We represent India's new found confidence, its resolve, grit and spirit.

The wave in the logo represents the colors of the three promoters Bank of Baroda, Andhra Bank and Legal & General.

Dr. Nandagopal added, IndiaFirst is an open, modern and hardworking organization. We believe in doing things right for the customer, the distributors and our shareholders. We as a company are committed to providing value for money products and service excellence to our customers.