Bharti AXA Life Insurance is targeting a five per cent marketshare by end-2012 and has charted out an aggressive roadmap for expansion, a top company official said.

“We plan to have a market share of five per cent by 2012 and have significant expansion plans,” Bharti AXA Life Insurance’s Chief Financial Officer, V Srinivasan, told PTI here.

Presently, the company which entered the Indian market in 2006, has one per cent marketshare with a total premium collection of Rs 543-crore as on August 31, 2009. The company has done better compared to its competitors.

“Ours is the fastest growth story. Despite (the economic) slowdown, we have been able to grow faster than our competitors,” he added.

Bharti AXA Life insurance is a joint venture company between India’s leading conglomerate, the Bharti Group and France-based financial protection and wealth management service provider-AXA.

To increase its market penetration, the life insurer plans to leverage the reach of the Bharti Group which has interests in retail, telecom and agriculture businesses with a significant retail footprint.

Bharti AXA Life has set up virtual branches to distribute policies using the retail and telecom outlets of the Bharti Group, Srinivasan said.

“We will grow along with the Bharti Group and going forward, we plan to open more virtual branches,” he said.

The company’s strategy in the future would be to focus on having more virtual presence than physical branches of which presently it has 203, he said.

The company presently sells its policies through Airtel Relationship Centres and Bharti Teletech dealers.

“A good amount of our business is coming from these virtual branches,” he said, adding that the business from virtual branches accounts for 25 per cent at present.

Bharti AXA is open to tie-up with banks for selling insurance policies but is awaiting the findings of a committee set up by insurance regulator, IRDA, to review the bancassurance model.

“The bancassurance channel interests us. Once the IRDA committee comes out with its report, we will take a final decision,” Srinivasan said.

The private-sector life insurer which has a capital base of Rs. 1,160-crore will be adding another Rs 100-crore in the fourth quarter of the fiscal, he said.

“In last six-months, we infused Rs. 210-crore and will be investing another Rs. 100-crore in the 4th quarter,” he said.

The company also plans to beef up its sales force to 45,000 from the present 30,000 by end-this fiscal, he said.

The company presently has eight life insurance products which includes six ULIP products and one product each in health and traditional, Srinivasan said, adding, “our strategy is to focus strongly on ULIP products.”

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