Staff Reporter

"We want to be a one-stop solution for exporters"

  • It will open offices in Dubai and Africa
  • International training centre for credit risk insurance in Mumbai

    CHENNAI: In its 50th year, the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India (ECGC) is spreading its wings.

    Forays into domestic insurance and general insurance as well as overseas offices and an international training centre are on the cards, said A.V. Muralidharan, just a day after taking over as Chairman and Managing Director of the export credit risk insurance major.

    "The first step, to be implemented immediately, is to expand our reach in the domestic sector... We will be starting domestic insurance very shortly," said Mr. Muralidharan, who is in Chennai for a golden jubilee celebration. General Manager Geetha Muralidhar said this was a move towards a single window format. "If I am an exporter with business operations in India as well, I don't want to get my export credit risk insured from ECGC, and then run around for someone else to cover my other credit risks... we want to be a one-stop solution for exporters."

    The Corporation will also sign memoranda of understanding with general insurance companies to offer their services to clients. "Till we gain expertise, we will handle credit risk, while our counterparts will handle the balance," Mr. Muralidharan said.

    According to Ms. Muralidhar, in a few years' time, the Corporation itself could start offering general insurance policies, even foraying beyond exporters to the general market. "As licensed under the IRDA, technically the ECGC can offer any kind of insurance, except life. There is no bar," said Mr. Muralidharan, who comes to the Corporation from a general insurance company, New India Assurance. During his four-year tenure, Mr. Muralidharan is aiming to raise the Corporation's premium income from Rs. 579 crore in the last financial year to Rs. 1,000 crore. The Corporation plans to open offices in Dubai and in Africa, either in Tanzania or Kenya, to cater to the third world market. The company will also open an international training centre for credit risk insurance and management in Mumbai on July 30. "We are already training officers from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Middle East and Africa, so the demand is clearly there. From Beirut to Bangkok, there is no one else who can do this," said Ms. Muralidhar.

    The Corporation has started approving cover for large-scale project exports in difficult emerging markets where India has national interest, under the National Export Insurance Account Scheme. Insurance for TCIL projects in Angola and Sudan, worth $10 million and $25 million respectively, have been granted. Other projects in the pipeline include a $190-million oil pipeline by the ONGC Videsh in Sudan, a $49- million fertiliser project by Saab Industries in Iran and a $500-million power project by the BHEL in Indonesia.