India today is a land of opportunities, and the ambient business environment in the country is characterised by exuberance and optimism. The feel-good climate is also reflected among reinsurance and insurance market participants who have received a shot-in-the-arm by way of the second phase of liberalisation of the sector, according to Mrs Alice G Vaidyan, Chairman-cum-Managing Director of GIC Re, in her special welcome address at the opening session yesterday of the 11th India Rendezvous in Mumbai.
Giving a bird’s eye view of what the Indian insurance industry achieved in 2017, when several foreign reinsurers started onshore reinsurance business in India, she said: “New reinsurers entering India provide additional capacity in the Indian market and bring with them international expertise. Cedants get access to new and innovative products. All these advantages have the potential to accelerate increase in insurance penetration in India.”
In his turn, Mr Sivam Subramaniam, Editor-in-Chief of Asia Insurance Review, which is co-organiser of the Rendezvous with GIC Re, said in his brief but succinct opening remarks that the Indian insurance industry can contribute a lot at this stage when the Indian economy is at a high point in its growth trajectory and there are eager expectations from all stakeholders. With the enormous potential that exists, there is much that can be done.
Emerging countries are rebounding, and India is on top of the scale
Mr Christian Delannes, Chief Financial Officer of SCOR, Global P&C, in his Industry Keynote Address, spoke about the high growth rate of the Indian (P&C) insurance industry since 2011 which is close to 20%.
“The market profitability (and its underwriting) is totally driven by buoyant investment returns which more than offset technical losses with combined ratios consistently above 110%,” he said.
To bring about substantial positive change in the Indian reinsurance market, it is important “to conduct the change in a collaborative and effective way, creating a genuine public-private-international convergence,” Mr Delannes added.
Key drivers of growth
In his Special Address, Mr G Srinivasan, Chairman-cum-Managing Director, New India Assurance Company, enumerated the key drivers to growth in the Indian insurance market.
He said that the government-led initiative for financial inclusion has brought 618 million persons under government-sponsored schemes in 2016-17. These include the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Beema Yojana and some others.
“While direct government initiatives have been a major impetus to growth of the industry, several other factors, including legislative, technological, socio-economic and general economic factors, have also played an important role in this direction,” said Mr Srinivasan.
India today has nine branches of foreign reinsurers and two home-grown reinsurers. India is a very large country on a high-growth trajectory, and its insurance and reinsurance sectors have immense scope.
Much has happened on the (re)insurance front in India in the last one year. Hence, it is imperative that the various stakeholders of the Indian insurance industry explore the transforming landscape of the Indian insurance industry.
The three-day Rendezvous, which attracted more than 700 participants, ends today. To read the special newsletter of the 11th India Rendezvous, please see :