Bajaj Allianz General Insurance has set an ambitious target of recruiting around 15,000 women agents across top 30 cities. At present, the company has 150 women agents out of an agency force of 9,000.
Tapan Singhel, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance MD & CEO, said he hoped to see the company achieve this target in three to five years. The move coincides with the company’s plan to focus on retail business where insurance penetration is very low. Bajaj Allianz has also developed new Value Added Services to go beyond just selling insurance, collecting premium and paying claims to build a relationship with its customers, Singhel said.
Bajaj Allianz will be increasing focus on the personal line of general insurance products — health, home and motor. “The agency business is very weak in the general insurance business. Nobody had made the effort to grow it. So the agency business did not pick up. The time is right now for this,” Singhel said. While the products were good where companies had failed was in distribution and reach and the company intends to bridge this gap, he said.
Singhel said the business in 2014 will be tough as fundamentals of the economy will not change and the only way to expand in 2014 would be through increase in personal insurance penetration and geographical expansion. “Health insurance is the fastest growing segment in the non-life insurance business and it will outgrow motor insurance, he said.
Bajaj Allianz opened an ‘all-women branch’ in Pune on Friday and this branch will be aggressively recruiting women agents. This branch will have only women employees and will recruit and train women agents and intermediaries. Bajaj Allianz is the first insurer to come up with such an initiative and this is also an industry-first.
“We aim to tap the vast talent pool of women professionals who had to leave their professional jobs for their family commitments. We plan to give such women an opportunity to re-start their professional career without disturbing their family priorities. These professionals are those who had to take a break due to change in their life-stages like marriage, family or shifting of their locations. This initiative includes extending all possible support such as crèche facilities, pick up and drop, work from home and flexible timing which will develop a reasonable support system for them to hold on to their career aspirations,” Singhel said.
The branch started operations with a team