More than a year after the ING Group exited the life insurance business in India by selling its 26 per cent stake to Exide Industries, the name of ING Vysya Life Insurance Company Limited has been changed to Exide Life Insurance Company Limited (Exide Life Insurance) with immediate effect. The company received approvals from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) and the Ministry of Corporate Affairs last week.
“There will be no change in the composition of the board of directors. Exide Industries Limited has been our major shareholder for 8 years and acquired 100 per cent ownership of the company over a year back” said Kshitij Jain, Managing Director and CEO of Exide Life Insurance Company Limited.
He said the company would undertake a massive mass media campaign and a public contact programme starting from June to inform the customers and public at large about the change in the name of the company.
Jain also said the company was not in talks with any foreign investor for divesting stake in the life insurance company. “It will remain as a fully-owned company Exide Industries. Exide is committed to further invest and grow the business in the coming years,” he said.
When asked if the company would come out with a public offer in the due course of time, Jain said that the company was waiting for more clarity to emerge from the insurance regulator before going for an IPO. “It is too early to say anything on making an IPO,” he said.
In addition to its presence in over 200 cities across the country, Exide Life Insurance will expand the presence by opening offices in nine centres in Eastern parts of the country this year. The offices would be opened in Kolkata, Asansol, Jorhat, Bihar and Odisha among others, he said.
“We are among the top 5 players in traditional home markets in the South and are confident that our new brand identity ‘Exide Life Insurance’ will help us replicate this success nationally,” he said.
In 2013-14, Exide Life Insurance doubled its profits to Rs 53 crore driven by growth in renewal premiums and improvements in efficiency and product mix. Despite challenging market conditions, its total premium income has grown 5 per cent to Rs 1,830 crore from Rs 1,742 crore in 2012-13. Its renewal premium has grown by 14.5 per cent to Rs 1,260 crore in March 2014 compared to Rs 1,100 crore in March 2013.
Total assets under management grew 13 per cent to Rs 7,490 crore in 2013-14. The company’s solvency margin is healthy at 239% on March 31, 2014, up 32% as compared to March 2013. Its market share in the overall life insurance business is around 1 per cent and 2.5 per cent among the private life insurance companies.
Explaining the brand positioning, Jain said, “Advancements in the economy and health care have ensured that Indians are living longer than before. Life expectancy has gone up from 32 years to 68.4 years since independence. Exide Life Insurance’s focus on the long term defines our mission - We help our customers prepare financially for a long and happy life.”
The company will continue to honor its commitments and obligations under the insurance policy(s) issued to customers in the name of ING Vysya Life Insurance Company Limited, he said.
Commenting on the change in Company identity; A K Mukherjee, Chief Financial Officer, Exide Industries, said; “Exide Industries has been the major shareholder of the company since 2005 and acquired 100 % ownership of the company in 2013. Changing the Company’s brand name to Exide Life Insurance is a further reaffirmation of the long term commitment of Exide Industries to our life insurance business.”
Since its establishment in September 2001, Exide Industries has invested Rs 1,600 crore in the life insurance business. Post its acquisition of stake from ING Group in January 2013, the company infused Rs 135 crore. There will be no need to make further capital infusion in 2014-15, said Uco Vegter, chief financial officer, Exide Life Insurance Company Limited.
New Logo of Exide Life Insurance
The new logo of Exide Life Insurance combines the bold 'Exide' word mark, with softer, more contemporary forms of the word 'Life' and the 'Exide Life Sun' symbol. The colour red and the letterforms of the 'Exide' word mark create an instant visual connect with the parent brand 'Exide'. The colour red denotes solidity & dynamism. The word 'Life' is used in the colour blue to denote stability and security and reflect caring, and human cues. The sun is the most universally recognised visual expression of 'life' and 'optimism' and reinforces the brand's philosophy of preparing people for a long and happy life.
Exide Life Insurance Company Limited (formerly ING Vysya Life Insurance Company Limited) commenced operations in 2001 and is head quartered in Bangalore. The company is 100% owned by Exide Industries Limited and is proud to be part of a 100 year old brand heritage in India.
Exide Life Insurance distributes its products through multi-channels viz. Agency, Banc assurance and Alliances. The Agency channel comprises of over 35,000 advisors who are attached to over 200 company offices and customer care centers across the country. The Banc assurance and Alliances business includes distribution relationships with ING Vysya Bank, Regional Co-operative banks, Corporate Agents, Brokers & Referral Partners.
Exide Life Insurance, one of the leading life insurance companies in South India, is now growing its franchise in other parts of the country.