As we prepare this year's annual letter to shareholders the world is facing one of thegreatest health threats humankind has ever seen one that is likely to have a profoundimpact on the Indian and global economies and on all of its citizens. Our thoughts remainwith the communities and individuals including healthcare workers and other frontlineresponders most deeply hit by the COVID-19 crisis. Throughout our history we haveprioritised supporting our customers communities and employees in such critical times.This unprecedented situation is no different and we know that we have to play our part insupporting all our stakeholders.
In these annual letters I usually discuss HDFC Life's priorities and performance aswell as the broader issues facing our Company and the large untapped life insuranceopportunity in India. However right now as we deal with the spiralling effects of thispandemic I want to focus on what we as a life insurer can do to remain strong resilientand well- positioned to support our customers colleagues and communities across India.While the long-term strategy to deepen insurance penetration will largely remain the sameshort-term focus is on servicing of customers digitally accelerated digital sellingemployee engagement and reviewing our operating model.
Incidentally this year also marks 20 years of our momentous journey. Looking back onthe last two decades - starting from the time we received our licence from IRDAI as thefirst private player in the country to be allowed to sell life insurance - theorganisation has weathered some unparalleled challenges and achieved many industry-firstsin the process. I am proud of each and every individual who has been part of thiswonderful journey of two decades and I want to take this opportunity to thank each andevery one of our employees.
While the end of FY 2020 was difficult we are well positioned as we enter a newdecade. We have consistently been amongst the top three companies in the private sector interms of new business premium closing the year at Rs 17238 crore with a market share of21.5%. We ended the year with New Business Margin (NBM) of 25.9% compared to 24.6% in theprevious year and with an Embedded Value (EV) of Rs 20650 crore along with an 18.1%operating return on EV. Indian GAAP profits grew by 1% over the previous year. This wasachieved through steady growth in premium income balanced product mix across ourdiversified distribution and cost efficiency enabled by our focus on technology. We havetaken cognisance of the potential impact of the pandemic and have strengthened ourpersistency and mortality assumptions.
HDFC Pension Management Company Ltd. (HPMC) and HDFC International Life and Re CompanyLtd. (HILRC) - HDFC Life's two subsidiaries have gone from strength to strength in FY2020. HPMC grew its AUM by 60% to close the year at Rs 8265 crore and is the largestprivately-owned pension fund management company in India with a market share of 31%. HPMCis well placed to address the opportunity in a fast growing pension management market inIndia.
HILRC grew its reinsurance premium revenue by 72% in FY 2020 and continues to registerpositive net profit. It is well poised to explore key opportunities across the GCC (GulfCooperation Council). HILRC aims to further build on its strong foundation on the back ofa 'BBB' rating affirmed by S&P in December 2019.
We have sustained our performance over the past two decades and achieved this growth inFY 2020 despite a weaker macro-economic scenario exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemictowards the end of the financial year.
On the distribution front we continue to add partners at a good pace to furtherstrengthen our diversified distribution and increase insurance penetration in India. Wework with over 270+ partners ranging from traditional banks to NBFCs to new- age fintechand insurtech firms. These relationships have not only helped us diversify ourdistribution but also helped in the development of innovative product and deliverysolutions for our customers. Along with these fruitful partnerships we have alsosharpened our focus on our proprietary channels - Agency Direct and Online channels.These channels registered 26% growth in FY 2020 and will continue to grow throughstrategic interventions.
We continue our focus and commitment to invest considerable resources into technologyunder the aegis of "Reimagining Insurance" and with a customer-centric lens. Ourfocus is on leveraging technology to simplify life insurance for our customers - be itissuance claims servicing or any other engagement. Some of the new areas that we areworking on include Artificial Intelligence (Al) for text and speech recognition; MachineLearning (ML) to improve persistency; cognitive bots (software robots) for 24x7 customerservice; and alternate data to enhance underwriting. We have also initiated"Futurance" a program that helps us identify and work with start-ups possessingcutting-edge technologies relevant to our business.
During the year Standard Life - our partner since inception pared its stake throughopen market transactions to reduce its holding to 12.3%. This has resulted in our publicshareholding increasing to 36.3% as on March 31 2020. Additionally HDFC Life was alsoadded to the MSCI India (Global) Index in August 2019 and the Futures and Options segmentof NSE in February 2020.
Your company has also stated its intention to raise capital up to Rs 600 crore via thesubordinated debt route to shore up solvency and it gives me pleasure to let you know thatthe debt has been rated AAA with a stable outlook by both Crisil and ICRA.
It gives me immense satisfaction that we have successfully implemented 22 programmesunder the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) umbrella in the areas of educationhealth environment livelihood and disaster relief thereby directly impacting over 2.8lakh people. We will continue to engage with our societies and positively impactcommunities across India.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis the growth outlook for the Indian economy as formost other global economies remains tepid. However like all other challenges I am surewe as a country and insurance as a sector will emerge stronger from this situation. Istrongly believe that every crisis presents an opportunity and it is up to us to respondand rediscover ourselves by adopting: a) technology to make our customers' lives easierb) newer ways to distribute by exploring innovative partnerships and c) simple productsto fulfil customers' needs.
As I close I would like to thank and express my deep gratitude for all theshareholders for their trust in HDFC Life. I also hope that shareholders and all readersgain an appreciation for the tremendous character of our organisation and its people andhow we have faced these times of adversity with resilience. I am sure together we willhelp usher in the next decade for HDFC Life.