Mumbai: An attractive product basket with necessary additions as per the need of the market, enhanced distribution channel, strong branding and a pool of efficient and productive people are the four ‘spearheading pillars´ on which Aditya Birla Financial Services Group (ABFSG) aims to emerge as a leading player in the field.
“We see tremendous opportunity in the sector as less than 5% of the country’s savings go into mutual funds, a mere 2% into general insurance and 15% into life insurance. We are currently working on these areas to become a leading player in this sector,” ABFSG’s Chief Marketing Officer Ajay Kakar told PTI.
The company, which operates in life insurance and mutual fund verticals among others within the financial services business, plans to launch a new product in the life insurance business aimed at senior citizens. A mutual fund product aimed at investing in the commodities market is also in the offing, he said.
Kakar said while the mutual fund for investing in the commodities market will be launched in the next quarter, the insurance product for senior citizens would come by the end of the year. Aditya Birla Group was the first to introduce ULIPs in the market.
To expand the life insurance business, in which it is already among the top five players in the country, ABFSG plans to expand its branch network to 600 by the next few months from 339 now.
At the same time, it will also increase the number of agents which went up to 1,15,000 in 2007-08 from 56,000 a year ago.
Kakar said the company also plans to “substantially” increase branch network for its mutual fund business. The asset under management under the company’s mutual fund business is around Rs 40,000 crore, he said.
“We had 78 branches as on March, 2008, up from 32 in the previous fiscal. We will substantially increase the number of branches this year also,” Kakar said.
Aditya Birla Group has distribution tie-up with Citi Bank for life insurance and “with many banks” for mutual fund products.
Declined to give details on the company’s plans for strengthening brand, Kakar said, ABFSG would increase headcount “commensurating with the company’s aim of emerging as the leader in the field.”