New Delhi: Looking to capitalise on its vast network of insurance agents, growing by lakhs every year, country’s top life insurer LIC expects its asset size to grow by about Rs6,00,000 crore or 75% in next three years.
This will take the company’s asset base, already highest in the country, to between Rs13,00,000-14,00,000 crore in the three years’ time, Life Insurance Corporation chairman TS Vijayan told PTI.
“We are number one in financial terms with Rs8,00,000 crore of assets. Nobody else comes even close ... even banks don’t have Rs8,00,000 crore (assets),” he said.
Asked where he sees the company in the next three years, Vijayan said: “In three years, LIC should be handling anywhere between Rs13-14 lakh crore.”
Set up in 1956, the government-run life insurance major had about Rs8,00,000 crore of assets at the end of last fiscal, or as on 31 March 2008.
To meet this target, LIC is planning to nearly double its field workforce of agents by March 2011, from about Rs11,93,000 as on March 2008.
“(In) three years, we want to double the number of agents,” he said, adding, “last year, we ended with 11 lakh plus agents and we would like to increase it by a minimum 25% by March, 2009. This is a target we have taken ourselves and I think we will be able to do it.”
During the current fiscal, LIC has already recruited about two lakh insurance agents across the country, which is more than double of about 90,000 agents hired in the previous fiscal.
Besides, LIC has also hired 4,500 development officers so far in the current fiscal and up to 5,000 new officers could be hired in the next fiscal, he noted.
Currently, LIC has about 24,000 development officers across the country. At the end of last fiscal, the insurer had more than one lakh employees on its payrolls, which includes development officers.
Asked whether recruitment of high-profile agents by a private insurer deters the insurance giant, Vijayan said, “We also have a large number of high-profile agents... They usually operate in their own circle.”
However, these high profile agents bring good business to the company, he added.
Private insurance companies have also been aggressively expanding their network in the recent past, but their hiring plans still pale before that of the public sector giant.
Among the private players, Reliance Life Insurance has announced plans to hire over 90,000 agents and about 2,500 managers, while Max New York Life and Metlife have previously announced hiring plans for over 30,000 agents in the current fiscal.
Vijayan said that LIC was also planning to elevate the status of their agents akin to bank business correspondent.
“Bank are now having banking correspondents we would like to elevate the status of agents to that of correspondents who can collect premium,” he said.