Leading international financial services company, Prudential Plc. would hire at least 10,000 new staff in India this year for its joint venture insurance operation.
Shikha Sharma, chief executive of ICICI Prudential Life, said she expected to have a workforce of 27,000 by next March, compared with 16,300 last year and 7,700 two years ago.
ICICI Presidential Life, a joint venture between Prudential and ICICI Bank, India’s second-largest private bank, was set up six years ago. The former holds a stake of 26% in ICICI Prudential Life.
Sharma, who has pioneered insurance products for diabetics, argued that India’s huge untapped market means that ICICI Prudential Life can maintain a dizzying compound annual growth rate of more than 100% for the next four to five years.
She said the company targets India’s growing ranks of affluent people and eyes the health-care sector.
“We expect well in excess of 100 million households to have disposable income by 2010,” Sharma was quoted in The Times daily on 30 April. The existing market is about 30 million. At present the company has 4.5 million policyholders, whereas the Prudential’s customers in UK number about seven million.
Sharma said the ripest growth market is in health-care insurance, a predominantly private sector market in which government tariff controls were lifted only last month.
Car insurance also offers an opportunity, she added, referring to the state of India’s accident-riddled road network.