Bharti AXA General Insurance will need Rs 150-200 crore capital over the next two years to meet its business needs and drive expansion of its operations, Chief Executive and Managing Director Amarnath Ananthanarayanan said here on Monday.
“We have received Rs 60 crore of capital from our promoters in September. So, there is no immediate need for funds. But, as we grow our businesses we will need money. The solvency ratio has to be maintained. It will be a function of growth and expenses. We will probably need Rs 150-200 crore in next two years,” he told reporters on the sidelines of an event here on Monday.
The joint venture between India’s Bharti Enterprises and France’s AXA currently has a capital base of Rs 850 crore.
Ananthanarayanan declined to comment if Bharti was exploring options to exit the insurance joint venture. “I’m not a spokesperson from Bharti. I don’t know their plans. Hence, I cannot comment. All I can say is that recently the promoters have injected fresh capital in the business,” he said.
Bharti, which owns 74 per cent in the general insurance joint venture, had earlier indicated it was holding discussions with Reliance Industries and its group companies for selling its stake in Bharti AXA Life Insurance and Bharti AXA General Insurance. However, later it said the negotiations had failed and the deal was terminated.
Ananthanarayanan said the talks of Bharti exiting the joint venture did not affect its business and the company was one of the fastest in the industry in reaching Rs 1,000 crore gross-written premium within the first four years of its operations.
The general insurance company now plans to focus on commercial lines (like fire insurance and marine insurance) to drive its business growth. In terms of geography, the company will strengthen its presence in eastern and southern part of India.
It plans to add 10 branches to its existing network of 50 branches and hire 300 more people to take the total headcount to 1,800 by March 2014.
The company expects to break even by December 2014.