Max New York Life steps up focus on rural areas

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 03, 2008 06:53 hrs

Max New York Life Insurance plans to have a third of its offices in smaller towns over the next three years.

Debashis Sarkar, senior director and chief marketing officer, Max NYL, told DNA Money, "Currently we are in 408 offices in 261 cities. The intention is to increase it to 1,600 offices over the next three years. There could be 500-600 offices in the Class 3 and 4 towns. But there has to be a very careful choice of towns, understanding the demographics, trade and culture of the towns being selected."

Max NYL set for Rs 2,200 cr capital infusion

The company is working on product and distribution specific strategies at four different levels as part of its overall expansion plan. It is also looking at tie-ups to increase penetration in the smaller markets.

Max New York Life looks at low-income customers

The four specific levels being implemented by the insurer for selling its policies include core markets, emerging markets, partnerships and under-served markets.

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While core markets would see expansion on a big scale, Max NYL is working on emerging markets to scale up operations. "We've started with states like Punjab and Haryana, where we've devised specific distribution strategies to garner business. These markets work on a hub-and-spoke model and select products are sold. We are in the process of evaluating other emerging markets too," Sarkar said.

Max NYL has launched its low premium product – Max Vijay recently to serve underserved markets. It is running a pilot in Allahabad and has now tied up with Confederation of NGOs of Rural India in Andhra Pradesh. The company has identified this category as a strategic business unit. "We have a dedicated team of agents serving this product. The idea is to retail insurance to the lower segments. We will be looking at distribution tie-ups in a phased manner. Let us see how the model bears out with time," the director said.

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On the partnership side, the company has tie-ups with direct selling company Amway and more recently, Peerless.

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