United India's new chief expected to maintain growth

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 14:50 hrs

Chennai, Oct 12 (IANS) The new chief of United India Insurance Company Ltd, Milind A. Kharat, is expected to drive the company's growth as he was part of the core team that chalked out the company's turnaround strategy, said a union official Friday.

A section of employees of United India expressed their concern at the shifting of G. Srinivasan, chairman and managing director as the head of New India Assurance Company when the company is moving towards becoming the number one non-life insurer in India.

"It is really upsetting. Srinivasan came at a time the company was passing through a crisis and a private player was expected to overtake the company in terms of topline. It was Srinivasan who charted the turnaround strategy. His transfer comes as a bolt from the blue at at time when United India is snapping at the heels of New India," a senior official of United India told IANS.

J. Gurumurthy, secretary, All India Insurance Employees Association, told IANS: "The new head (Kharat) was part of the core team that devised the turnaround strategy at United India. He was away from the company for a brief period. With Kharat now in the driver's seat, the growth momentum of United India is expected to continue."

The central government Thursday transferred the heads of its two non-life insurers while promoting a general manager as the new head of the specialised insurance company, Agriculture Insurance Company (AIC).

The government shifted Srinivasan to New India from United India and Kharat from AIC to United India.

P.J. Joseph, general manager at United India, has been appointed CMD for AIC, an official of United India told IANS.

According to Gurumurthy, it is a convention that the senior most CMD of government owned non-life insurance company would head New India, the largest company in terms of asset base and premium income.

"Earlier, the senior-most CMD would be appointed as the head of General Insurance Corporation of India when it was the holding company for the four government owned non-life insurers: United India, New India, National Insurance and Oriental Insurance," Gurumurthy added.

For the current fiscal, United India is targeting a gross premium of around Rs.10,250 crore, logging a growth rate of around 25 percent, an official said. If that happens, United India will be snapping at the heels of the Rs.8,771-crore premium New India Assurance Company, which is now growing at around 20 percent, he added.

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