In a time when most are feeling the tremors of the global financial meltdown, there are a handful of Indian sectors that are still staying afloat. “If you look at sectors like insurance, healthcare, engineering, you will notice that they are still growing in volumes and value,” notes Ajay Soni, business leader - talent and organisation consulting, Hewitt.
What perhaps is keeping sectors like insurance afloat is the consumer mindset and attitudes. “Unlike developed economies like the USA, savings is in our DNA. In tough times we save even more for the future,” explains N.S. Kannan, executive director, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance.
Industry experts are optimistic and are expecting the private life insurance industry to grow at a 30 per cent rate by FY ’09. “Since core of life insurance is long term savings and protection, these times with sensex crashing will not affect investors’ decisions,” Kannan reasons. “Customer focuses on long term objective and invests over a time period,” he adds. ICICI Prudential has reportedly witnessed 31 per cent growth in its new businesses and 90 per cent growth through renewal premium business in the last six months. “We’ve expanded phenomenally in the last 18-24 months and our bulk expansion has been in the last 6-8 months,” says Kannan.
Insurance sector is playing an interesting role in the current downmarket scenario. The life insurance industry has pumped in a huge amount in the equity markets. “Firms like ours and other life insurers have been net buyers even in such volatile times," informs Kannan.