INTERNATIONAL NEWS: India's insurance companies gear up for PR explosion in new open market

NEW DELHI: The insurance sector in India, which was recently opened to private investment, will use expansive PR and promotions to sell its products.

NEW DELHI: The insurance sector in India, which was recently opened to private investment, will use expansive PR and promotions to sell its products.

NEW DELHI: The insurance sector in India, which was recently opened to private investment, will use expansive PR and promotions to sell its products.

Almost all the major insurance companies have earmarked fat budgets for PR as part of their marketing strategies.

Already 10 insurance firms have been issued licenses. Industry observers say each company is expected to shell out at an average of Rs 300 million (dollars 6.5 million) in its first year for promotions and PR.

All major companies, including Dabur-CGU Life Insurance, Tata-AIG General Insurance, Royal Sundaram-Sunalliance, ICICI Prudential and Reliance are expected to have big budgets for PR.

'With the help of promotions and PR campaigns, we will try to penetrate the semi-urban and rural areas. We plan to develop our strategies depending on the areas where we will initially launch our products,' said Stuart Pardy, CEO of Dabur CGU.

'We have to sell the entire concept all over again. The huge urban class views insurance as a tax-saving device rather than an investment scheme. Our first initiative will be to change that mind-set,' he said.

Dalip Verma, CEO of Tata-AIG, said it was important to change people's views of insurance, and his company would use a multichannel distribution network to reach consumers.

'Tata-AIG will use agents, brokers, corporate agents and advertising to reach our target groups,' Verma said.



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