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Bajaj Allianz, one of India’s leading insurer offering general and life insurance products , has announced a strategic investment of INR 50 crore ($10 million) in SKS Microfinance, India’s largest microfinance institution. .

The equity deal claimed to be the first-ever investment by an insurance company in an Indian microfinance institution (MFI) and signals an important step in the evolution of SKS Microfinance, one of the fastest-growing MFIs in the world.

Announcing this milestone, SKS Microfinance Founder and Chairperson Dr. Vikram Akula said, “An investment in SKS by a mainstream investor such as Bajaj Allianz is a vote of confidence in the company and in microfinance. Investment from a leading private insurer gives SKS greater stability and credibility, as well as a stronger capital base to extend our reach to serve more poor customers.”

MFIs traditionally start off as non-profit organizations and then convert to non-banking finance companies in order to achieve scale. In the initial phase, they attract financing from development banks followed by venture capital and private equity funds. Investment from Bajaj Allianz, marks the next phase in the evolution of microfinance as a safe and mainstream asset class.

SKS Microfinance and Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance partnered in April 2008 to launch India’s first micro-insurance product for the rural poor.

“We are happy with SKS and its unique business model that makes it an ideal vehicle for serving customers at the bottom of the pyramid. It is also in line with our objective of providing security and protection to the most disadvantaged sections of the society through micro-insurance products,” said Kamesh Goyal, Country Manager, Allianz & CEO Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance. Mr Goyal added that the investment follows rigorous due diligence which has created confidence that the investment would generate shareholder value and help build a secure society.

With this investment, SKS Microfinance will further improve its Capital Adequacy Ratio requirements. In recent months, SKS Microfinance has introduced a range of mainstream financial instruments into microfinance. It has issued Non-Convertible Debentures worth INR 250 million that were fully subscribed by YES Bank and also completed a rated pool securitization deal worth INR 1 billion (the pool was rated P1+  by Crisil signifying  ‘highest safety’). SKS also issued Commercial Papers worth INR 250 Million and tied up with Standard Chartered to raise Rs 750 million from the Debt Capital Market and became the first MFI to list its debt security raising the bar on ‘accountability”.

SKS Microfinance currently has a membership base of 4.5 million households and has cumulatively disbursed loans worth over Rs. 8,000 crore.  It has a staff strength of 14,249 across 1,439 branches in 19 Indian states.

Written by sreelakshmi

2 July, 2009 at 10:00 pm

Bajaj Allianz gives women the “Confidence” to make their own choices

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In a first of its kind initiative, set to revolutionize and strengthen the Indian insurance industry’s focus on women, Bajaj Allianz, one of the leading private insurance companies in India, announced the launch of a sub-brand – Miss Confident Plans, in association with the winners of the Pantaloons Femina Miss India 2009 pageant.

Bajaj Allianz has always been a pioneer for creating innovative and new products & services in the insurance industry. “Miss Confident” is one big step towards offering women specific products and services catering to women. The next step is to offer financial products and insurance services to a woman who has many roles to fulfill. To emerge truly confident and feel secure & independent, Bajaj Allianz has designed a bouquet of products and services which cater to the needs of a woman of all age groups.

Offerings under Miss Confident Plans

  • Education Plans for the Confident Girl Child

    Education solutions for your princess, that allow you to plan for your her future, including schooling, higher education and marriage and also takes care of any uncertainties that may happen along the way.

Available as: Bajaj Allianz ChildGain

    Plans for the Confident Young Lady

Products which help check, plan and keep all her finances in order, as well as take care of your other needs and more importantly help keep you financially independent.

Available as: Bajaj Allianz YoungCare | Bajaj Allianz UnitGain Plus Gold

  • Plans for the Confident Home Maker

    For today’s home maker and decision maker to spread her warmth to the entire family and also ensuring that she is also adequately taken care off

Available as: Bajaj Allianz InvestGain | Bajaj Allianz Family CareFirst

  • Plans for the Confident Future Grand Mother

    Plan for financially free retirement and maintain your current lifestyle, for savings as low as Rs. 500.

Available as: Bajaj Allianz Future Income Generator

  • Plans for the Confident Lady driver
    • Exclusive services like free, round-the clock, on-the-spot assistance for lady owner driver
    • Assistance in case of mechanical problem like key locked inside, tyre replacement, survey at door-steps in case of small claims

Available as: Bajaj Allianz Motor Insurance

Speaking at the launch, one of the leading women,Mrs. Ujjaini Dasgupta Head – Health Insurance, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance,said, “Financial independence is the key to happiness and confidence for the modern woman. Women today are more aware of financial planning and play a key role in making important decisions in the household. Bajaj Allianz’s “Miss Confident” is one such initiative, which aims at providing them with improved products and services for at every stage of their life. These offerings not only help secure and make her completely independent but also ensure that her loved ones are also taken care of in case of any uncertainties. Our aim is to help women realize their dreams and fulfil their responsibilities throughout their journey in life.”

Also speaking on the occasion, Mr. Akshay Mehrotra, Head Marketing
and Corporate Communications, Bajaj Allianz, commented, “
We, at Bajaj Allianz, understand that women’s needs are different and through this endeavour, we are attempting to expand our insurance business beyond conventional verticals and reach out to more women with customised products and services to suit their requirements.” He added, “We have been one of the few insurance companies to focus on the rapidly increasing women segment. The winners of the pageant are the epitome of modern beauty with brains, independence & buoyancy and it is through them that we aim to educate women across India about the importance of customized insurance plans.”

Vijay Kumar, Head –Motor Insurance, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance, said, “We would like to offer free, round-the clock and on-the-spot assistance for lady owner driver in case of mechanical problem like key locked inside, tyre replacement and survey at door-steps in case of small claims, which I am sure would make lady drivers confident.”

Key highlights: of “Miss Confident” Plans

  • Stay financially independent with a host of investment plan specially designed for women
  • Stay confident with Health Insurance and specially designed women specific Health Riders
  • Pamper yourself with a host of women specific services
    • Home pick up facility for Renewal Premium Payment,
    • Spot assistance for lady car drivers, which include:
      • Assistance services like Tyre Replacement, Key locked inside & survey at doorstep in case of small claims.
  • Secure a independent future with savings plan starting as low as Rs. 500 per month

Bajaj Allianz and Rajasthan Royals reach agreement and withdraw the legal cases

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Bajaj Allianz and Rajasthan Royals, Jaipur franchisee have mutually agreed to part ways by together withdrawing the court cases in Delhi & Mumbai respectively.

Last year, the MOU was performance based and structured payments were to be released on the team reaching the various stages of the tournament. After the team won the first season, Rajasthan Royals made a revised
proposal to Bajaj Allianz which RR thought to be a win win situation for both parties. This led to some differences between the two parties.

Later, when the Champions League agreement did not fructify & Bajaj wanted to air their advertisements, Rajasthan Royals went ahead & terminated the MOU & filed legal proceedings against Bajaj Allianz over non-payment of dues.

Manoj Badale, CEO of Rajasthan Royals, said, “We had an excellent relationship with Bajaj Allianz, who supported us when we were the underdogs. (Which later proved to be a good investment for Bajaj). Currently, we have decided to withdraw the legal proceedings and resolve the issues out of court. In hindsight, after parting ways, we feel that the relationship could have been taken to a mutually beneficial level.

Kamesh Goyal, Country Head – Allianz and CEO, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance, said, “We had frank and fair discussions on all the issues and have mutually agreed to terminate the present MOU. We wish Rajasthan Royals all the best.”

Rajasthan Royals are in the process of informing all stakeholders, IPL & IBF (Indian Broadcasting Federation) about the termination of the relationship.

Written by sreelakshmi

20 March, 2009 at 7:33 pm