In the meantime, Cholamandalam is expanding its distribution network, opening branches in Ahmedabad, Indore, Coimbatore and Kochi. This will take the number of branches to 11. Says Cholamandalam head (claims and reinsurance) Satish Deshpande: ''We are confident of achieving the Rs 14-crore premium target for this fiscal. Next year the target is Rs 100 crore.''
A person with long years of insurance experience - Deshpande was earlier with Oriental Insurance and National Insurance Academy - he says Cholamandalam is active in both corporate and personal/retail insurance products.
''This year the corporate and retail portfolio ratio will be equal. Few years down the line the personal insurance business will be 75 per cent of our portfolio,'' he adds. In the retail segment the company sells policies like house insurance, overseas travel, shopkeeper insurance, health and personal accident policies.
Unlike public sector insurers, who make no demarcation between underwriting and claims department, Deshpande says he has full functional autonomy. ''Each business unit is an independent profit centre.'' According to him even the branches are empowered to settle claims up to certain limits.
About the company's reinsurance policy, he says 60 per cent of reinsurance will be placed with General Insurance Corporation of India. Reinsurance cession is also made in favour of Mitsui Sumitomo, Swiss Re and Munich Re. ''Our policy is to retain risks below Rs 2 crore,'' Deshpande sums up.