Vistara comes to Chennai
On 15 February Vistara inaugurated daily direct service between Delhi and Chennai. The airlines, a joint venture between Tata Sons (51 per cent) and Singapore Airlines, registered as Tata SIA Airlines Ltd, has arrived into Chennai after three years of commencing operations. In the initial weeks Vistara offers direct flights to Delhi and Port Blair. From 25 March daily direct flights will be operated between Chennai and Kochi and two daily flights to Kolkata. Sanjiv Kapoor, Vistara’s Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, stated that airline offers economy, premium economy and business class.
TN’s second Global Investor Meet
The Tamil Nadu government has announced the second Global Investors Meet on 23-24 January 2019. GIM II should have been held in September 2017. The indisposition of Jayalalithaa and unsettled political conditions in the following year caused postponing the Meet.
The effort provided a platform to showcase the attractions of Tamil Nadu as a strong destination for investment. The first Meet attracted commitment to the investments of over Rs 240,000 crore. Over a fourth of this has matured. Such meets have become the rigour across different states. Gujarat set the model in 2003 when Narendra Modi as chief minister launched the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit and conducted it successfully at two-year intervals.
Recently during 18-19 February Maharashtra organised its first Global Investors Summit. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his team presented top leaders of the country, on the lines of Gujarat, at the Magnetic Maharashtra Global Investors Summit. The government has claimed success of this summit in which they presented over 150 speakers led by Prime Minister Modi and estimated intended investments at a trillion rupees with potential creation of 37 lakh jobs. The commercial capital of India, Mumbai, has been accounting for the largest share of industrial production spread across several sectors. The intentions of huge investments augur well for the Make in India effort.
For its first GIM Tamil Nadu budgeted Rs 100 crore. Then Additional Secretary, Industry, C V Sankar and his GIM Secretariat conducted road shows in several cities across the globe and in India. The experience should be helpful in expanding the reach and effectiveness of conducting TN GIM 2019. The state should endeavour to present the Prime Minister and top business leaders and showcase the very many special attractions of Tamil Nadu, the second largest state economy.
Slow spread of insurance broking
When the insurance sector was opened up nearly two decades ago there were great expectations on a healthy evolution of the insurance broking service. IE organised a seminar soon after liberalisation of the sector and presented several leaders who foresaw a strong and important role for insurance brokers. T Vijay, Managing Director, Bharat-Reinsurance Brokers Pvt Ltd, talks of a mixed bag of the evolution since.
Vijay, with degrees in commerce, cost accountancy, law and company secretary, refers to the growth in numbers: “there are over 400 insurance brokers spread across India. Of these around 25 operate pan India and others are regional. Brokers account roughly for a third of the corporate insurance business. Several corporates have their own broking firms,” said Vijay.
“The concept of broking has not been fully understood for its special strengths and quality of service. “The broker has capabilities to take care of the nuances of the risks involved and can offer expert advice on the best and optimum manner of covering the risk,” said Vijay.
With the floodgates of competition opening up there has been intense rate cutting and discounts offered by insurance companies. “The corporate client, understandably, looks closely at costs and invites quotes from a number of brokers and agents. He collects quotes for different risks – fire, health, motor… He looks at the lowest quote for each of these and even splits the business among these. In this process the expertise of the broker is not fully understood or utilised. The only differentiation appears to be the price,” rued Vijay.
Unlike in the past, today insurance companies acutely focus on reducing drastically the claims: “there is lot more focus on repairs rather than replacement even in the case of extensive damages. The confidence level between the insurer and the insured is pretty low,” said Vijay. – S V