1. Future of rural insurance in India.
2. Dividend policy and its effect on value of the firm.
3. Indian Banking System “Current trends and future roadmaps”. 4. Challenges in growing financial markets.
5. Mutual funds.
6. Future of retail banking.
7. Challenges and solutions for Indian public sector banks from financial crisis. 8. Microfinance.
9. Wealth management.
10. Financial risk in IT industry.
11. FDI in Indian defence sector.
12. Global financial crisis and its impact on India.
13. Life insurance and its importance in India.
14. Are we ready for next bubble burst?
1. Future of Rural Insurance in India
The rural market in India, constituting 742 million people, is by far the largest potential market in the world. The annual rural household income of Rs 56,630 (as per NCAER, IMDR 2002) coupled with changing rural aspirations in consumption patterns and lifestyles unfold tremendous opportunities for rural marketing. However, some of the issues that seem to be hindering large-scale advent in the rural markets are lack of understanding of rural customer, inadequate data on rural markets, poor infrastructure, low levels of literacy and poor reach of mass media. The insurance market in India, liberalised in 2000 with the advent of private insurance companies in November 2000 has not expanded in real terms beyond the urban domain. There exists a vast potential in the rural areas where more than 70% of our population lives. But it is common perception and belief amongst the insurance companies that it is expensive to do business in rural areas. Most companies are focusing only on meeting regulatory requirements from rural areas and don’t see them as commercially viable rural business opportunities, waiting to be exploited. According to the research conducted by FORTE (Foundation of Research, Training & Education in Insurance), it was found that rural market has become attractive for many industries to invest in. Some of the key findings which determine the attractiveness of insurance industry in rural areas are as follows: The rural folks have a strong saving habit—they save about one-third of their income annually The Indian rural market for insurance is not entirely an uninformed market. Almost 93% of the respondents were aware of life insurance; while 61% were aware of motor and accident insurance. Around 36% of them had bought some insurance or the other and another 38% of these policyholders had intention to buy more. A little over half (51%) of all the respondents had intentions of buying insurance products. Out of the non-policy holder respondents 62% intended to buy. If these numbers are extrapolated over the macro level, rural population being 742 million, the potential market could be of mind-boggling proportions. The rural market is a vibrant market and holds tremendous potential for growth of insurance business, particularly because of the strong saving habit. While the industry would certainly be much heartened by the promising prospects in the rural sector, the real challenge for them would still be the distribution and delivery systems. Here again research has come up with valuable data about the extensive network built by the rural development agencies, the banks, the cooperative institutions, the NGOs and some industrial houses in the rural sector. Insurance companies would therefore be well advised to work out collaborative arrangements with these institutions to mutual advantage. These institutions, having spent huge amounts for creating the infrastructure, will be happy to collaborate and recover some of the costs. Insurance companies would be saving on huge potential investments that may be required to build up dedicated distribution and delivery systems and leverage the existing network at marginal costs. This indeed is a ‘win-win’ situation. The various distribution and delivery channels available in the district to reach...