India will be having its 24th life insurance company in a matter of a few months. IRDA has granted the RI licence, the first in a 3 step process, to Edelweiss Tokia Life Insurance Company. This is a joint venture between Edelweiss, a listed financial services firm and and TokiO Marine Insurance. Tokia Insurance is already present in India in the non-life insurance space through a JV with IFFCO.
Edelweiss Tokio Life Insurance is led by Deepak Mittal, a finance professional with astounding capabilities. The author had the good fortune of studying with Mr Mittal for two years, and has rarely met anyone with the quantitative skills and financial expertise that Mr Mittal possesses. He was previously the CFO of Edelweiss, where one understands he established and scaled up their derivatives trading division.
However, the life insurance industry has faced some significant head winds of late,with IRDA coming down heavily on the mis-selling that was occurring in ULIPs, and setting tight caps on charges. It is not going to be easy for a new company to establish itself, and we will be watching the developments closely