We remain optimistic about the resilience of the Indian economy despite the high volatility in the global environment, said Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Life Insurance, at the firm's 22nd Annual General Meeting.
He added that the world’s largest COVID vaccination drive has allowed India to swiftly move beyond the acute phase of the pandemic that was witnessed at the start of the last financial year.
"We are now witnessing early signs of a sustainable economic revival. High growth in non-oil and non-gold imports reflects a pickup in domestic demand. Domestic economic activity is fuelled by private consumption and rising discretionary spending," Parekh observed.
Furthermore, the forecast for normal southwest monsoon this year is expected to support rural consumption, he said.
Talking about the life insurance industry, he said that despite the pandemic, the Indian life insurance industry’s new business premium grew by 16 percent in FY22. "India’s insurance penetration and density still remain much lower than the global average, which means with an increase in per capita GDP, there is an immense potential for continued sectoral growth."
He also reviewed HDFC Life's performance for the year in his speech, calling it "another strong year of business performance". "We maintained our New Business market share of 21 percent and 7.7 percent in private and overall life insurance market, respectively," he shared.
The chairman also mentioned HDFC's subsidiaries - Exide Life insurance, HDFC Pension and HDFC International Life and Re, and assured that they "have all continued to perform well."
"Factors such as low market penetration, favourable demographics and rising awareness amongst consumers regarding the need for insurance, are considerable tailwinds for the industry," he said while adding that the company's "endeavour is to continue expanding sources of new business and introduce new products whilst ensuring appropriate risk management and business quality."
In a major achievement, HDFC Life had also announced the first-of-its-kind acquisition in the life insurance industry in January. Talking about it, Parekh said, "The acquisition and subsequent merger of Exide life insurance will bolster our distribution reach, especially in south India."The chairman also welcomed IRDAI's step towards a reforms agenda, ‘Vision 2047’, aimed at ‘Insurance for All’ by 2047, commemorating 100 years of independence. He added that the company is hopeful that the vision of the new IRDAI chairman will lead to several structural changes fructifying this year.