PSU Non-Life Insurer The Oriental To Sell Staff Quarters: R R Singh

The Oriental Insurance Company is striving to achieve profitability by the conclusion of the financial year 2023-24, implementing measures to control losses. The company envisions its premiums reaching Rs 18,000 crore by the end of FY24, asserting that this growth will not come at the expense of profitability.

R R Singh

The Oriental Insurance Company Ltd. was incorporated in Mumbai on September 12, 1947, as a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Oriental Government Security Life Assurance Company Ltd. Its establishment aimed to conduct general insurance business. Initially, it functioned as a subsidiary of the Life Insurance Corporation of India from 1956 to 1973, until the nationalization of the General Insurance Business in the country. In 2003, all shares previously held by the General Insurance Corporation of India were transferred to the central government. Oriental Insurance started its operations with a modest first-year premium of ₹99,946 in 1950. The company’s primary objective was to provide “service to clients,” and this goal was facilitated by the strong traditions developed over time. Situated in New Delhi, Oriental Insurance’s head office oversees 29 regional offices and operational offices in nearly 1500 cities nationwide. The company has expanded its reach globally with operations in Nepal, Kuwait, and Dubai, maintaining a workforce of around 10,000 employees. Over the years, the gross premium figure has witnessed substantial growth, reaching ₹12,747 crores in FY 2020–21, starting from its initial figure of less than a lakh at inception.

In the initial half of the financial year 2024, the public sector non-life insurer narrowed its losses to Rs 47.12 crore from Rs 3,586.93 crore in the corresponding period the previous year. However, the management clarified that the figures aren’t directly comparable due to a wage revision arrear paid in H1FY23. Oriental Insurance’s combined ratio, which was 163 percent in H1 2023, has decreased to 119 percent in the current period. Excluding the provision for salaries, the combined ratio was 132 percent in H1FY23. R R Singh, CMD of Oriental Insurance Company, expressed optimism, stating that if the positive trend continues and there are no catastrophic losses, the company may generate a profit by the end of the financial year. Regarding premium expectations, the management aims for growth to Rs 17,500-18,000 crore by the end of FY24. Singh highlighted the importance of a positive mix to balance growth and profitability, emphasizing the goal of achieving this premium target without compromising the bottom line.