May 02, 2015 News
…promises “innovative” approach to insurance industry
After decades of absence from the Guyana business community, the New India Assurance Company (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited (NIATT) has re-entered the local insurance industry with its local branch office at
58B Brickdam, Georgetown.
The official welcoming of the company commenced at the Marriott Hotel, Kingston, where regional and international representatives of the company expressed their anticipation to enter the Guyanese market, Thursday evening.
The NIATT is a subsidiary of the New India Assurance Company Limited of Mumbai, India, and has been operational in the Caribbean region with its Trinidadian branch for over 60 years. The company had previously operated in Guyana through its “agency model” up to the 1980s when it lost its local agent and decided to discontinue business in the country.
With their current local branch, the company will be able to provide services in a more direct manner to citizens.
NIATT Marketing Manager, Peter Jacob, said that his company feels “comfortable” with the economy and other parts of Guyana to set up a branch in Guyana.
“Research has shown that by and large Guyana’s economy is much more vibrant than those of a lot of the Eastern Caribbean territories at this point in time, and we are quite comfortable to set our footprint back in Guyana.”
He related that he has been back and forth between Guyana and Trinidad since early last year, researching the viability of the local market.
“We offer a wide range of general insurance products. All the known general items like motor, property, fire, commercial lines and that type of thing. Of course, there would be extensions of those lines which we intend to introduce to Guyana,” explained Jacob.
Delivering the feature address was Finance Minister, Dr Ashni Singh, who regarded the NIATT as a venture that will truly bring a “global brand” to the country’s business sector. “I can assure you on behalf of the Government, that the work we have done over the years will continue to build and further enhance the conditions that are appropriate to businesses,” said the Minister, speaking to a room full of business men and women.
While the Minister was grateful in welcoming the insurance company to Guyana’s shores, he contended that the insurance industry has been plagued by problems. He said that companies like Clico, which suffered during the 2008 Global Recession Crisis, have become “bad words” in the region.
Minister Singh regarded the reintroduction of NIATT as a promising sign for Guyana’s insurance industry.
“The insurance industry in Guyana has grown rapidly, whether it is growth in total assets, whether it is growth in total revenue, whether it is growth in total insurance premium income. By every measure (the industry) has been growing at rates of almost 10 percent a year,” said the Finance Minister.
Minister Singh said that he expects that NIATT will bring significant innovations to the insurance industry and increased competition for traditional service providers.
Managing Director of the NIATT, Jyoti Kumar Garg, related further details of the company’s success on the international market and hope that its local branch will see client from as early as this month. With the company’s introduction to the Guyanese market, Garg said that NIATT will be implementing software that will provide “real time” benefits to citizens.
“We (NIATT) are working at the implementation of new Information Technology software that will provide real time benefits to our clients. This software will facilitate ‘live’ transactions with our Port-of-Spain office. Once it is rolled out in Guyana we shall be introducing some innovative changes to the way business is done,” said the Managing Director.
He also revealed that Guyana operations will be under the management of Branch Manager, Saraswatie Basdeo, and Assistant Branch Manager, Selma Rahman.
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