March 19, 2020

Sale deal in final stage of completion: Star Health

Economic Times

Private sector insurer Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Ltd was in the final stage of completion of sale process and the transition was likely to happen in first quarter of the next financial year, a top official said.

"A consortium has won the sale process and in April-May-June we look forward to transition happening," company Chief Operating Officer, Dr S Prakash said here. A consortium of WestBridge AIF, investor Rakesh Jhunjhunwala and Madison Capital signed definitive agreements with the shareholders of Star Health to purchase the shares of the insurer last year.

In October 2018, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) approved 100 per cent acquisition of Star Health and Allied Insurance Company Ltd by Safecrop Holdings Pvt Ltd and others. In a brief interaction with , here, recently, Prakash said, with the newer consortium coming on board the company was expecting to move from "good" to "great" in terms of business. "We are number one in retail market with 24 per cent of the share in retail health insurance sector. With focus on technology and positive drives that are happening in the organization, we are confident at this phase we are moving from good to great," he said.

Noting that the company has been aggressively growing over the last few years, he said, "we are adequately solvent and our focus can be more into one hundred per cent of the business and the branches that we (have) established." "We have laid our foundation strong. So, now it is duty to build further," he said. Asked about company financials, he said, "the company was looking at posting Rs 5,450 crore (as Gross Written Premium in 2018-19) and next (financial) year the aim is to reach around Rs 7,000 crore (GWP)."

To a query on future plans, he said, the company intends to focus more on customer service.

"From the level of networking with a hospital, the type of services that we can gain from a hospital, the technology platform that we put forth....these are all going to be focus areas in the years to come," the Star Health COO said.

On whether the company would strengthen presence in rural areas, he said, "we have penetrated into all areas. Although tier-II and III cities is our focus. These are the areas where insurance is not well penetrated. So, we will have to grow."

The company was in the process on how can they serve tier II and III cities, he added.

Star Health set up in 2006 provides health insurance, overseas mediclaim and personal accident policies. The company has a network of 461 branches, over 2.4 lakh agents and tie-up with 8,500 network hospitals.