Friday May 6, 2011

Takaful aims for 25% growth in customer base

KUALA LUMPUR: Islamic insurance company Syarikat Takaful Malaysia Bhd is looking to grow its present customer base of one million by 25% by the end of this year, through increased distribution channels and introduction of new products.

According to group managing director Datuk Hassan Kamil, Takaful Malaysia would double the number of its retail agents to 2,000 by the end of 2011 as a result of its aggressive recruitment drive.

“This will increase our distribution channels and help to grow our company's business,” he told reporters after the company's AGM.

Pointing out that Takaful Malaysia has a healthy selection of new products in the pipeline, Hassan revealed that two new Islamic insurance products would be rolled out later this year one a retirement scheme and another an investment-linked product in June and August, respectively. These two products followed the successful launch of its Takaful mySME a month ago.

In addition, Takaful Malaysia would leverage on the network of its sister company, Bank Islam Malaysia Bhd, to expand its business.

“There are no plans to increase the number of our branches,” Hassan explained, adding that the company's plan to introduce an online portal by the end of this year to facilitate and enhance its customer support services had decreased the need for physical branches as a means to grow its business.

Takaful Malaysia at present has 31 branches, seven Takaful myCare centres, five Takaful myDesks and one Takaful retail centre nationwide. The total assets under Takaful Malaysia's management are currently valued at RM4.9bil, which makes it the second largest player, with a 35% market share, in the Islamic insurance business in the country after Etiqa Takaful Bhd.

On whether the company was seeking to form a joint-venture partnership, Hassan clarified that the company had no intention of seeking a joint-venture partner at this juncture. In any case, the company would only be involved in selective discussion for any potential partnership.

“We would have to look at what value-add in terms of technical expertise and business know-how the potential partner could bring to the company to improve its operations,” he said.

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