Birla Sun Life Insurance opens first branch in Orissa

9th September, 2005

Birla Sun Life Insurance (BSLI) the leading private life insurer opened its first branch in the state of Orissa.

The new branch is located at 184, Kedarsons Plaza, Kharvel Nagar, Bhubaneshwar. The branch design follows a standard template developed by Birla Sun Life Insurance to provide for customer comfort and agent convenience.

Speaking at the inauguration of the branch Mr. Nani Javeri, CEO, Birla Sun Life insurance said, "We are pleased to open our first branch in the city of Bhubaneshwar, as we aim to be a national player and envisage our future growth coming from high potential cities like Bhubaneshwar. The opening of the branch in the city marks the beginning of our relationship with the state of Orissa. We will continue to aggressively improve our reach in the state to tap the vast insurable population in the urban as well as rural areas".

BSLI in the short span of its operations in the city of Bhubaneshwar has sold policies with a total sum assured of Rs. 22 crore. The high literacy rate in the urban areas (over 80 per cent) and the high contribution of Bhubaneshwar to the total potential in the state of Orissa (21 per cent) makes it an attractive destination.

Birla Sun Life Insurance is one of the fastest growing companies amongst the private life insurers. It is a pioneer in introducing unit-linked plans in the country. In the last financial year the company had a premium income of Rs. 915.5 crore which was a growth of nearly 70 per cent over the previous year.

BSLI had during the current financial year increased its equity capital to Rs.370 crore. It has a network of 44 branches, which will increase to 55 during the current year. The company has covered in excess of 6,50,000 lives since inception and the total sum assured has crossed Rs.22, 000 crore.

The company has close to 10,000 insurance advisors selling its policies. BSLI is a leader in the area of bancassurance with the largest number of bank tie-ups in the industry. The company also has tie-ups with nearly 110 corporate agents for distributing its policies, which is again one of the largest in the industry.

The branch at Bhubaneshwar is expected to help the company achieve higher penetration in the rural areas besides the vast potential that the city itself offers. The distribution strategy followed by BSLI in its rural marketing seeks to leverage the strength and reach of the Aditya Birla Group and the goodwill of NGOs doing high quality work. In addition, it has appointed dedicated direct sales agents to promote its rural and social products at the district level branches. Its rural product -- Bima Kavach Yojana - is a special three-year endowment plan.

About the Aditya Birla Group
The Aditya Birla Group has a turnover close to Rs. 33, 000 crore (as on 31 March 2005) and is one of the largest business houses in India. It enjoys a leadership position in all the sectors in which it operates. With over 75 business units, spanning the South East Asian belt, Africa, Canada and the UK among others, it is reckoned as India's first multinational corporation. The group is anchored by 72,000 employees and has 7 lakh shareholders, with a market capitalisation of Rs.30, 500 crore.
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About Sun Life Financial Inc.
Sun Life Financial Inc. is a leading international financial services organisation providing a diverse range of wealth accumulation and protection products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Tracing its roots back to 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. As of 31 December 2004, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of US$ 298 billion.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under ticker symbol "SLF".

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For further information kindly contact:
Ms. Anjana Grewal,
Vice President - Marketing and Communication,
Birla Sun Life Insurance Company Limited,
Tel: 022-5678 3333.