Orient Insurance, a wholly owned subsidiary of UAE giant Arab Orient Insurance, on Tuesday formally announced its entry to the Sri Lanka promising a new dimension to the local market.
Arab Orient Insurance is one of UAE’s largest and strongest insurance giants with a gross written premium base over US$ 350 million (Rs. 42 billion). It is part of the prestigious Al-Futtaim Group, UAE and enjoys an A rating from Standard & Poor’s and an A (Excellent) from AM Best. Al Futtaim owns Associated Motorways Ltd., (AMW) which commands a 55% market share in the new vehicles segment. It was awarded the UAE Insurer of the Year 2012 by the regional industry publication MENA Insurance Review.
Orient Insurance has been licensed by the Insurance Board of Sri Lanka (IBSL) to market general and medical insurance. The Company has kicked off operations with Rs. 750 million capital and 14 branches initially.
To officiate at the launch Al-Futtaim Group UAE Vice Chairman Omer Al Futtaim, Senior Managing Director Arab Orient Insurance UAE Omer Elamin and Orient Insurance Ltd. Chairman, Al Futtaim Motor President and AMW Chairman Len Hunt flew to Colombo in their private jet on Tuesday. Chief Guest at the launch was Senior Minister for International Monetary Cooperation Dr. Sarath Amunugama whilst IBSL Chairperson Indrani Sugathadasa was also present.
Under the general insurance portfolio, Orient will market insurance classes of motor, marine, property, liability, medical among others and all other classes. Backed by its high capital, promoters expertise, financial footing and affiliations with world’s leading re-insurers and the professional team locally the Company promised the general insurance market personalised service at an affordable cost.
“We have identified Sri Lanka as a country with immense growth potential; this is one of the many reasons that the Al-Futtaim Group has invested in Sri Lanka. At Arab Orient Insurance we believe in upholding our core values of integrity, service and social responsibility and we aim to provide the Sri Lankan market with innovative risk solutions within a professional culture,” Al Futtaim told a press conference on Tuesday.
Meanwhile Elamin said the company will offer a new dimension in insurance industry in Sri Lanka. To reinforce Arab Orient’s profile he said the Company is the insurer of Dubai Airport to the tune of $ 10 billion as well as the Dubai Port.
Orient Insurance Vice Chairman and AMW President Tilak de Zoysa said though the insurance industry is fiercely competitive Orient will set a new benchmark for the benefit of customers and will produce remarkable results. He said entry of Arab Orient reinforces the confidence of Al Futtaim in Sri Lanka and his long term commitment to country.
Orient Insurance Sri Lanka CEO Deepthi Lokuarachchi said with economy and the insurance market growing it was a timely entry as the 18th company in the general insurance market. “Orient Insurance is well-positioned, capitalised and structured to be a strong player in Sri Lanka’s general insurance segment. We have a committed set of professionals to take the general business to new heights. The company will offer both corporate and individual customers novel risk solutions; creating more innovation in the industry and bringing Orient Insurance on par with international standards.”
Lokuarachchi counts 18 years in insurance industry and previously served as Assistant Managing Director for Chartis Insurance, Colombo, Sri Lanka and General Manager Distribution and Risk Management Eagle Insurance (now Aviva NDB). He is also the Immediate Past President of Sri Lanka Insurance Institute and Past Secretary of Insurance Association of Sri Lanka.
Since it is a sister company of AMW as part of Al Futtaim Group, Orient Insurance is expected harness synergies from the growing client base of the local motor industry giant. The company said with over 60 years of experience in motor industry, AMW’s local understanding of the automobile industry and network of outlets will enable Orient Insurance to understand and have an edge in the motor insurance needs for the local market.
Hunt described entry of Arab Orient to Sri Lanka will usher world class offering in financial and insurance services industry and this in turn will benefit AMW customers.
Al-Futtaim is structured into six operational divisions: automotive, retail, new strategic growth, financial services, real estate and construction and joint ventures. Originally established in the 1930s as a trading company, today Al-Futtaim operates in more than 70 countries and employs over 30,000 people across UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia and Europe.