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Wednesday, February 06, 2002

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Dated 06th Feb. 2002

An interview with Mr. Venkatesh Mysore, Managing Director, MetLife Idia Insurance Company, Bangalore.

Tell us something about MetLife India?

MetLife India Insurance Company is an affiliate of MetLife (Metropolitan Life Insurance Company), which is the number one insurer in the USA based on $2 trillion of life insurance in force. For nearly 133 years MetLife has been providing financial solutions and today, it has 87 of the Fortune 100 companies, as its clients.

What is MetLife's mission for its operations in India?

As a new affiliate, MetLife India has inherited a tradition of great service. It has some innovative products on the anvil that will help people manage their long-term financial security. The mission of MetLife India is to help build financial independence for people. Consequently, MetLife India financial advisors aim to help their clients accumulate and protect wealth and create a legacy for their families. This they will do by building long term relationships that are based on trust and the finest individualised investment advice in the market.

What kind of professional agents will MetLife be employing?

MetLife agents are men and women of high integrity whoare driven by a spirit of entrepreneurship . Money being the key motivator for success, MetLife India financial advisors will be helped to maximise their earning potential through training programmes that will help them create and nurture their customer bases.

How will the selected employees be trained to excel?

The first step would be sponsoring the selected few for a basic programme, to be certified to sell insurance by the Indian Insurance and Regulation Development Authority (IRDA). However, this will only be the first step. MetLife India purports to offer individualisedprogrammes to build on personal competencies for success. Some of these will include - but will not be limited to - programmes like the art of salesmanship and helping the financial advisors build viable businesses.

These financial advisors are the bedrock of success for the company and will be compensated in accordance with the rules of the IRDA. A keymotivator will be that MetLife India will recognise outstanding performers on a global scale.

Which market segments will you be targeting as customers and how will they be fashioned to suit the varied requirements?

Insurance is an inclusive business versus being an exclusive product offering. MetLife India will support its financial advisors in building the brand "MetLife" in targeted market segments. This will be done using the most cost-efficient means and leveraging international brand ambassadors to build relationships of belief and trust with potential customers across chosen markets. Currently, Bangalore-based MetLife India is focusing on markets around the metros of Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Cochin, Hyderabad, Mumbai and New Delhi.

There is a huge and insufficiently tapped potential in rural India where people have the same aspirations as their urban neighbors but poorer access to the tools of financial planning. Through strategic alliances with key regional financial service players, MetLife India also plans to reach out to rural customers.

How committed is MetLife India to the Indian insurance scene?

In all its endeavours, MetLife India has the support of its international affiliate .MetLife International Holdings Inc. The company recognises the fact that it is in a business that demands patience and endurance since it involves earning the trust of customers and building a long term relation with them wherein the customer's children and their children's children look upon MetLife as a paying proposition.

It is for this reason that MetLife India rests its faith in its global positioning statement: Get Met. It Pays !

MALINI SURYANARAYANAN

maalini.mds@cxknetworks.com


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