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This is the category to watch. The new entrants have shaken up the non-life insurance business in India, challenging the large, state-owned players. Tata AIG has done one better, overtaking all to grab the No 1 spot in terms of media image. This is the finding of Cirrus, a media relations monitoring service from agencyfaqs!. The data is cumulative and relates to six months, October 2001 to March 2002.
While LIC dominates the image pie with a 44 per cent share in life insurance, Tata AIG leads the rest with a 31 per cent share among non-life insurance companies. It is an extraordinary achievement for a company that has just entered the fray.
On the overall Cirrus Image Index, which ranks the best among 1,100 corporates across all industries, Tata AIG is at No 152. The others: GIC (No 202), New India Assurance (No 236), United India (No 259), and Royal Sundaram (No 281).
Tata AIG has managed its media feat also by securing a high QEI (Quality of Exposure Index - the ratio between image and visibility). In most months, its QEI score has been over 160 on a scale in which the maximum a company can reach is 200. Royal Sundaram is another company whose quality of coverage has been consistently impressive. State-owned companies, in contrast, have barely managed to keep their heads above water - the QEI of most (New India Assurance is the exception) has usually hovered around 100 and gone up only occasionally.
Newcomers like Tata AIG and Royal Sundaram have been written about consistently, and for a variety of reasons - ranging from marketing and sales to their financials to product launches. State-owned players tend to get all their news in a single month from just one area of activity.
December and January did see energetic media activity among existing companies. New India Assurance, United India, Oriental Insurance and National Insurance announced a joint subsidiary to target the domestic energy business and nosed their way into the news. In December, New India totted up 279 image points (up from just 4 the previous month), and leapt from No 5 to No 2. Tata AIG remained unaffected because of the positive coverage it had built up in previous months. The importance of consistency rather than sporadic activity cannot be overemphasised.
Especially poor are the scores of Oriental Insurance, which has had a particularly miserable March. It touched a subterranean QEI of - 49 while United India Insurance was down in the depths too, at -35. Bajaj Allianz and Cholamandalam General Insurance too need to make their presence felt. They have received insignificant media attention. © 2002 agencyfaqs!