The Al Futtaim Group is looking to develop a 'festival city' in Sri Lanka as they have done in Cairo (Egypt) and Dubai, according to officials. "They scouted for land and they were shown the property near Beira Lake and some land in the East, but these were not large enough," an official told the Business Times on the sidelines of Orient Insurance launch, a 100% subsidiary of Arab Orient Insurance owned by the Al-Futtaim Group.
Al-Futtaim Group which bought Associated Motorways PLC (AMW) a few years ago is on an aggressive expansion in Sri Lanka. "Our future plans are to expand in other sectors including the real estate sector," Senior Managing Director Arab Orient Insurance UAE Omer Elamin said.
Orient Insurance will function in the general insurance sector, with insurance classes of motor, marine, property, liability, medical and all other classes coming within the general insurance classification. 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 its long term commitment to the country.
Deepthi Lokuarachchi, Orient Insurance Sri Lanka CEO said that the company has achieved some Rs 54 million gross written premium within the three months it's been in operation. He added that with the 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."
Mr. Lokuarachchi noted that already the company has expanded to 14 locations. "This was done within the last three months." He said that the company was expecting to capture a substantial share of the insurance market which amounted to Rs. 45 billion competing with the five major insurance giants handling more than 84% share currently.