NEW DELHI: E-commerce major Flipkart is eyeing a foray into yet another sector ripe for disruption, with papers filed by the firm with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) indicating that it has started the process to begin selling insurance.
In a filing with the RoC last week, Flipkart had stated that it “intends to venture into the new line of business viz solicitation and servicing of insurance policies by acting as a Corporate Agent. In this regard the company is required to alter its objects clause in order to align its main objects clause in line with the new line of business the company proposes to undertake.”
While Flipkart has not officially stated whether it has received approvals from the insurance sector regulator – the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irdai) -- the company has been planning an entry into the highly lucrative financial services sector for a while now. The Indian fintech market is estimated to touch USD 2.4 billion by 2020, doubling from the current USD 1.2 billion.
According to Irdai regulations, as a corporate agent the firm will be able to sell insurance policies in sectors such as general, life and health individually. It can also combine two or three services. With the Irdai’s approval, Flipkart can also partner with three insurers in the three segments and can facilitate all end-to-end services except underwriting, including discovery, payment, delivery and after-sales services.
The company’s board had already given the firm the go-ahead in September 2017, to roll out the insurance service. However, no date for launch has been announced. Reports have stated that the firm had already curated teams to handle its financial offerings.
The insurance sector is currently dominated by state-run insurers such as Life Insurance Corporation and General Insurance Corporation of India.
In the corporate agent space, a host of financial marketplaces like PolicyBazaar and similar portals have already begun witnessing traction.
Flipkart’s deep pockets and financial muscle, however, is set to give it a strong advantage over its potential rivals in the segment, as does its huge customer base — likely to act as a ready pool of potential customers.