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MetLife India embarks on an innovative marketing initiative with Apna Bazar

14-July-2005
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MetLife India embarks on an innovative marketing initiative with Apna Bazar

MetLife India Insurance and Apna Bazar Co-operative have entered into an agreement, wherein the life insurance major has launched a group life insurance policy – Apna Life – for Apna Bazar customers.

The newly-launched policy is a cover extended to customers of Apna Bazar as a non-participating and simplified underwriting product, and will be available to those customers who fulfil certain criteria.

However, this is not the first time that MetLife has adopted this marketing route. In fact, a year ago, the insurance company had signed an agreement with the co-operative for selling its life insurance policies.

Said Suraj Kaeley, Chief Marketing Officer, MetLife India, on the recent tie-up, “MetLife has always looked at deepening and widening its base for insurance products, and Apna Life is an effective option for us to achieve this objective. The association with Apna Bazar Co-op, a reputed player in the food and retail segment, will help us expand our product reach as well as bring unique benefits to the customers loyal to the Apna Bazar chain of stores. Apna Life’s uniqueness lies in its affordability and simplicity as it can be procured with the minimum amount of formalities.”

On the purchase of pre-paid coupons worth Rs 6,000, any Apna Bazar customer in the age band of 18 to 40 years, who satisfies certain health parameters as laid down by MetLife, will automatically be eligible for life cover of Rs 1 lakh under the said Group Life Insurance Policy. This plan does not require any medical tests and has a simplified application form with the basic details and supporting document and a good health questionnaire.

Speaking about the reason for the collaboration with Apna Bazar, MetLife India Marketing Director Gaurav Suri said, “Mumbai is an important market for us and Apna Bazar, so to say, has several lower middle class and middle class customers who are loyal to the outlet. Our research showed us that this group was getting alienated from our products. Metlife India has always catered to the masses, and all our products are designed keeping the customer in mind. We saw a huge opportunity in this to prove our capabilities and we wanted to test this out. This relationship with the retail major has helped us to expand the reach of our products to a wider and larger customer segment.”

“Apna Bazar has always believed in giving high quality products to its customers and with Apna Life we are trying to demonstrate our efforts of giving value-added service to our customers. By partnering with MetLife, we are giving our customers a product of international standard,” said Suresh Tawde, Chairman of Apna Bazar Co-op.

MetLife is evaluating opportunities and options and is even deliberating on such tie-ups in other cities. This will help them to leverage the outlets and the reach of the retail format store and in effect spread their reach.

Incidentally, the insurance company spends majority of its marketing budget on below-the-line activities and only 3-4 per cent is spent on television and print advertising. Thus, such an association makes much more sense for them to ensure effective reach.

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