Cigna reveals plans for new insurance venture in India
Cigna outlined in more detail its joint venture to sell health insurance abroad in India, including the company name, leaders and goals, slated for next year.
Because it is partnering with India's TTK Group, Cigna on Tuesday said the company will be called Cigna TTK and named Sandeep Patel, who previously managed Cigna's Middle East business, as its new chief executive, reported the Hartford Business Journal.
Cigna views India, which is undergoing major public health challenges such as diabetes and hypertension, as an important market for its future. The country has 1.2 billion residents, and its healthcare spending is expected to grow significantly, the Journal noted.
The new venture aims to sell simple health insurance products over the counter, according to the Business Standard. "It will be a box product, and the buyer would be able to get a policy kit across the counter," said TTK Group Chairman T T Jagannathan. "These might be simple products for which medical tests are not essential, and the documents needed may be submitted online, once the customer reaches home."
Jagannathan said Cigna TTK plans to leverage TTK's network of pharmacies and physicians to sell its health insurance plans, according to the Business Standard. "We have active business relationship with more [than] 100,000 pharmacies and an equal number of physicians across the country. We are already in talks with some of them regarding this concept," he explained.
Although still awaiting approval from India's regulatory authorities, Cigna TTK expects to begin operations in 2013. It will be headquartered in Mumbai because of its potential pool of workforce applicants, reported the Hartford Courant.
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