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Indian insurance brokerage giant joins Kenya market

  IIRM Kenya will target the local insurance market. [iStockphoto]

An Indian insurance and reinsurance broking firm, IIRM Holdings, is setting up shop in Kenya.

The new subsidiary, IIRM Kenya, will target the local insurance market, long seen as a lucrative opportunity.

IIRM boasts a long history, established in 1999 before India even formalised its insurance sector.  It specialises in insurance consulting and distribution across various categories, including commercial lines, employee benefits, and individual policies.

The company currently manages a significant portfolio, serving over 2,000 corporate clients and 200,000 individual customers, with a combined premium size of $300 million (Sh39.4 billion).

IIRM has a broad presence with nine offices in India and is now expanding internationally with locations in Sri Lanka, Maldives, Singapore, and Kenya.

IIRM said it plans to leverage Kenya as a regional hub. It will aim to utilise its connection with Amwins Global Risks, a major Lloyd’s broking operation based in London, to tap into the global speciality insurance market.

IIRM Vice Chairman Vurakaranam Ramakrishna said he sees a significant opportunity in Kenya. He aims to replicate the broker-dominated model present in India, leveraging technology to disrupt the market.

Mr Ramakrishna believes Kenya allows for a faster transformation compared to India’s 15-year journey.

Their goal is to achieve this within 3-5 years. With Nairobi as a hub, IIRM aims to expand across the African continent in the coming years.

“The Indian market is completely dominated by brokers. We will replicate what is happening in India,” he said in a statement.

“Technology will be a huge disruption. We have already seen disruption in the Indian market and we would like to champion that change.”

He added: “We want to add value to the insurance companies, economy and corporate entities, get them better coverages, educate them on emerging risks that are happening at both the retail and the institutional levels.”

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