Chennai, December 10, 2010 – The Murugappa Group unveiled the new brand identity for its financial services businesses today. The Group’s financial business entities Cholamandalam Investment & Finance Company Limited, Cholamandalam Securities Limited, Cholamandalam Distribution Services Limited, Cholamandalam MS General Insurance company Limited and Cholamandalam MS Risk Services Limited will sport the new logo, developed by leading brand design agency Ray + Keshavan. The new logo uses a color palette of Red, Blue, Black and White. RED symbolizes Dynamism and Solidity. Dynamism that Chola Finance and Chola MS have to display while the solidity being provided by the Murugappa group and MSIG in the Insurance space. BLUE represents Scale and Stability. Both these are a must in the fiercely competitive industry. The letters have been written in Black to maintain clarity and legibility in small sizes. A lot of WHITE space around the logo represents transparency and trust characterized in the ethos of the 2 companies.

Cholamandalam was rated as the most recognised consumer brand from the Murugappa stable in a study done by the Group in 2008 and continues to enjoy tremendous goodwill across the country. In another research done by Milward Brown, both Chola Finance and Chola MS were recognized as leading financial services players with a long haul vision by the customers.

The Group’s NBFC, Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company (CIFCL) is among the top 5 NBFC’s in the country operating in vehicle finance, home equity, corporate and mortgage finance segments with subsidiaries in the broking and wealth advisory space. CIFCL is emerging as a high growth company in the retail lending space with a branch network of over 220.

Chola MS is a significant player in the general insurance business and has been recognized for its Trust, Transparency and convenience backed by Technology. The company has 113 branches and over 7500 agents across the country and has achieved a GWP of Rs. 785 crores in 2009-10.

Elaborating on the strategic vision, Mr. A Vellayan, Chairman, Murugappa Group said, “Cholamandalam has been one of our strongest brands and is fondly called Chola by all. Hence we found it only apt to make this our brand name to further deepen our relationship with customers and stakeholders. The new brand identity and the strategic vision combined with our inherent strengths in terms of pan India network and infrastructure, gives us the thrust to move ahead to a premier position in the sector.”

“In Murugappa Group’s Vision, financial services businesses have a significant role in terms of the business contribution. More importantly, as two direct- to – customer brands, they play a vital role in carrying our Group’s brand identity forward among the larger population,” he added.

Mr. N Srinivasan, Lead Director Financial Services said, “On the NBFC front, we plan to catch up for the lost speed. Our target is to double assets under management from the current level of Rs.8000 crore in the next three to four years and regain our position as a pre-eminent player in the industry, leveraging our expertise in asset financing, especially vehicle finance. ”

“On the General Insurance business, we intend to be a strong niche player in motor, health and other retail insurance products and double our Gross Premiums in the next three years. With our extensive pan-India network of 113 branches, dynamic IT backbone and relationship with world leaders like Toyota and Hyundai, we have established a robust business platform to cater to the retail segment. Our partnership with Mitsui Sumitomo, the largest insurer in Japan places us in a position of strength in the insurance sector,” he added.

About Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Limited
(Chola MS)

Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd. is a Joint Venture between Murugappa Group and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Group of Japan. Cholamandalam MS offers a wide range of products that include Accident, Engineering, Health, Liability, Marine, Motor, Property, Travel and Rural insurance for individuals and corporate. The company achieved a GWP of Rs. 785 crores in 2009-10. The company has 113 branches and over 7500 agents across the country. Visit www.cholainsurance.com for more information about the company and its products.

About Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Limited (Chola)

Cholamandalam Investment & Finance Company Limited(www.cholamandalam.com) was incorporated in 1978 as a financial services arm of the Murugappa Group. The Company that commenced business as an equipment financing company has now emerged as a comprehensive financial services solution provider that offers vehicle finance, business finance, home equity loans, stock broking and distribution of financial products to its customers. The Company operates from over 200 branches across India with assets under management of about Rs.9108 Crores. The subsidiaries of Cholamandalam include Cholamandalam Securities Limited (CSec) and Cholamandalam Distribution Services Limited (CDSL).

About Murugappa Group

Founded in 1900, the Rs.13617 Crores (USD 3.03 billion) Murugappa Group is one of India’s leading business conglomerates. The Group has 29 businesses including seven listed companies actively traded in NSE & BSE. Headquartered in Chennai, the major companies of the Group include Carborundum Universal Ltd., Cholamandalam Investment and Finance Company Ltd., Cholamandalam MS General Insurance Company Ltd, Coromandel International Ltd, Coromandel Engineering Company Ltd, EID Parry (India) Ltd, Parry Agro Industries Ltd, Tube Investments of India Ltd and Wendt (India) Ltd.

Market leaders in served segments including Abrasives, Auto Components, Cycles, Sugar, Farm Inputs, Fertilizers, Plantations, Construction, Bio-products and Nutraceuticals, the Group has forged strong joint venture alliances with leading international companies like Mitsui Sumitomo, Foskor, Cargill, Groupe Chimique Tunisien, Winterthur Technology Group and Morgan Crucible. The Group has a wide geographical presence panning 13 states in India and 5 continents.

Renowned brands like BSA, Hercules, Ballmaster, Ajax, Parry’s, Gromor and Paramfos are from the Murugappa stable. The organization fosters an environment of professionalism and has a workforce of over 32,000 employees.

Safe Harbor

Some of the statements in this news release that are not historical facts are forward looking statements. These forward looking statements include financial and growth projections as well as statements concerning our plans, strategies, intentions and beliefs concerning our businesses and the markets in which we operate. These statements are based on information currently available to us, and we assume no obligation to update these statements as circumstances change. There are risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events to differ materially from these forward looking statements. These risks include, but are not limited to, the level of the market demand for the products, the highly competitive market for the types of the products that we offer, market condition that would cause customers to reduce their spending for the products, our ability to create, acquire and build new businesses and to grow existing businesses, our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, currency fluctuations and market conditions in India and elsewhere around the world, and otherwise not specifically mentioned herein but those that are common to industry.

For further information, please contact

Vinod
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Chennai
Mobile:98401 26179

Neeraj Moorjani
Head, Brand and Project Management
Cholamandalam MS
Mobile:98409 09420
Email: neerajm@cholams.murugappa.com  

Mathangi V
Manager – Group Corporate Communications
Murugappa Group
Mobile:96000 05932
Email: mathangiv@corp.murugappa.com