Sikkim: Announcing that the time for Northeast in the banking sector has come, HDFC Bank managing director Aditya Puri has said that technology has made the sector much easier for the common masses of the country.
In an exclusive interview with EastMojo editor-in-chief Karma Paljor, Puri, who is in Sikkimm, said that for overall development of mankind, technology will play an important role.
“What I see is that, when I am going around you see the amount of infrastructure and road connectivity that is coming. You see the electrical projects that are there, you see the tele-communication networks that have been set up. When you put this together, what is does is that it removes all the isolation from the interior. Now, this suits us perfectly because we wanted to offer our products to people through any access that is most convenient to them whether the phone or the branch,” he said.
Commenting on the use of mobile phones in expanding banking networks in the country, the HDFC bank MD said that it becomes easier for people to expand their business.
“We are also extending our branches so between the branch I can go within 10 km radius and offer all my products and our products are suited to what is happening here. So we see agriculture as a growth area, we see tourist as a major growth area, we see infrastructure coming up as a growth area and we see lot of the produce that is their agriculture produce should find a wide amount,” he added.
Informing that country’s systems and its digital preparedness are among the top 5 in the world, Puri further said that digital process can be used to reduce cost.
“At least in the foreseeable future, I see the role of the branch changing. The branch will become more sales and service outline. So what we are finding is there is tremendous amount of migration from the rural to the urban and when they come to the urban, it’s not such a good life for them. They think it’s a lot of money compared to what they will get back in home by the time they pay for the accommodation and their food and their transportation, it’s actually not so great. So we have to do two things, we are largely a consumption society. Today we have to become more of a manufacturing society and that doesn’t necessarily have to evict factories. So when I talked about the uneducated but skilled within the villages, there’s a lot of scope to create viable business. As we go through our sustainable livelihood initiative, initially they were skeptical when they started making money, they asked them to put aside money and gold in India.”
As a part of its expansion plan, the HDFC Bank will open 100 more branches in the Northeast region in next three years, taking its branch network close to 230.
The bank network will also work with the 650 Common Service Centers to be set up in the region by the Centre for financial services in rural area.
HDFC Bank managing director, Aditya Puri further said that the company’s corporate social responsibility has impacted the lives of close to 10 lakh people in the Northeast.