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In the last 16 months, Dharavi has seen a rush of banks opening branches here. Praveen Kutty, Head-Consumer Banking, DCB, said, "There are close to one million people, 75% of which are unbanked. So, it is a great opportunity for someone looking for lifetime loyalty and sustainable profitability."
By Nupur Acharya and Vivin Mathew /CNBC-TV18
Asia's biggest shantytown Dharavi remained unbanked for the last 60 years. But in the last 16 months a rush of banks have opened branches here. So, what attracted bankers to this slum?
Not too long ago banks used to shy away by the mere mention of the name Dharavi. But a lot has changed now. Banks today are extending loans to leather goods manufacturers like these to help them expand their business.
Ravi Kodam of Sai Garments said, "Nationalised banks were not ready to open branches. It was difficult to open accounts, if we used to give our Dharavi address. We thought it was better to keep our savings at home."
Kodam carries out a readymade garment job work for leading retail companies. He has today helped over 1,000 people open accounts in Indian Bank. Of these, many have taken small size loans of Rs 20,000 for their businesses. Wakeel Ahmed Khan is one such manufacturer.
Wakeel Ahmed Khan, ARF Leather, Dharavi, said, "I can now make fast payment to the party through the support of banks. With fast payments, my sales have increased."
As top banks zero in on this under-banked urban pocket, cooperative players like Abhyudaya with 40,000 depositors are likely to feel the heat.
M Shetty, Managing Director, Abyudaya Cooperative Bank, said, "Dharavi is expanding day by day and banks are attracted. So, there would be competition, but healthy competition is always welcome."
May 21 2013, 13:56
- in Results Boardroom
May 21 2013, 11:05
- in MARKET OUTLOOK