HDFC Bank on May 19 announced its plan to open 1,060 branches in the semi-urban and rural areas in this financial year, as the private lender aims to increase penetration of its rural banking network.
This move was taken by HDFC Bank to increase the reach of banking products to the hinterland. The initiative is a part of the bank's 'Future - Ready' project, the Rural Banking business to focus on semi-urban and rural areas, a large part of which remains untapped.
Head of National Rural Banking Business
Anil Bhavnani has been appointed National Rural Banking Head.
"We are excited to take the bank's world-class products and services to the remotest corner of India," said Anil Bhavnani, Sr Executive Vice President and National Rural Banking Head, HDFC Bank.
The Bank holds 50 percent of its 6,342 branches in semi-urban and rural areas, and the remaining 50 percent in metro and urban areas. The Bank also works with Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE) of Common Service Centres (CSC) as an extension of the Bank's branches in far-flung areas.
"This is both a challenge and an opportunity and I am very excited to take this up. For many years now, the Bank had 50% of its branches in semi urban and rural areas. With this enhanced focus, we will open more branches this financial year in Semi-Urban and Rural areas. While branches are touchpoints, we are working on meeting rural needs holistically, by creating products specially designed for these markets," Bhavnani added.
In a strategic partnership, the bank has joined hands with the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, to create a 'Rural First' strategy by understanding evolving dynamics related to consumer behaviour, customer satisfaction, service design, and service delivery.
Additionally, the bank aims at expanding its distribution in rural areas. The Bank also aims to build new products and services related to rural transport, forest, Agri economy, and other allied activities.
Besides, it will also serve as a one-stop-shop solution for small farmers, workers, and traders.