GUWAHATI, May 19: HDFC bank announced that it has carved out a Rural Banking function to penetrate deeper into India. Tasked to take banking products further in the hinterland, Rural Banking will consolidate the bank’s existing initiatives in this direction, and take it closer to the last mile. Carved out of Retail Branch Banking as part of the bank’s ‘Future – Ready’ project, the Rural Banking business focuses on semi-urban and rural areas, a large part of which remains untapped.
Further, Anil Bhavnani, who has been with the bank for over 19 years, has been appointed National Rural Banking Head. The Bank has at present 50 percent of its 6342 branches in semi-urban and rural areas, and the remaining 50% 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. The Rural Banking business offers an entire bouquet of products and services in semi-urban and rural areas.
Notably, to expand its distribution in the rural areas, the Bank opened over 1064 branches in semi-urban and rural areas in this financial year. The bank has also partnered with the Institute of Rural Management, Anand to create a ‘Rural First’ strategy by understanding evolving dynamics related to consumer behavior, customer satisfaction, service design, and service delivery.
“We are excited to take the bank’s world-class products and services to the remotest corner of India. 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,” said Anil Bhavnani, senior executive vice president and National Rural Banking head, HDFC Bank.