Planning to take the bank to a business of Rs.1 lakh crore by 2015, Amitabha Guha, Chairman of South Indian Bank, says the name doesn’t restrict the institution to a particular geography.
The bank, with its branches in Delhi, 28, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Panchkula, Kanpur, Lucknow and several places in Northern India, the South Indian Bank is moving ahead in the right direction, he tells ASaye Sekhar of Postnoon in an exclusive interview.
The bank is also targeting to establish 800 ATMs. It has 32 branches in the twin cities and 44 across Andhra Pradesh.
What is the key differentiator that separates the South Indian Bank from others?
Our customer-centric service, diversification in services, good pricing and interesting products differentiate us from the competitors. The average age of our staff is in sync with the Indian demographics— mostly it is around 30. For instance you take our Hyderabad offices, the average age is 33.
What is the total headcount of your bank as of now and do you plan to recruit more?
Recruitment is an on-going process. As of now, we have 5,600 people working for the bank. We moved to campus placements to hire our executives. We recently concluded recruitment for our Hyderabad offices. We also take up lateral recruitment at the levels of scale I and II officers.
Any plans to expand to other areas in the country?
We do. In fact, geographies don’t restrict us. We are expanding even in North Eastern states. Currently we have 674 branches and we want to enhance the number of branches to 700 by March 31. We are launching specialised corporate branches in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata to deal with high networth clients. In fact, the Kolkata branch is ready for inauguration and the Mumbai branch will begin next fiscal.
Do you have any plans to branch out into insurance business?
Not directly. We have been selling bancassurance products as a third party for Life Insurance Corporation of India. We want to intensify the activity to broadbase the insurance selling even for general insurance products.
What is the technology you were talking about that differentiated your bank from others?
We implemented core banking solutions long ago across all branches. The Infosys-made Finacle connects all our transactions. Our IT spend is in excess of Rs.50 crore. Just for maintenance, we are spending `10 crore. We are providing a greater thrust to technology-supported services.
What is the credit-deposit ratio? What is the break-up in absolute terms and what are the net interest margin and net interest income?
The credit-deposit ratio is 71.5 per cent, while the break-up is about Rs.35,000 crore of deposits and Rs.22,000 crore of credit.
Our net interest margin is 3.05 per cent and net interest income is Rs.406 crore. We are growing at 25 per cent CAGR (compounded annual growth rate) and we will touch Rs.63,000 crore of business by March 31, 2012; and Rs.1 lakh crore by FY 2015.