Only about 26 percent of the 585 million women in India have any kind of formal relationship with a bank said Usha Ananthasubramanian, CMD of the Bharatiya Mahila Bank (BMB) on Wednesday at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA). While addressing students of PGPX- the one-year MBA programme, as part of the PGPX ‘Speaker series’ the BMB chief who spoke on women empowerment and innovation underlined her bank’s premise with this and the huge void it sought to fill with this information.
As per a official release from the institute, she had stated that although Indian women had traditionally been saving, spending and borrowing throughout the years through non-formal channels, they had not been integrated into the formal financial system. As a result, and the bank’s focus is to address this deficit.
Keeping that focus in mind, she spoke about the distinction between BMB and other public sector banks in India. Though the bank invited deposits from all genders and was open to doing business in all strata of the society, it addressed unique needs of women by providing a variety of products oriented towards helping women entrepreneurs and working women. Some of the unique products launched by the bank include – the BMB Shringaar Beauty Parlour Loan, the BMB Annapurna Catering Service Loan and the BMB Parvarish Child Day Care Centre Loan – all of which are products oriented towards businesses which are predominantly women run.
Speaking of innovative approaches adopted at BMB, she added about how BMB was the first to have adopted an opex rather than the capex business technology model typically adopted in the banking industry. This standout approach now has several other banks and entities that were recently issued new banking licenses tracking BMB’s success with an eye to adopt this model.
About future growth plans, Ananthasubramanian said that they would consider all innovative technology options including the launch of Internet- and mobile-banking services. This desire will also see it pilot-test a mobile-van bank concept in Mumbai. Through this it would offer its entire standard branch banking services to customers through a mobile-van.
Incidentally, IIMA’s PGPX batch comprises eighty-five highly experienced professionals from diverse sectors and the current batch also has the highest representation of women of all previous PGPX batches at IIM-A.In May this year, former Indian President APJ Abdul Kalam had spoke on Dynamics of Leadership, while Renuka Ramnath, Founder, Multiples Alternate Asset Management spoke about the future of the Private Equity (PE) industry in India as part of the ‘Speaker Series’.