Being a public sector banker through your career how different is it working with TMB?
Both have their own unique advantages and challenges. Fortunately, I should say that the private sector bank which I have stepped in is very well in all the financial parameters. Particularly if we look at the bottom line which is most important for the stakeholder, we are one of the best in the industry. Now, the challenge is that this bank has been confined to a particular region geographically. So my mission is to make it pan-India. Second, this bank is known for its customer service, mainly in the brick and mortar style. But today’s generation wants banking, not a bank. So how can I make this as a most preferred digital bank. These are the two – three visions I have. Another advantage of being a private sector bank is that decisions can be faster, unlike the public sector, where one may have to go through the RFP and other things. We have taken up some ambitious reengineering process to begin with, focusing on the MSME space where we have greater exposure and relationship.
Concentration risk and the perception as an old generation private bank were the concerns that investors had during the IPO…
We don’t have product concentration. In fact, I will go for tailor-made products to suit the requirements in different geographies. As far as the concentration geographically is concerned, it’s a matter of fact that I have high concentration in southern part of the country more particularly in Tamil Nadu. Having said, is that a risk? My answer will be no. TN is one of the state which is contributing a higher portion to the GDP growth. It’s one of the top four states having a good potential. Have I tapped the potential available in Tamil Nadu fully? Not yet. There are a centers in Tamil Nadu where I don’t have a branch network. I will be able to tap it very well, compared to other banks because I have a brand equity there. Having said, we have plans of growing outside TN also. Very recently for the first time, we have stepped into the northeastern states and have opened branches in Gujarat and Telangana. We are working on how to expand in other parts of the country because I have a goal to make this bank pan-India.
It’s interesting that you are partnering with McKinsey. What sort of transformation are you looking at?
In MSME space, how can we realign the production process to suit today’s requirements, how I can make it more digital. Ultimately, I want that, my customer is able to get the credit in three clicks. It requires a lot of digital plan. We have already started a loan originating system for the retail products. We are also looking into a high end digital platform where you can have interface with various information agencies so that we will be able to get to the data quickly. We should be able to tell, in principle, whether a proposal is workable or not. Besides that, we are also working on how I can utilize my business correspondence enabling him with digital. We have very recently launched a product where the relationship manager can call the customers interested in a product, the RM can go to their place and open the account at no time.
Can elaborate about your plans for FY24?
My agenda is digital transformation. I am in dialogue with a different consulting firm and we are in discussion stage now on how can we achieve this. Besides that, I’m focusing on the MSME space where the aim is to ensure that TMB and MSME are synonymous. That is how it has been for 100 years. If I’m able to reprocess and digitise mine, we will be able to scale up the business and also further enhance the asset quality. The moment we enhance the underwriting standards and uniformity in operating standards; today some of them are manual with subjectivity; I can go for lending digitally.
At 26 per cent capital adequacy are you looking at organic opportunities?
Yes. I have in mind. I am with an open mind of various things, though it is premature to comment on that.