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State of the art, straight from the heart

While financial instability plagued the international banking sector, some of which required government bailouts, Bank of Baroda (BoB) has managed to prosper and grow exponentially, also offering its customers the proverbial silver lining of exceptional customer service. This sentiment was reflected throughout the night at the Bank's ‘Customer Meet' held at the Doubletree Metropolitan Hotel in New York on September 23, 2011.


Chairman and Managing Director of Bank of Baroda, M.D. Mallya, delivering the keynote address during ‘Customers Meet' organized by the Bank of Baroda, New York.

In his keynote address, M.D. Mallya, Chairman and Managing Director of BoB since 2008, noted that in a time when financial giants such as the Lehman Brothers filed bankruptcy, BoB was steadily growing, a feat which can only be attributed to its strong customer loyalty base.


Mr Balbir Tandon of NRI Today (left) with Mr. M.D. Mallya


The Bank of Baroda family (M.D. Mallya, 3rd to the left in the first row)

During a reception dinner, Mallya met and mingled with some of BoB's customers and most notable employees. Some stories that were shared with the Managing Director touched upon personal, entrepreneurial, and organizational burdens that were alleviated though the compassionate nature and personal service provided by BoB employees. One customer disclosed that in a time where his ailing parent needed money most, BoB employees were efficient in processing all their financial transactions, thereby assuring funds were protected and available for use. Small business owners shared their experience of the rigorous loan process endured in order to secure financing to expand their business ventures. They expressed their sincere gratitude to the bank and its employees indicating that in a time when other financial institutions are shutting their doors, BoB has embraced them.

Bernell K. Grier, Chief Executive Officer of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc. (NHS), an organization dedicated to providing education and affordable loans to those looking to buy, improve and prevent foreclosure, also sought financial assistance from BoB. Grier indicated that NHS was able to acquire a US$5 Million loan from BoB, thereby allowing them to continue providing the support and service their community has come to rely upon.

Taking control from his predecessor, V. Seshadri in May 2008, Mallya stayed true to the Bank's "custom er centric" nature, as showcased by these stories. Under Mallya's dynamic leadership, BoB has doubled its business and tripled its profits. In a sit down interview with the banking tycoon, Mallya elaborates on the Bank's flourishing policy and service schematics while also providing some sound financial advice.

As customer satisfaction is the core principle of what makes BoB's business thrive, BoB customers may also be pleased to note a few new technological initiatives implemented by the bank. For the NRIs looking to transfer money to India, BoB offers "Rapid Funds 2 India" or spot transfers to interconnected branches in India. For those who hate the long banking lines and unknown wait times at other banking institutions, BoB has put in place a system that will inform you of your anticipated wait time as well as the name of the representative who will be servicing you. Mallya explains that once a customer enters a BoB branch, they are pleasantly greeted by a smiling branch host who will escort them onto a queue where they will then be provided with this information.

When questioned about the easiest and safest way to increase finances, Mallya indicates that BoB offers competitive rates of interest on their various accounts. Regarding the recent growing trend of buying or investing in gold, Mallya believes this is purely "speculative" and suggests diversifying one's investment portfolio through real estate, stocks/ bonds, etc. to better ensure and secure one's funds.

As confidence in the banking industry's rules and regulations is at an all time low with news of reckless investments such as the recent US$2 Billion rogue trade occurring with UBS (Swiss Bank), Mallya indicated that BoB is very cautious with their investments, a fact best showcased by the Bank's Gross NPLs which Mallya highlights are the "lowest in the industry." He also conveys that the Bank has robust asset quality and no sovereign debts. Furthermore, BoB conservative investors always exercise "prudent aggression" in addition to rigorous due diligence.

Where are these ideas for improvement stemming from? Mallya offers that BoB aims to meet the aspirations of the customers through better understanding their psyche and providing them with "what they [customers] want." By providing customers with alternate delivery channels such as internet and phone banking, BoB is improving customer convenience. However, BoB still maintains its personal touch through its implemented technological features such as the "smile freebie" if you happen to walk into a BoB branch, you will be greeted with a smile…. and "I won't charge you."

Bank of Baroda continues to relentlessly pursue a policy of quality, transparency, consistency and superior industry performance through such efforts as "team building", "process reengineering" and customer centric innovations. Evolving its services with technology, the Bank still manages to maintain its friendly disposition. Through employee centric initiatives such as continuous training for staff, BoB boast a staggering 40,000 employees on the Bank's payroll and services 40 Million customers. As BoB customers are already familiar, "once a customer of Bank of Baroda, always a customer of Bank of Baroda."

[ BY KAVITA MAHARAJ ]


Profile:
M. D Mallya, CMD, Bank of Baroda
Notable Industry Accolades

  • Ranked no. 1 amongst the top 100 CEOs of India by Economic Times
  • Pronounced “Outstanding Finance Professional for the year 2010” by CNBC TV 18 and MCX under India’s Best Banks and Financial Institutions Awards (IBFA)
  • Adjudged “Banker of the Year 2009-10” by Business Standards
  • Won the “Khan Bahadur H K Bhabha” (Indian Institute of Bankers) award Professional Experience
  • Executive Director, Oriental Bank of Commerce
  • Chairman and Managing Director, Bank of Maharashtra
  • Chairman, Indian Banks’ Association
  • President, Indian Institute of Banking and Finance
  • Member of Governing Council, NIBM
  • Member of Governing Council, IBPS
  • Board member, Exim Bank

Profile:
Bank of Baroda
(www.bankofbaroda.com)

Mission Statement: To be a top ranking National Bank of international standards committed to augmenting stakeholder value through concern, care and competence Accolades

  • "Best Public Sector Bank" by CNBC TV 18 and MCX under IBFA
  • Ranked 763 in Forbes Global 2000 list
  • "Best Public Sector Bank- Global Business Development" by Dun and Bradstreet- Polaris Software Banking Awards 2011
  • "Bank of the Year- 2010" by Business India
  • "Bank of the Year- 2010 (India)" Banker Magazine, London, UK Current Stats/ Information
  • Third largest bank in India
  • Operates in 26 countries with a network of 85 overseas offices
  • Total Revenue: US$5.51 Billion, Total Assets: US$79.92 Billion
  • 3,492 operational branches with plans to open 400 more in the coming year
  • Traded on the Bombay Stock Exchange (532134)

Some services provided Internet banking, mobile banking, consumer banking, various loan products (home/auto/personal etc.), multiple ATM/ POS/ loan facilities, business/ corporate banking, investment banking/ management, international banking/ services, financial consultation/ management, credit cards, capital markets/ mutual funds management, JV in Life Insurance, health insurance, private banking/ equity, NRI Remittances, Baroda gold coins.

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