Gramin Bank of Aryavart to add more branches, BCs

Will lean to­wards tech­nol­ogy and trad­ing for growth:

Banking Frontiers - - Highlights - Me­hul@bank­ingfron­tiers.com

Will lean to­wards tech­nol­ogy and trad­ing for growth

The Gramin Bank of Aryavart came into be­ing on 1 April 2013 af­ter the amal­ga­ma­tion of 2 RRBs Aryavart Kshetriya Gramin Bank and Shreyas Gramin Bank. The for­mer was spon­sored by Bank of In­dia while the lat­ter was spon­sored by Ca­nara Bank. Posta­mal­ga­ma­tion, Gramin Bank of Aryavart has its head of­fice at Lucknow un­der the spon­sor­ship of Bank of In­dia.

NET­WORK

To­day, the bank op­er­ates in 15 dis­tricts in UP - Lucknow, Bara­banki, Far­rukhabad, Har­doi, Kan­nauj, Un­nao, Faiz­abad, Main­puri, Firoz­abad, Ali­garh, Etah, Hathras, KashiRam Na­gar, Mathura and Agra. It has a net­work of 706 branches and 12 re­gional of­fices. It is us­ing shared ATMs of var­i­ous banks for serv­ing its cus­tomers. Ac­cord­ing to S.B. Singh, chair­man of the bank, the bank plans to in­crease the branch net­work to 720 by March 2019. “Added to that, we have 1856 BCs equipped with mi­cro-ATMs. We pro­pose to pro­vide 650 mi­crot-ATMs at cash coun­ters of all our ru­ral branches by 30 Septem­ber 2018,” adds Singh.

EX­PAND­ING CUS­TOMER BASE

The bank has a cus­tomer base of 12.13 mil­lion as on 30 June 2018 against 12.09 mil­lion just 3 months ago. The bank al­ways gives a thrust on bet­ter cus­tomer con­nect through per­sonal con­tact, re­la­tion­ship bank­ing, spe­cial at­ten­tion to good cus­tomers viz se­nior ci­ti­zens, teach­ers and other salaried class draw­ing salary from its branches. It ex­tends need-based ser­vices/prod­ucts and credit fa­cil­i­ties to its cus­tomers to in­crease their in­come and sus­tain­able growth. Says Singh: “We or­ga­nize lit­er­acy camps through our fi­nan­cial lit­er­acy coun­sel­lors and spread aware­ness through our mo­bile vans ‘Aryavart Vikas Ruth’ in ru­ral ar­eas. We ex­pect the cus­tomer base to in­crease to 12.5 mil­lion by March 2019.”

The bank has also cov­ered all its bor­row­ers un­der ‘Aryavart Free Ac­ci­den­tal cum Dis­abil­ity In­sur­ance scheme’ by pro­vid­ing a cover of `200,000 against ac­ci­den­tal death or per­ma­nent dis­abil­ity due to ac­ci­dent. This in­sur­ance is ab­so­lutely free for all bor­row­ers.

BUSI­NESS UP FOR FARM­ERS

Dur­ing FY 2017-18, the bank ex­tended max­i­mum credit to agri­cul­ture and MSME sec­tors for in­come gen­er­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties of ru­ral house­holds. As on March 2018, its agri­cul­tural ad­vance was of `94.5 bil­lion and MSME sec­tor ad­vances `8.5 bil­lion. Dur­ing FY 2017-18, ad­vances to the MSME sec­tor achieved max­i­mum growth of 27.52% fol­lowed by non-pri­or­ity sec­tor at 25.49%. The bank has also achieved 101.68% of its tar­get un­der Prad­han Mantri Mu­dra Yo­jna (PMMY) for FY 2017-18.

Singh speaks about growth: “Our de­posits have in­creased to the tune of `143.90 bil­lion as of Q1, 2018-19 from `139.84 bil­lion 3 months ago. As of March 2019, the de­posit bud­get is `161.17 bil­lion. Sim­i­larly, in Q1 of FY 2018-19, our ad­vance out­stand­ing was `113.81 bil­lion as against `113.59 bil­lion as on 31 March 2018. The loan bud­get for March 2019 is `130.63 bil­lion.”

The main fo­cus of the bank dur­ing FY 2018-19 has been in­creas­ing agri­cul­tural term loan ad­vances and MSME sec­tor ad­vances. The in­ten­tion is to pro­vide max­i­mum cap­i­tal sup­port through credit ex­ten­sion to the ru­ral house­holds for in­creas­ing their in­come within the purview of na­tional agenda of ‘Dou­bling of Farm­ers’ in­come by 2022’.

The bank has also launched Aryavart Star Mis­sion since 2 Oc­to­ber 2017, for iden­ti­fy­ing 125,000 fam­i­lies through its branch net­work in 15 dis­tricts and in­tend to cover the en­tire com­mand area by 2020 for the pur­pose of dou­bling of in­come of ru­ral house­holds. Singh elab­o­rates on this strat­egy: “By now, we have iden­ti­fied all fam­i­lies and they have been credit linked for min­i­mum one ac­tiv­ity, which will be ex­tended to sec­ond, third and fourth ac­tiv­i­ties as per the needs of the bor­row­ers. The core of the mis­sion is to fi­nance mul­ti­ple ac­tiv­i­ties, mainly for pro­vid­ing gain­ful em­ploy­ment to all the adult mem­bers of the fam­i­lies for 200 to 250 days per year, to fa­cil­i­tate debt swap to re­duce high cost of

for­mal/in­for­mal bor­row­ings and to pro­vide cover­age un­der so­cial se­cu­rity schemes such as PMSBY, PMJJY & health in­sur­ance etc.”

TECH­NOL­OGY PLANS

All the 706 branches and re­gional of­fices of the bank are on CBS plat­form. All the branches of­fer RTGS/NEFT fa­cil­ity. The im­me­di­ate plans in­clude en­hanc­ing fraud pre­ven­tion mea­sures us­ing bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion (for staff as well as cus­tomers) to avail eKYC in col­lab­o­ra­tion with UIDAI. “The idea is to make cus­tomers feel se­cure while us­ing our fa­cil­i­ties and pre­vent­ing frauds by im­per­son­ation. We are also plan­ning to in­tro­duce fa­cil­i­ties like mo­bile bank­ing, IMPS and ME-POS, etc, dur­ing FY 2018-19 to en­able our cus­tomers take up for dig­i­tal trans­ac­tions,” says Singh.

The ru­ral cus­tomers of the bank are avail­ing bank­ing ser­vices at their door steps through mi­cro-ATMs at BC points and mo­bile vans. Singh says these cus­tomers are highly sat­is­fied with the IT-en­abled ser­vices of the bank.

MAIN IT VEN­DORS

The bank has part­ner­ships with a num­ber of IT com­pa­nies. Says Singh: “We have Fi­na­cle (ver­sion 7.0.18) for our CBS plat­form. We get tech­nol­ogy sup­port from EIT-DXC Tech­nol­ogy and we now in­tend to up­grade this ver­sion to a higher one. Our eKYC pro­cesses are man­aged by by Mis­cot and CKYC by Adroit. The bio­met­ric au­then­ti­ca­tion process is sup­ported by IDEMIA. FI is sup­ported by TCS and the en­tire net­work is sup­ported by HP and DSM for branch and link main­te­nances. FIS Global man­ages our ATM fa­cil­ity, while ACL Tech­nolo­gies looks af­ter SMS bank­ing ser­vice.”

DRAS­TIC NPA RE­DUC­TION

The bank’s gross and net NPA have come down sig­nif­i­cantly to 9.91% and 4.21% re­spec­tively as 31 March 2018 from 16.11% and 10.66% re­spec­tively a year ago. Pro­vi­sion cover­age ra­tio was 60.03%. The bank has been reg­u­larly or­ga­niz­ing camps to spread prod­uct aware­ness among ru­ral masses and to boost re­cov­ery in NPA ac­counts. Spe­cial at­ten­tion is paid on re­cov­er­ies in NPA ac­counts of those with bal­ance of `1 mil­lion and above. Cus­tomers of high NPA branches are per­son­ally con­tacted by ded­i­cated staff at the re­gional of­fices to en­sure timely re­cov­ery. Em­pha­sis is also given on cash re­cov­er­ies for KCC rollovers. The bank will be main­tain­ing as­set qual­ity by mon­i­tor­ing early warn­ing sig­nals and ini­ti­at­ing cor­rec­tive mea­sures.

Says Singh: “Our tar­get for March 2019 is to achieve gross NPA of below 5% and net NPA of below 2%. The ma­jor NPA strate­gies in­clude con­tact­ing cus­tomers with high NPA, OTS, use of Lok Adalats, fil­ing RCs and co­or­di­na­tion with rev­enue au­thor­i­ties for early ac­tion as well as fil­ing suits and ac­tion un­der SARFAESI Act 2002 for all el­i­gi­ble ac­counts.”

EX­PAN­SION & HR PLANS

The bank has in­creased its staff strength from 3260 as on 31 March 2017 to 3956 as on 30 June 2018 to meet in­creased busi­ness re­quire­ments. Im­ple­men­ta­tion of bio­met­ric lo­gin au­then­ti­ca­tion is un­der process and this will be fully func­tional dur­ing this year. The bank has a staff wel­fare fund to take up var­i­ous wel­fare ac­tiv­i­ties.

The bank is propos­ing to add 14 new branches this year. It is also plan­ning to make HRMS live for all staff mem­bers dur­ing the year. There is ad­e­quate pro­vi­sion in the bud­get for in-house train­ing pro­grams as well as for those or­ga­nized at na­tional cen­tres such as BIRD, NIBM and PNB-IIT for skill de­vel­op­ment of the staff.

Aryavart Vikas Ruth

SB Singh out­lines how the bank plans to achieve gross NPAs below 5% and net NPAs below 2% in the cur­rent FY

Launch of Aryavart Free Ac­ci­den­tal In­sur­ance

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