HDFC Bank carves out Rural Banking business to penetrate deeper into semi-urban and rural areas

Mumbai, May 19, 2022

HDFC bank today announced it has carved out a separate Rural Banking function to penetrate deeper into semi-urban and rural areas.

Tasked to take banking products further in the hinterland, Rural Banking will consolidate the bank's existing initiatives in this direction, and take it closer to the last mile, a press release from the private sector bank said.

Carved out of Retail Branch Banking as part of the bank’s "Future - Ready" project, the Rural Banking business will focus on semi-urban and rural areas, a large part of which remains untapped, the release said.

Anil Bhavnani, who has been with the bank for over 19 years, has been appointed National Rural Banking Head.

The bank has at present 50 per cent of its 6,342 branches in semi-urban and rural areas, and the remaining half in metro and urban areas. The bank also works with Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE) of Common Service Centres (CSC) as an extension of the bank's branches in far-flung areas, the release said.

According to the release, the Rural Banking business will offer the entire bouquet of the bank's products and services in semi-urban and rural areas.

Towards this, the bank plans to open over 1,064 branches in semi-urban and rural areas in this financial year.

The bank has partnered with Institute of Rural Management, Anand (IRMA) to create a "Rural First" strategy by understanding the evolving dynamics related to consumer behaviour, customer satisfaction, service design, and service delivery.

The bank will build new products and services related to the rural transport economy, forest economy, agriculture and other allied activities.

It will aim to provide a one-stop shop solution to small farmers, workers and traders.

"We are excited to take the bank's world-class products and services to the remotest corner of India," said Bhavnani, Senior Executive Vice President and National Rural Banking Head, HDFC Bank.

"This is both a challenge and an opportunity and I am very excited to take this up. For many years now, the bank had 50% of its branches in semi-urban and rural areas. With this enhanced focus, we will open more branches this financial year in semi-urban and rural areas. While branches are touchpoints, we are working on meeting rural needs holistically, by creating products specially designed for these markets," he added.


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