India’s leading private lender HDFC Bank has created a new business vertical to focus on rural banking.
It is part of the HDFC Bank’s ‘Future – Ready’ project, the Rural Banking business to bolster its presence in remote areas.
In this financial year, the lender plans to open 1,060 branches in semi-urban and rural areas.
The move is aimed at increasing the penetration of its banking products in the hinterland, which remains largely untapped.
HDFC Bank Sr executive vice president and national rural banking head Anil Bhavnani said: “We are excited to take the bank’s world-class products and services to the remotest corner of India. This is both a challenge and an opportunity and I am very excited to take this up.
“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.”
Currently, HDFC Bank operates a network of 6,342 branches in India and 50% of these branches are located in semi-urban and rural areas.
Additionally, the lender has formed a partnership with the Institute of Rural Management, Anand.
The lender aims to create a ‘Rural First’ strategy by gaining insight into the dynamics of the target market such as consumer behaviour, service design, service delivery and customer satisfaction.
Furthermore, the lender aims to expand its distribution in remote areas and build new products and services related to rural areas.
Last month, the lender announced plans to open 150 new branches that will generate direct employment for 1000 people.