Very interesting news!
Could anyone from India share this more please? wonder how it operate in contrast to normal banks? how popular is it there?
" Bank 'for the rich and poor' to open here
Baroda of India aims to use network to tap bilateral trade and cater to both Thai and Indian businesses
Bank of Baroda, one of India's oldest and most networked banks, is looking to establish its presence in Thailand with plans to have a fully fledged branch in the country to cater to the growing business needs arising from booming two-way trade between India and Thailand on the back of the early-harvest success of the free trade agreement.
"Hopefully in six months' time, we will be a powerhouse offering a vast array of products to customers here," Anil K. Khandelwal, the chairman and managing director of the 2,800-branch bank, said recently in Bangkok.
Bank of Baroda, which had humble beginnings in July 1908 with paid-up capital of just one million rupees from founder Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad, today has assets of more than US$36 billion and a net profit last year of $261 million, with operations in 24 countries and 65 offices outside India.
"Today trade between Thailand and India is growing at 35% per year and we want to take advantage of this growth," Mr Khandelwal said.
The bank, which is 53.81% owned by the government of India, says it wants to offer to Thai customers a service network that is unmatched by other banks operating in Thailand and therefore is in talks with Thai authorities to increase its presence.
Thailand, he says, is part of the bank's overall strategy of growth as it opened a total of 10 offices globally last year and 100 branches within India alone, bringing the total branch network to 2,800.
With public-sector backing, the bank has given a run for their money to private sector and even multinational banks, with its capital adequacy ratio at 12.90%, non-performing assets at just 2.33% of its portfolio and earnings per share of 18.06 rupees for six-month operations ending in September 2007, against 28.18 rupees for the full fiscal year ended March 31 last year.
Mr Khandelwal says the bank has been among those that have lent to many of the leading entrepreneurs in India's booming industrial sector. It was one of the first banks to provide funding for some of the companies that have become the Goliaths of Indian industry.
"We call ourselves the bank for the rich and the poor alike as we offer services to all, and give entrepreneurs the opportunity to grow," Mr Khandelwal said.
One distinctive feature of the bank's business, which many would have a difficult time believing, is that it now generates about 85% of its business from online operations, and all this has been achieved over a period of just two years.
Mr Khandelwal says that the move to having a fully automated system does not mean that banks should forget where they came from. Since a lot of customers still prefer to do their banking face-to-face, the bank has become the first in India to offer a 24-hour human interaction operation with staff in those branches working in three shifts.
"We are therefore ready to offer a lot to Thailand and soon after the elections we will start discussions, as from our side we are ready to offer services here," he said, citing the presence of large Indian multinationals such as Tata, Birla and Indorama groups in Thailand.
The bank has operations in Singapore, Hong Kong, one branch in Guangzhou, and a representative office in Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur, apart from eight branches in the United Kingdom, one each in New York, Kenya, South Africa, United Arab Emirates and Oman, among others.
He said that apart from Thailand the bank was looking to expand in New Zealand and Canada. All this is aimed at making the bank a clearly universal Indian bank."