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BW Businessworld

HDFC Bank: Leading Responsibly

Buoyed by high scores for its work culture, trustworthy leadership and CSR initiatives, HDFC Bank, the largest private sector bank (by balance sheet size) in India, secured the fourth position in this year’s BW Businessworld list of Most Respected Companies. It was ranked third in last year’s rankings

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The HDFC management firmly believes that leadership is as much about responsibility as it is about scale and size.

Addressing the shareholders, the bank says leadership goes much beyond offering world-class banking products and services. "It is also about creating value for all our stakeholders. This means we are embedding ESG aspects into our business strategy. As a domestic systemically important bank, we feel this responsibility even more," it says.

With a customer base of more than 7.1 crore and a branch network of over 6,342, HDFC Bank is among the largest private sector banks of India employing over 1,41,580 people. For FY22, it reported a total of 18,130 ATMs and cash deposit and withdrawal machines. It clocked a net profit of Rs 36,961 crore thereby registering a growth of nearly 19 per cent in FY22. “Our balance sheet has been resilient during the pandemic and has grown further. Our asset quality continues to remain healthy and amongst the best in the industry. Our balance sheet increased 18.4 per cent to Rs 20,68,535 crore and net profit increased 18.8 per cent to Rs 36,961.3 crore,” said S. Jagdishan, MD and CEO of HDFC Bank.

For HDFC, its employees are its key assets. The bank terms its people as 'enablers of growth'. "We strive to create an inclusive, meritocratic culture that ensures progress, development and well-being of our people," it said. On CSR initiatives, the bank spent over Rs 736 crore in 2021-22 with over 9.6 crore CSR beneficiaries reported. "Our CSR initiatives under HDFC Bank Parivartan aims to contribute towards the socio-economic development of the country by benefitting lives and livelihoods," it said. The bank helped in the creation of over 10,500 water conservation structures. Over 3,335 villages were covered under the banks holistic rural development programme.

Mega Merger
The year 2022 would go down in the history as the year in which HDFC Bank and HDFC announced transformational merger. In his address to the shareholders, Jagdishan explained the rationale behind the merger of HDFC Bank with HDFC. “Quite simply, this is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss. Home loans are an emotional product and bring with them a host of accelerated benefits for the Bank,” he said. Many more reasons were cited including the fact that only 2 per cent of the bank’s customers sourced their home loans through HDFC Bank; 5 per cent did it from other institutions. “The long tenure nature of home loans provides resiliency to the balance sheet. We are one of the largest consumer durable financiers...we can easily bundle this with a home loan, as with every home loan, there is a propensity of a customer to take new consumer durables,” said Jagdishan.

Moving forward, the bank is institutionalising a ‘service first’ culture. “Service first for us means respecting every customer and addressing their enquiries or complaints on time/every time, and working on the issues raised for a permanent fix,” the CEO added. The bank has invested in tools and technology to ensure that some of the issues that customers face do not arise at all.

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magazine 08 april 2023