The Indian economy is passing through a difficult phase – GDP growth is lower, inflation is going out of control, regulatory initiatives are not bringing desired results.
One of the main economic change agents – Indian Banks, despite having all support from the central government and the regulator, are finding it difficult to register both top line as well as bottom line growth relatively well. As such, Banks in the country are left with little option except focusing on their stakeholder's satisfaction to stay reasonably healthy and performing.
But to serve and satisfy today's customers - the real stakeholders is proving to be difficult as the customer is slowly becoming demanding and is also undergoing change in his banking needs and requirements. Gandhi ji was amazingly prophetic when he said on this subject: "A customer is not an interruption on the work of a Bank, but he is the reason for the Bank's existence..."
In fact, whenever a customer visits the Bank, he casts a vote of confidence in that Bank which is the ultimate index of Bank's credibility in this fiercely competitive market. Please enjoy my two-liner before moving ahead:
'कष्ट' सेमरेजोवह 'कस्टमर' (customer) कहलाए
'ग्राह्य' करनेकाजिसे 'हक़' हो, वही 'ग्राहक' कहलाए.
You would agree and appreciate, Banking is not files, furniture, computers and electronic gadgets; rather it is people, mainly the stakeholders. No doubt, Banks use these items and many more only to cater to the customers' needs and requirements which change a bit rapidly now with large younger population joining the fold of account holders. The regulator's constant follow up with all Banks for ground level implementation of financial inclusion directives have added a significant dimension to inclusive growth story of Indian economy.
Since nationalisation of 14 commercial Banks in 1969 and with LPG (Liberalisation, Privatisation, and Globalisation) in financial sector two decades ago, the Banking sector has grown geographically, numerically, conceptually and technologically. The frontiers have been widening with emergence of newer dimensions on regular basis. The days of relatively 'easy' manual banking was replaced by technologically advanced 'busy' banking.
Now the expectation from every quarter is nothing but excellence and as we know, "Excellence is not the destination, rather it’s a journey", which Indian Banking is yet to appreciate fully and act accordingly for whatever reasons.
Milan K. Sinha is a freelance writer. He has worked in Banking and Insurance sector for three decades following three years of active writing in various newspapers and magazines. Presently he is engaged in stress management, wellness and awareness activities besides freelance writing.