Saturday, July 31, 2010

Amitabh Bachchan Main Yahaan Tu Wahaan song from Baghban HQ

Somewhat close to my personal situation, me in Manipal and family in Bangalore!

Best Emotional Song - Amitabh Bachchan

My ever favourite actor, singer, and a gentleman!  I am watching Baghban songs, dances and dialogues too

XE - World Currency Symbols

XE - World Currency Symbols

Two days back I was teaching my MBA students in the Second Year elective course - Management of Banking and Financial Institutions. The session was on Foreign Exchange, Letter of Credit and Export Finance. While beginning the session, I asked the group as to in how many countries, we have Dollar as the currency. No clear answer came from the class but some one in the last row said that Taiwan has Dollar as their currency. Neither the class nor myself could believe it and brushed it aside. Some students mentioned  Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, etc while I was nodding my head for one by one answers.

Today, from the above site, I count that in all 23 countries have their currency as the Dollar. Amazing and interesting, na? Here is the list: 1.America (USA), 2.Australia, 3.Bahamas, 4.Barbados, 5.Belize, 6.Brunie-Darussalam, 7.Canada, 8.Cayman Islands, 9.East Carribbean, 10.Fiji, 11.Guyana, 12.Hong Kong, 13.Jamaica, 14.Liberia, 15.Namibia, 16.New Zealand, 17.Singapore, 18.Soloman Islands, 19.Suriname, 20.New Taiwan, 21.Trinidad -and-Tobago, 22. Tuvalu and 23. Zimbabwe. I could not believe it. Next in line is the currency Euro. There are 14 contries with Euro as their currency, 1.Belgium, 2.Cyprus, 3. Estonia, 4. France, 5. Greece, 6. Holland, 7. Ireland, 8. Luxemburg, 9. Malta, 10. Netherlands, 11. Slovenia, 12.Spain, 13. Vatican, and 14. Italy.

Pound Sterling which is the currency mainly of UK (British) has did not adopt to Euro . The other six countries who use Pound are: 1. Egypt 2. Jersey 3. Lebanon 4. Saint Helena 5. Somalia and 6. Syria. Interesting news is that India has adopted a new symbol for its currency 'Rupee' in July 2010, which is very late. Five other Asian countries viz., Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Seychelles and Sri Lanka - all adopting their currency as "Rupees" have much earlier itself, a different symbol for Rupees, which is common across all the five! As many as seven countries who have chosen UK Pound Sterling symbol.

Seven countries viz., Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Philippines and Uruguay have a currency of same name - PESO with the standard US Dollar as symbol!! And the Japanese Yen and Chinese Yuvan Renminbi - though have different currencies, have the same symbol!!

Welcome to

Welcome to

Yet another interesting and controversial story of a popular Social Entrepreneur - Capt G R Gopinath son of a rural School Teacher. His childhood was in a remote village near Hasan in Karnataka, he studied in Kannada medium in a village school, per chance entered NDA and later served Indian Army and experienced 1971 Bangladesh Operations, then turned to Sericulture-Stock Broking-Motor Cycle Dealer-Restaurant owner-Irrigation Pipe Dealer - Heli Services provider and then offered India's first Low Cost Carrier (Cheapest Airline services). He also tried his hand at politics and elections unsuccessfully. His narration of all his life events in Simply Fly (autobiography) is very interesting and revealing. In the course of reading the book, you also come to know of our archaic rules in various government departments.

The Hindu Business Line : Sunday, August 01, 2010

The Hindu Business Line : Sunday, August 01, 2010

Do you know? The first Sunday of August month is celebrated as Friendship Day, ie., today.

These days, half of my writing blogs is linked to the net-based news items in The Hindu-Business Line and Financial Express. A close friend of mine and ex-colleague at SBI (now a CGM in Mumbai), Mr Pradeep K Khosla yesterday responded and complimented my blog stating that I am able to provide many items or information that he would neither have known or heard of. Thank God, some one is reading my blog.

The above link is provided to just help the viewers quickly access to a page on Private Banks reporting in Business Line. When we see the index itself, we get to know the happenings in the Indian Banking Sector. If you go on navigating and browsing, you would certainly get several new and newer items to enrich and reflect. Similarly, you may go to Public Sector Banks, Foreign Banks, Regional Rural Banks, Local Area Banks, Micro Finance Institutions, Non-Banking Finance Companies, Insurance Companies, Stock Exchanges and SEBI, etc.

IAS couple invested Rs 300 crore in stocks

IAS couple invested Rs 300 crore in stocks

Is it Indian Atrocious Service, or Indian Arrogant Service, by the way? They, in fact, succeeded what was Indian Civil Service (ICS) which was prestigeous during the British regime.  Unbelievable; that the country's best brains are picked up through Union Public Service Commission's toughest examination process to select to this cadre! And these IAS Officers (a couple in this case) from Madhya Pradesh indulge in such mean methods to become rich through corrupt practices. Indian Administrative Service and Allied Services (like Police, Audit, Railways, Forest, Foreign, Postal, etc) are always the most sought after by the intelligent, smart, hard-working and dedicated youth of the country. They are supposed to be the cream of the Society!  What a shame that these two Officials (couple) are looting the public left and right!!

And all along, there has been a debate as to who should be blamed for the cancerous decease called 'Corruption'? The businessman, the politician, the bureaucrat or the citizen? If it is businessmen, yes - they want profits by hook or crook!. Politicians (of course, we have some extra-ordinary exceptions like Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam as Presidents, late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, Dr Manmohan Singh and Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee as Prime Ministers, to name a few) these days enter into politics not for Jana Seva for free nor do they have sacrificing mind. They are the real and shrewd businessmen that they have different formulaes and models of investing in their business called Politics and look for highest Return on Investment within the minimum period (less than five years, generally) plus party, power, popularity and position (my own 4Ps). Even the Rules of Election Commission pertaining to declaration of assets prior to filing of nominations itself is being defeated by many. Then, they reluctantly file their Assets & Liabilities data with Government; forget paying of taxes and other dues regularly.

While the Citizen are gullible and silent victims of the atrocities of all the other three sections, Bureaucrats rule the country, in reality. Politicians may come and go, Parties in Power may change, Businesses may survive or perish but these Babus go on and on manipulating with all the systems and procedures, mis-interpreting the provisions of laws and control the country's governance. They have a very strong lobby for protecting their own cadre. Once selected in the entry stage, they are there for life. No further exams or interviews nor performance evaluation for their postings or promotions. It is all through manipulations and corruption only. Where is merit? And there are so many types of reservations too. Look at the portfolios of the couple who are involved - she is in Women (self) and Child Development and he is Jail & Parliamentary Affairs Departments. Very deserving positions! If they were honest, it would take more than ten generations to earn Rs. 300 Crores and Rs. 3 Crores in Cash seized! Mera Bharat Mahaan! Jai Ho!! Long live IAS Cadre!!!

Always Be Positive (AB+)

Today, in the Lions Club program in Manipal, the Chief Guest made an interesting observation.  It is not scientifically or technically valid though and neither we can extend such similar parallels to other blood groups too.  We can draw any correlation here too.  That her blood group is B + (Positive) and hence she believes in being positive minded and thinking to always do good to others.  Then, I remembered my blood group, in fact is AB+ (Positive).  So I can declare that my approach and attitude is ALWAYS BE POSITIVE. Very Interesting!

In fact, I also remember the books like 1. Tough Times Never Last, but Tough People Do  2. Tough-Minded Faith for Tender-Hearted Poeple  3. The Be (Happy) Attitudes  4. Believe in the God who Believes in You  5. Success is Never Ending, Failure is Never Final and others written by Robert H Schuller advocates the philosophy of POSSIBILITY THINKING, some what ahead of Positive Thinking.  Schuller  is America's foremost proponent of "Possibility Thinking"  and all his books are best selling. He presents  a day by day devotional guide designed to release our inner health, energy and power to make the impossible - into possible.  We may recall the popular song from a popular Hindi movie, Amar-Akbar-Anthony - Unhonie to Hone Kar De.....

I can also refer to a few motivating books by Stephen R Covey such as 1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People  2. Spiritual Roots of Human Relations   3. How to Succeed with People  4. The Divine Center        5. Marriage & Family Insights and 6. Principle-Centered Leadership. The Book at no.1 presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centred approach for solving personal and professional problems.  With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes.  Further, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty and human dignity - principles that give us the security to adapt to change, and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates.

One of the reviewers of the first book (and author of  The Road Less Travelled), M. Scott Peck says " This Book has the Gift of Being Simple without Being Simplistic".  In our younger days, we were also reading books on such topics by Dale Carnegie.  So also those books by our own - Shiv Khera!

These books are very interesting to read and do motivate us all to look at the world in a positive manner and have self confidence that whatever we take up, we will be able to complete. All of us have seen only last year that in USA, for the first time how Mr Barack Obama won the Presidential election with the slogan -Yes, WE CAN. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

3i Infotech joins SBI to launch Kiosk Banking for rural India - India Microfinance Business News

3i Infotech joins SBI to launch Kiosk Banking for rural India - India Microfinance Business News

Yet another novel initiative from the big brother of banking in India. No reason, why Khandelwal Committee recommended a Maha Ratna status to SBI recently. Having been with the Bank for over twenty years (between 1971 and 1993), and to have worked in rural branches in the remote / backward Telangana area in AP, followed by a posting in the Agricultural Banking Department of the Corporate Office, I feel very proud and reminisce those good olden days.

Manning the under-staffed branches, living in semi-finished houses, taking food in tached canteens, walking miles and miles, working in odd-conditions and visiting village farms on hired jeeps, sitting with the illiterate Lambadas in Tandas, sending telegrams to HO, campaigning for business (deposits and loans), are all still fresh in memory. Those tough days are gone. All transactions were handled manually and prone to errors if not frauds. There were hardly any telephone or communication facilities about three decades back. Getting leave for genuine reasons was a problem. All staff members were eagerly waiting for week-ends or public holidays to move to nearby towns to breath some civilisation. A friend of mine when met after his rural posting, when greeted with the words 'how is life?' responded that he is under culture shock.

It is heartening that rural India and rural banking is going tech-savvy. Imagine working even without good calculators, today they have computers, networking, mobile phones, conveyance facilities, entertainment with TVs, and now moving towards Core Banking, Biometric ATMs and Kiosk Banking! I envy my young friends to have moved to rural service with all possible facilities. Good luck.

A to Z Banking continues....

Qudos to SBI for introducing Kiosk Banking under Financial Inclusion.

Pilot project currently underway in partnership with OXIGEN and Sahyog Microfinance Foundation and wiil be conducted at 50 centers in NCR and Mumbai region.Oxigen has kept a target of opening 10 million no-frills accounts in next 12-18 months during this pilot project. – Joint Financial Inclusion initiative between SBI and OXIGEN to offer web based no frills [...] Related posts:

The above piece of news from IFMR Blog is very interesting and encouraging.  Really, SBI is living up to its role and stature of leading from the front.  It shows that the bank is not carrying out its responsibility of FI as a lip service or eye wash.  SBI seems to be seriously researching and partnering with other agencies to take the banking services to the grass roots level (reason for which the bank was formed in 1955 out of Imperial Bank).  This is the way technology has to be taken to our rural areas as also urban poor. Hats off, SBI

'Pregnancy Financing' by CIFD

Amazing Product Development! I just can't believe such a product being thought of by CIFD (refer or In a country like ours, there exist several types of social issues and problems. We are struggling to extend all the amenities and facilities, particularly to the rural population. They are starving for all the basic amenities, infrastructure, etc let alone quality of life. Our leaders and policy makers are preparing Plan after Plan with 12th Five Year Plan in the offing.

World over, UN is focussing on Millennium Development Goals! But, then in over sixty years of independence and becoming a republic, India has a long way to go to pass on the modern way of life to the rural folk. Elected Representatives to Zilla Panchayats, Assemblies and Parliament conveniently forget to tackle the social issues that they promise before elections. Local Area Development funds are not effectively expended. The divide between Urban and Rural is widening year after year. Electronic media is unable to spread the messages to the rural population.

Child marriages and girl child issues are still persisting. Women are not being granted the respect due to them. Parliamentarians including those belonging to Socialistis philosophy and even progressive women leaders are also consciously opposing the one-third reservation bill after thirteen years of discussions and debates. Yes, while I am not too sure about the sincere and strict implementation of all the Industrial Relations / Labour Laws in favour of women, children and workers are not carried out, how can we expect the State to extend facilities like income during the pregnancy or post-delivery period. This initiative of CFMD is laudable, indeed. If only, PSBs also take a leaft from this!

The Hindu Business Line : RBI fines ICICI Bank, StanChart

The Hindu Business Line : RBI fines ICICI Bank, StanChart

It is a sad development for both of the leading private sector and foreign banks. With professionals managing these banks and endowed with high technological environment, it is not clear as to how these banks are violating the RBI norms and ending up paying penalties. It is time that their communication and training systems are geared up so that the operating staff would not land the banks in disgrace. Many a time PSBs are blamed to be unproductive, not so customer or tech-savvy, inefficient and so on. But vis-a-vis their counterparts, PSBs seem to be meticulous in all compliances and not coming under RBI radar for wrong reasons.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Hindu Business Line : Nabard calls for stringent regulation of MFIs

The Hindu Business Line : Nabard calls for stringent regulation of MFIs

Only three days back, I had written a blog about disciplining MFIs by the regulators. The bill is pending with Parliament to streamline the MFIs. But, NABARD appears to be not in favour of fixing a cap on the interest rates of lending by these outfits. It was a decade back, NBFCs were to be regulated thanks to Vasudev Committee Recommendations and interest rates on deposits were rationalised and Asset Liability Management guidelines were made applicable to NBFCs.

Now, MFIs are almost in a similar state. There can not be mushrooming of MFIs and allowed to operate without proper guidelines and supervision. Already SKS Microfinance has entered the capital market for IPO.

Its SBI again hitting Head Lines!

Panel Moots Maharatna tag for SBI & Navaratna for PSBs : Economic Times dt July 29, 2010

I wrote on June 30 on this topic after reading a news item then.  It reappears today with some more details.  The main recommendations of Mr Khandelwal Committee to the Government of India are stated to be:-
  • Maharatna for SBI, Navaratna and Mini-Ratna status to other State-owned banks;
  • Stock Options for 15% staff;
  • Rural Stints for hires (including clerical staff);
  • Separation of the Post of Chairman and Managing Director
  • Setting up of Banking Leadership Development Institute
These are all really welcome recommendations.  Instead of blaming the banking industry for every scam that takes place,  there seems to be a positive outlook in this report.  Public Sector Banks deserve to be treated well for obvious reasons of their undertaking developmental role instead of confining to commercial approach.  It recommends a systematic manpower planning, HR approach as also setting up of a new Institute to groom future Managers and CEOs.

Finally, SBI being tipped straight away for Maharatna by another banker from a PSB is a laudable gesture.  He seems to have done an honest assessment of its size in terms of branches, staff, levels of business and as a trendsetter in several business development initiatives.  SBI deserves.

SKS Microfinance IPO – 1st Day Subscription at 18% - India Microfinance Business News

SKS Microfinance IPO – 1st Day Subscription at 18% - India Microfinance Business News

This is a unique issue. It is first time that a Micro Finance Institution (to be treated as NBFC) in India has gone for an IPO. Although it had recorded an impressive performance record for the past three years, many seem to have not heard about MFIs or SKS or its founder Dr Vikram Akula, a Ph.D. from USA and a leading Social Entrepreneur. That is the reason we can not expect it to touch oversubscription on the opening day itself. The issuers are carrying out the TV campaign on the 2nd and third day also. We need to wait and watch the market.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Baghban in real life!

YouTube - Hema Malini in The Making of Movie Baghban

I am an ardent fan of Amitabh Bachchan right from 1971, when I first saw him in ANAND as the Babu Moshai and Dr Bhaskar. I just joined my first job in Andhra Bank, Hyderabad (it was in private sector then and nationalised in April 1980) straight from my B.Sc. Degree studies discontinued for strange reasons. We were a group of eight or nine young, smart and intelligent lads first time recruited by the bank through NIBM test and interview, posted in Hyderabad branch and Central Office while others were all over. Being typical Hyderabadis and urbanites, we used to meet for lunch and chat on social matters. One day, Kulkarni came with a news that in a Rajesh Khanna led movie by Hrishi Da, a new lambu Babu Moshai acted and we must watch, which we did. I left the bank after only five months in November, 1971.

Watching Amitabh's movies continued... with Mili, Zanjeer, Deewar, Kabhi Kabhi, Trishul, Sholay, etc... Namak Haraam was the second movie of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the Rajesh and Amitabh played major roles besides of course, Raja Murad (new entrant), AK Hangal, Rekha, Asrani, et al. Amitabh rose from heights to heights even though he was already a tall man.

About seven-eight years back, in Manipal (where we have no regular theatres but only movie-domes and video parlours), I was told by my young faculty colleague Prof Meghdoot Karnik that his family members watched a family movie of Amitabh-Hema called Baghban. I rushed with my family to see the film, despite knowing that in a student-populated town, it is difficult to sit amidst the crowd for any type of movie. We enjoyed it so much, that I would have seen it again and again on TV in all these years. And now, thanks to youtube, I watch the songs and dialogues quite often. The theme is so close to our real life middle class stories. Indian families have turned to nuclear size in recent years. Most of the children study Engineering or MBA or Medicine and go abroad. After having enjoyed a different world, civilised society, earning money and experiencing comforts / luxuries, they tend to forget their parents back home. Baghban is close to this scene.

Amitabh's acting, dialogues, songs and emotion are undescribable. Ably paired by Hemaji the Dream Girl of sixties. Click on the Link.

The Unstoppable Indians?

India Resource Center

I am very passionate about Entrepreneurship and teaching the course too. It was a strange experience in my life that I realised theory and practice are different after I had a very close shave with a colleague-friend-turned first generation Entrepreneur in Hyderabad. Every businessman can not be an Entrepreneur and vice versa. This is my finding. There are Social Entrepreneurs who do not look at making money as first priority. They have other mottos of helping and working for others through enterprise and innovation.

I was teaching initially a course titled "Entrepreneurial Finance" at TAPMI for a few years in a Program - PGDEM. Later, between 2006 and 2009, while teaching at Alliance Business School in Bangalore, I taught for three years a course on Entrepreneurship & New Venture Creation. During the course, more than dealing with fundas of entrepreneurism, I used to make my students to study (not read) the profiles of several successful entrepreneurs in India and abroad. They used to present in the Class Room and I used to relate to the concepts. In the process, I came across a few more terminology like Edu-preneurs, Tech-preneurs, NRI Entrepreneurs and Social Entrepreneurs.

Speaking about Edu-preneurs, we have simple and straight examples like Dr TMA Pai of Manipal, Matha Amrithananda Mayi of Amity and Sathya Sai Baba of Sai University in Puttaparthi. At least the first one was a Medical Doctor but went on to start a cooperative society, a bank which was later nationalised (Syndicate Bank), a Degree College (MGM) followed by Medical, Dental, Pharmacy, Allied Sciences, Engineering, Architecture, Communication, etc. This is now Manipal University - India's first private university catering to students from not only all India but over fifty countries beginning with Malaysia, Srilanka, USA, UK, Gulf and so on.

Amrithanandamayi is a fisher-woman, studied up to third standard and belongs to Kerala. She is a Saint and works for world population. She set up a University with Medical, Engineering and Management faculties in TN-Kerala border near Coimbatore. Similarly, Sathya Sai Baba is not even a Tenth Pass but the range of social activities he undertakes including Education is unbelievable.

And in the website of I took a page uploaded by NDTV Profit narrating powerful stories of ten individuals who are rendering yeomen services. There are titled as THE UNSTOPPABLE INDIANS. Worth viewing and reading too. That is Social Entrepreneurship.

PeerPower : Disciplining the MFIs

PeerPower : Disciplining the MFIs

What a strange coincidence that on a day when SKS Microfinance, one of the leading MFIs of India is approaching the investing public with a huge IPO for about Rs. 1,600 crores to expand its operations, a news item appears exposing the weaknesses in the working of MFIs and the imperative need for disciplining them. Looks like although for some vague reasons, more than 300-400 small or medium scale MFIs are thriving in India amidst competition, regimentation and strict supervision. They are some times advised to be treated as NBFCs. Their rate of interest, branch expansion, credit policies, etc are not overseen by the regulator(s) - RBI or NABARD or SIDBI.

Rs 74K cr bank loan defaults in '09-10

Rs 74K cr bank loan defaults in '09-10

The absolute figures may be scary that the banking system in India is saddled with Rs. 74,685 crores as at 31st March, 2010, but in percentage terms it is very much under control as also within global standards. Share of Public Sector Banks may also look alarming but once again in per centage terms, they are more efficient than Private Sector Bank for a consecutive third year. When we reckon the absolute growth of advances or percentage increase, it is PSBs that are far ahead of their private counter-parts.

The general impression that Public Sector is bad, inefficient or unproductive is a mere misnomer. Going by their size, historical age and reasons, they are justified in extending credit on liberal terms as per the prudential norms and RBI guidelines.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Women's World Banking | Investing in Women, Transforming Lives

Women's World Banking Investing in Women, Transforming Lives

Today, I am going to deliver a guest lecture in a Program on Entrepreneurship at Manipal Institute of Management, Manipal. Dr AP Achar, the coordinator requested me to speak on Social Entrepreneurship, on which I did some work last year and presented a paper in August, 2009. In the process of collecting some information, I came across a few organisations working for women's emancipation, particularly in rural areas.

Till recently, I was reading a book titled 'Banker to the Poor' by Dr Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, who received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2006. I am quoting his three books to the audience. I am also referring to number of Indian Entrepreneurs including some prominent women. While reading about women, I came across quite a few - Shahnaz Hussain, Lizzat Papad, SEWA (Ila Bhatt), Vandana Luthra, Mallika Srinivasan, Madhura Chatrapathy, Kiran M Shaw, Ekta Kapoor, et al.

And referring to the microfinancing, I also laid my hands on Dr Johh Hatch's Village Banking (FINCA), The Unstoppable Indians in a NDTV Show uploaded in; Ms Ila Behn or Bhatt's SEWA (; Shri Mahila Gruh Udyog's Lizzat Papad (; Bill Drayton's; and an interesting reference made to Mother Teresa as an Entrepreneur by Subroto Bagchi in his 2nd book "Go Kiss The World".

And here, I am giving a link to the Women's World Bank (I am sure many are not aware of its existence). The range of activities carried out by the Bank are commendable. They also publish a quarterly newsletter. One should patiently go through the site and encourage them. They are operating in atleast 28 countries including India (pl see More information can be had from their website or

Reverse Bank of .......

In my early years ie when I entered Academics, I was given a Secretary in TAPMI who is expected to type all my reading material, question papers, quizzes, notes, letters, etc.  I had difficulty in correcting her poor English skills.  Just before joining TAPMI, I was a Vice President of The Vysya Bank Leasing Ltd., in Bangalore reporting to the President and Board.  I had the services of three Stenographers besides other staff.  I could easily dictate long long Office Notes, Tour Reports or Proposals and clear papers quickly.  But, in my new Avatar, it was entirely different.  One challenge was facing grown up, matured and mischieveous Post Graduate students in the class for the first time.  It so happened that after teaching a Course on Management of Banking & Financial Institutions, during exam time I went round the hall to clarify doubts.  One student sincerely asked me a doubt "Sir you never taught us about this Bank.  How can we write a note on its functions and role?".  I said come again.  He said where is Reverse Bank of India? All the students in the class had a hearty laugh and I had to scratch my head.  It should have been Reserve..........

On March 27, 2010 I wrote in my blog about Reverse Mortgage, Reverse Mergers, Reverse Repo and Reverse Book Building.  Last week in a class when I mentioned about Reverse Mortgage, many of the students did not know the meaning nor heard of such a concept.  In today's fast changing economic and finance world, it is imperative that management students / graduates should be looking for newer concepts besides of course, the fundas in each stream be learnt fast.

Today, in the Business World issue of July 12, I read an article on Reverse Outsourcing.  More after I complete reading it.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Arundhati, Nooyi among Forbes' 30 most inspiring women

Arundhati, Nooyi among Forbes' 30 most inspiring women

Two years back, I wrote a Conference Paper jointly with my student Mr Vamshi Krishna of Alliance Business School, Bangalore on a topic titled Women Entrepreneurs for presentation at MIM, Manipal. Yes, we have a host of them - be it in Ms Kiran Majumdar of Biocon, Ms Ila Ben of SEWA, MD of Britannia, Mallika Srinivasan, Shahnaz Hussain, Sulajja F Motwani, Shobhana Bhartia,Ekta Kapoor or Madhura Chatrapathy and so on.

Two or three months back, I was strongly advocating about the much delayed Women's Reservation Bill despite having a Woman President, Woman Speaker of Lok Sabha, Woman Chief of UPA, and a host of popular and strong minded Women as Political leaders viz., Ms Sheela Dixit, Ms Mayawati, Ms Mamata Banerjee, Ms Renuka Chowdari, Ms Brinda Karat, Ms Jayalalitaa, Ms Rabri Devi and so on.

Two weeks back, I was reckoning Women CEOs in the Indian banking industry, right from the two (out of the four) Deputy Governors in RBI, and at the top in the public, private and foreign banks.

And today's captioned news item about Arundhati Roy and Indra Nooyi to be listed among Forbes' 30 most inspiring women makes all of feel proud of women of India.

'Banking sector's growth to remain high'

'Banking sector's growth to remain high'

The assessment made by Standard & Poor (a popular international credit rating agency) about the working and prospects of the Indian banking industry is laudable. This comes much before our own regulator Reserve Bank of India, coming out today and tomorrow about the review of monetary policy and / or claiming the robustness of the industry. Credit also goes to our policy makers, regulators, participants (the banks) who are meticulous compliant with the set guidelines.

S&P expects that despite rising inflation, the credit growth would be around 20 per cent during this year, which is much needed and desirable. The observation that the Indian banking system withstood the onslaught of the global meltdown in last two years is commendable too. Non Performance Loans are very much within under control at a respectable percentage of 2.2 to 2.5 per cent is assuring that the quality of assets is well maintained.

103 US banks collapse in under 7 months

103 US banks collapse in under 7 months

What a sad note! 140 banks were closed in 2009 itself and another 103 shut down in 2010 (by July) in USA, out of a total of 8,000 banks. It is known that USA follows the Unitary Banking System while in India we have branch banking system. There are enough ways of overseeing the functioning or working of our branches / banks with a highly systematic and scientific supervising mechanism. In the process, technically India has not faced closure of banks due to the recent meltdown or recession. May be, there have been some mergers and acquisitions between private and public sector as also some foreign banks globally in last few years.

Enough research was carried out about the robustness of Indian Public Sector Banks on several parameters for so many years. Even when the country undertook Economic Reforms in 1991, with a focus on the banking system beginning 1993, India never faced such a disaster. It was the legacy of the previous regimes or operating environment as to branch expansion policy, credit camps or loan melas, subsidies and margin money having been pumped in by the governments towards rural lending, followed by debt waiver schemes, that made the banking system weak, non-productive, loss making and so on.

Prudential Norms, Asset Liability Management, defining of NPA norms, deregulation of interest rates, and moving towards total computerisation have certainly made the Indian banking system robust and healthy. The PSBs were ready to take in competition from new private and foreign banks within no time. Any amount of adjustments in Capital Adequacy Ratios, three revisions of NPA definition, changes in CRR and SLR, introduction of Benchmark Prime Lending Rates and other measures made the banks in India stronger and stronger to face the challenges including withstanding of the onslaught of Global Recession of 2008.

Technology in Indian Banking - 2010

Last week, I delivered a guest lecture on Technology in Indian Banking - 2010 to the students of BBM (e-Banking) of Commerce Department of Manipal University in connection with launching of their Students Forum.  This forum would invite guest speakers every Saturday to talk on topics of relevance to e-banking.

It was at a very short notice of 2 days, but I could compile an exhaustive talk on the developments of introduction of computerisation in India in early seventies with Advanced Ledger Posting Machines to very recent Green Banking and Solar based ATMs.  In the last three decades, Indian banking industry have certainly undergone dramatic technological changes, be it in the name of competition, modernisation, research & development, customer service or financial sector reforms.  RBI has been the leader and initiator of several of these steps by constituting of Committees from early eighties till date.

Some of the items I covered include mechanisanation, partial and total computerisation, MICR, ATMs (onsite, off-site, biometric, floating, mobile and now solar-based), EFT, Banknet, SWIFT, e-mail, Credit and Debit Cards, Online Banking, Tele-banking, Asset-Liability Management, Risk Management, Bancassurance, Virtual Banking, NPA management, HRM, Core Banking Solutions, Cross Selling, IDRBT-Hyderabad, CRM, KYC, AML, EDI, Shared Payment Network System, Credit Information Bureaus, ECS-Debit and Credit, EFT, NEFT, RTGS, Disaster Management, Cheque Truncation, Smart Cards and Computer Frauds like Phishing, Pharming, Hacking, Trojan and Skimming.  The ending was with a reference to WIMAX...(World-wide Interoperability Microwave Accessibility).  It was a fulfilling 2 hour session.

Interestingly, in the end some of the students sought clarifications too.

Some useful banking websites

In my course titled Management of Banking and Financial Institutions taught as an elective course (besides another course "Financial Services") to the second year MBA students for over ten years, I have been attempting to bring in,  within the limited time, in a compressed manner, from fundaments of banking to the latest issues/developments in India.  Generally, the first session would deal with brief outline and explains The Indian Financial System which includes Indian Banking System.  Students would generally get mixed up with these two but are made to convince that in the last six decades, after Independence, there have been large number of initiatives taken by the Government of India and regulators like RBI, SEBI, NABARD, SIDBI, IRDA and PFRDA to establish harmony between various types of Financial Institutions operating in India.

Indian Banking System itself is vast.  It comprises of Finance Ministry at the apex level but RBI being the direct regulator.  It comprises of old and new banks.  Precisely, now there are eight types of banks viz., 1.State Bank Group (SBI + 6 Subsidiaries), 2. 19 Public Sector Banks and IDBI Bank, 3.Old Private Sector Banks, 4.New Private Sector Banks, 5.Foreign Banks, 6.Regional Rural Banks, 7.Local Area Banks and 8. Cooperative Banks (in Urban and Rural Areas).  All these banks are engaged in commercial and developmental/rural banking activities (Priority Sector lending) including foreign exchange business.

Generally, I begin searching for any core data or new policy initiatives from the websites like  The other sites could be of all the individual banks, (a self-regulatory organisation),;; (an educational / professional organisation); and so on.  Additional data or information can also be sought from websites like;;;;; and so on.  The deeper you delve into any of these sites, the more you get.  I also go to;;; and like sites for latest studies and survey reports. The present generation is more comfortable with net-surfing rather than book reading.  A few more sites I can add are;;; etc.  Of course, there is nothing like reading an original book, but I could not just find one comprehensive book in banking that could lead the students to learn all aspects of banking.  For teaching a session on Technology in Banking, I had to search in and and some related books on Core Banking Solutions, e-Banking, Retail Banking and others. 

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Indian Laws affecting Bank Management

The list of laws, rules, guidelines etc affecting directly or indirectly the banking industry in India is exhaustive.  I am not too sure as to with which law the list should start.  Bankers deal in deposits (short and long term, domestic and foreign customers, individual and institutional and so on), loans and advances (individual and institutional customers, for working capital and term loans, fund based and non-fund based, domestic and foreign businesses and so on) as also other services like Safe Deposit Lockers, Safe Custody and Deposit, Remittances (DD, MT, TT, EFT, NEFT, ECS Debit and Credit, RTGS, etc), Issue of Guarantees and Letters of Credit, Insurance Laws, Sick Industrial Companies Act, BIFR Rules, RBI Prudential Norms, etc., and serve the customers in rural, semi-urban, urban and metro areas all over India.  He also deals with minors, women, customers from different religions, etc.

Knowledge of law is essential for a banker - be at junior or senior level, over the counter or at the policy making level.  He can not depend on a Lawer every time a transaction comes up nor he can solicit opinion or decision from higher authorities.  He has to make decisions on the spot or at best at the earliest opportunity. Eg., is settlement of deceased accounts, negotiation of bills of exchange, dealing in foreign exchange transactions, etc.  Many a time, a banker is required to face risks of several types in course of business.

I may begin with Contract Act, and add Partnership Account, Companies Act, Stamp Account, Negotiable Instruments Act, Transfer of Property Act, Banking Regulation Act, Consumer Protection Act, RBI Act, Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, Indian Trusts Act, Anti-Money Laundering Act, Foreign Exchange Management Act, Uniform Customs and Procedures for Documentary Credits (UCPDC), Rules pertaining to NRIs/PIOs, Information Technology Act, Income Tax Act, Debt Recoveries Tribunals Act, Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Norms, RBI Guidelines on several matters of day to day business, and so on.

If all the above are concerning business, a banker is also a HR man in course of his tenure.  He is expected to have knowledge of Provident Fund Act, Pension Rules, Workmen Compensation Act, Industrial Relations Act, etc.  These requirements make a Bank Manager to play  diverse roles as a Business Development Manager, Public Relations Officer, Credit Officer, Human Resource Manager, Lawyer, a Consultant, a Technical Personnel and so on to be an effective manager and a many-faceted diverse personality to excel. He needs to have very good communication skills (both verbal as well as written), soft skills, domain knowledge, principles and policies of the organisation he works for, general awareness of markets, comfort in handling number related transactions like foreign currencies, foreign exchange, investments, etc.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Hindu Business Line : RBI on mobile bank branches in N-E

The Hindu Business Line : RBI on mobile bank branches in N-E

This step is a long awaited one. The regulator is aware that eastern and north-eastern parts of India are highly under-banked. These were the findings as back as in 1989 when 'Service Area Approach' was introduced. This lopsided picture persists even after decades because all said and done, the western India with Gujarat where business/entrepreneurship and banking are in the blood of the people, Mumbai (Maharashtra) being the Financial Capital of the country, Goa -a tourist destination, Karnataka (the bed-rock for banking where the South Canara district alone witnessed origin of today's four leading nationalised banks viz., Syndicate, Canara, Vijaya and Corporation Banks) and Kerala - an equally enterprising God's own country - is highly / overbanked area.

Although Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) was the original capital of the country and a port city, for some historical reasons then and political or economic or social reasons now is lagging behind in industrialisation or development. All other neighbouring states like Bhubaneswar, Bihar, seven north-eastern States and Sikkim follow and are influenced by this city. Instead of looking up for development and progressive policies, always people from this sector choose the path of fighting for rights and resort to streets with unproductive bundhs, dharnas and insurgency actions. The Centre or regulatory authorities should not be adopting the policies of either protecting or pampering or favouring this region. Instead, some concessions which are scientific and reasonable be adopted to facilitate these states to stand on their own legs.

May be the step taken by RBI in allowing the banks operating in the region to go in for mobile bank branches and ATMs is one such step. Of course it may be with a pinch of salt that there is high risk of attacks and looting on these banks or ATMs in almost all parts in this region as also any other region in the country. The issue of Financial Inclusion may be taken care of through the proposed mobile branches and ATMs. Only time will tell the fruits of such an initiative.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

'One Rupee Bank' is set to become a boom for them

Banker to Every India : State Bank of India :  No wonder SBI advertises claiming tall things in Indian Banking.  It is bringing in Urban Financial Inclusion in an interesting way.  And that is why I always feel proud to be an ex-SBIan and argue with my friends, that Mera SBI Mahaan. In an article with the captioned title by Swathi, V in The Hindu, dated 22nd July, 2010, she says:

Hyderabad, July 21: Karri Jaggiamma now has a reason to be prudent. After 56 years without saving a penny, this petty vendor from Nimboliadda, Kacheguda, has begun banking with State Bank of India (SBI), thanks to the bank's pilot initiative for urban financial inclusion. She opened an account with a one-rupee token deposit through one of SBI's 20 ‘One Rupee Bank' kiosks, the country's first, which was inaugurated here on Tuesday. The kiosk, or Customer Service Point (CSP), will be her point of transaction with the bank's Esamia Bazar branch.

The no-frills kiosks approach the urban low income clusters with simplified banking procedures. Further more, they financially empower the underprivileged women by improving their access to the bank: 22 per cent of the 7,000 ‘one-rupee' depositors in the city are women. “We never had savings…, as all banks are located far away. Neither my husband, an automobile mechanic, nor I had the leisure to visit a bank and wait in queue to deposit or withdraw money,” says K. Lakshmi, a depositor, who earns a living by ironing clothes.

Neither did she have, at any single instance, the sum needed for an initial deposit. Similar is the case of L. Manemma, a domestic help. Besides being able to open savings, fixed, term or recurring deposit accounts, these depositors can transfer money or avail themselves of loans after six months of loyalty. Inaugurating the CSPs in the twin cities, Andhra Pradesh Revenue Minister D. Prasada Rao hoped that the initiative would prove an effective alternative to moneylenders. SBI Deputy Managing Director Diwakar Gupta said the service points would serve customers like any full-fledged branch.

The maximum balance is Rs.50,000, with a cap of Rs.10, 000 on single-day transactions, and Rs. 1 lakh in a whole year. Interest rates are the usual, and the account could be held with no balance at all. Paperwork is kept to the minimum through use of biometrics. Thumb impression of the depositor will be the key to any transaction, ruling out third party involvement. Women can operate their accounts with no interference from male members of the family.  “The system is accommodative. In case the depositor fails to provide proof of identity, our executives will visit his or her residence to verify the credentials,” said S. Ramesh, managing director of ‘Geosansar,' brand name of SBI's business correspondent agency, ‘Mainstream Solutions and Education,' to which the kiosks have been outsourced. The bank aims to reach a target of one lakh accounts through 150 CSPs in major cities and industrial towns by the end of the fiscal. The target cities include Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Bangalore, and Tirupur, Mr. Ramesh said.

Woman CEOs of Banks in India

To my remembrance, the first Woman Chief Executive (CMD) of any bank in India was Ms. Ranjana Kumar heading Indian Bank, Chennai over a decade back.  She started her career in Bank of India and was ED of Canara Bank. She was considered to be very skillful in turning around the Indian Bank.  She later handled NABARD as Chair-person and in the Vigilance Commission, Government of India.

Ms HA Daruwala was the next top woman executive to work as CMD of Central Bank of India in 2005. Woman CMD of Central Bank of India.  She was a Chartered Accountant by qualification, started her career in Union Bank of India as an Officer, later to become ED of Oriental Bank of Commerce. 

Both the above are successful women executives raising to the position of CMD in Public Sector Banks.  We have Ms Naina Lal Kidwai among Foreign Bank Country Heads. She started in ANZ Grindlays bank, moved to StanChart and later to HSBC Bank as MD.  She is always referred in terms of Beauty with Brain.  Also she is included in the who is who of Indian Entrepreneurs. Naina Lal Kidwai Profile.  One more important woman chief of a foreign bank is Ms. Kalpana Morparia of JP Morgan after serving ICICI Bank for long years.  Kalpana's appointment

And in recent times, two female bankers are hitting the head lines for their successful handling of top positions in ICICI Bank and Axis Bank.  They are Ms Chanda Kochhar and Ms Shikha Sharma.  Business India magazine, in its June 27, 2010 issue had extensively covered the leadership exhibited by Ms Kochhar (cover photo).  Similarly, in its July 25, 2010 issue Ms Shikha Sharma of Axis Bank has been discussed the way she is handling the bank most with high efficiency.  These two are role models for Women Executives not only in Banks but also the male dominated corporate world in the technology driven twenty-first century in India.

To add to the list of above executives in Foreign, PSBs and Private Sector Banks in India, are two more women Deputy Governors - Ms Shyamala Gopinath and Ms Usha Thorat.  These two form the think tank of the Regulator, Big Brother and Policy Maker of the Banking Industry assisting the Governor of RBI,  and associating with the two other Deputy Governors of India.  We should be proud of all these women.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sam Pitroda on Mobile Banking

Sam Pitroda speaks at Financial Inclusion Summit

One individual that the twenty-first century tech-savvy generation should evern remember and be thankful to is Mr Sam Pitroda.  The ICT revolution brought in by him in this country in late eighties and early nineties is phenomenal.  Today's youngsters do not even know or recognise him for all that he made a difference in the telecom industry while heading the Technology Mission on Communications. 

Again, his contributions during his tenure as Chairman of Knowledge Commission in this decade is also worth mentioning.  He is a frank and outspoken gentleman, who does not mince words to please the bureaucrats or politicians.  He has served the cause of large population of India at the cost of his flourishing businesses in USA and UK. 

His observations at the Financial Inclusion Summit in New Delhi on 21st July 2010 organised by the CII are very apt.  India should not and need not be proud a few chosen billionares it produces, but should focus on taking the technology to the grass root levels. His observation that mobile banking is the next challenge to the Government speaks volumes as to how move in this direction in the years to come.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Jai Andhra Jai Telangana Jai Ho

At a time when the ruling Congress Party in AP is saddled with issues like re-elections in Telangana, Odarpu Yathras being carried out state-wide by YSR's heir (not only for properties but power too) and the persisting problem of separate Telangana issue for over years, Chandra Babu Naidu has showed his political shrewedness to one and all. 

KCR must be scratching his head while wondering the one-upmanship of Naidu.  If only he had undertaken his fasts, pada yatras and fight for getting irrigation facilities to the draught prone, poor, under-developed Telangana districts, he would have been revered by the people.  He didn't.  He was always wanting separate state, mainly with an eye on CM's gaddi in the divided state.  Babu played his cards very intelligently to hit at both Congress, TRS, PRP, Lok Satta, BJP and Communists by venturing a visit with his partymen to see Babhli Dam in dispute with neighbour Maharashtra. 

On the other hand, Jaganmohan Reddy is going round the state (including Telangana) to pacify (Odarpu) those families who have lost their kins on hearing the shocking news of death of YSR in an heli-crash.  Its over seven months that he is going round people in the name of YSR's birth anniversary, the hidden agenda being show of strength to the Centre / Congress High Command about his stake for CM Gaddi.  Others like PRP Chief Chiranjeevi, Lok Satta's Jayaprakash Narain, BJP's Bandaru Dattatreya or Venkaiah Naidu, et al were all given a surprise by Naidu and TDP members.  Let us wait and see what is in store for AP?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Scribd : One Lac Visitors to my page


I feel happy to write that my page in with 45 uploads (articles, papers and ppts) has been visited by over one lac members in a period of sixteen months. Also over nine thousand six hundred have downloaded my items during same period. This motivates me to write more and upload in social networks for academic purpose. Thanks one and all.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One more Scandalous Swamiji

I watched on TV in the Headlines Today channel about another Scandalous Swami.  His name is Rishi Prabhakar who set up an Ashram in Aurangabad in Maharashtra.  None other than his own wife, Arundhati revealed to the public, press and police about his scandalous activities in the name of Yogashram run by him.  She was herself a victime of this man and hence it is a first hand account.  She is also a close witness for all his sexy and fraudulent activities with men and women over the years.  As usual he denies all these as rumours or allegations.  Hopefully, police or government would act fast and trace his real swaroop.

Last two or three months we have been hearing about Nityananda Swami of Bangalore.  Legal process is on to find out the truth.  But, he is now on bail and back at his Ashram.  God knows the truth.  Around same time, there was another news about a Delhi based Swami (or Baba, Guru, Sanyasi, Rishi, etc) who was into similar kind nefarious activities.  Also we had seen on TV again another Swami in Gujarat alleged to have committed murder of two innocent children.  All these are unfortunate developments in the developed, modern, civilised and technology-based twenty-first century.

I only wish that Government of India would come out with a stringent legislation to curb all these Swamijis.  If only our Constitution had allowed the individuals to preach their own philosophy and afforded right to religion, it is high time that this needs to be amended and prohibited.  I am eagerly waiting for the efforts of the Committee / Department headed by Mr Nandan Nilekani would bring out the profiles of all these cheats under the UID scheme or Aadhar mechanism.  Gullible, innocent and unfortunate brothers and sisters should be made to realise about these scandalous characters in our societies.  Income Tax department should check their bank accounts and Assets/Liabilities status minutely to book them.  God save India.

Bank Nationalisation day

I recall July 19, 1969.  It was on that day, the Union Government headed by Mrs Indira Gandhi as Prime Minister took upon several radical measures including nationalisation of fourteen private sector banks in India having more than Rs. 50 crores of deposits.  The second nationalisation of six more commercial banks in April 1980.  Earlier, in 1955 Imperial Bank of India was made State Bank of India, which also created seven subsidiary banks at Patiala, Indore, Bikaner & Jaipur, Mysore, Travancore, Hyderabad and Saurashtra.  While SB of Saurashtra was recently merged with SBI two years back, the process is on for one more such merger that of SB of Indore with SBI during this year. PSBs in all have a major share of over 80 per cent in the banking business in India. 

Other events to remember were Abolition of Privy Purses, split in the Indian National Congress, etc.  Also during the same period was the introduction of Lead Bank Scheme for all the banks to take up Integrated Rural Devleopment Program (IRDP) for increasing / releasing of rural credit in an aggressive, systemic, planned way.  Each prominent nationalised bank was asked to choose a District for preparing Credit Plans.

PE Investors Back In Strength After 2 Yrs

PE Investors Back In Strength After 2 Yrs

Very interesting data on Private Equity in India for three years 2008-09-10-11.

Another Book on IIM-A life

SECOND DEGREE (One Crazy Year at IIM-A) by Prashant John.  After having read and expressed my painful feelings on the book The Two States by Chetan Bhagat about two months back, I found this new book giving a big relief to one and all.  Chetan had painted the two premier institutes IIT-D and IIM-A in a very bad taste; hence I suggested that the book could have better titled as THE TWO TASTES.

Second Degree is about life in that giant sprawling pressure-cooker called the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad.  It is published by Ekalavya Education Foundation, Ahmedabad, India in 2009. It is a must read for all those who wanted to join MBA in India's best of the B-Schools. Foreword to this book is written by none other than Rashmi Bansal, who is herself an alumnus of IIM-A and author of the ever popular book titled "Stay Hungry Stay Foolish", listing out the profiles of 25 IIM-A grads who opted out of placements and turned Entrepreneurs setting up many successful enterprises.  It is all about Prashant pursuing his one year Post Graduate Program for Executives (PGPX) introduced by IIM-A in the year 2006. 

It is such a wonderful coincidence that I am writing this blog on a day when a report appears in the Economy page of Business Line daily of 18th July, with a caption "IIM-A executive programme pass-outs hired for top positions". IIM-A's PGPX news.  It is amazing to read that these sixty six graduates of the 4th batch (2009-10) have been offered positions such as CEO, ED, Senior VP, VP, GM and Practice Partner by the campus recruiters.  The average salary offered was Rs. 26.1 lakhs - 29.5 per cent higher than what was offered last year.  The batch had an average work experience of 10 years with 80 per cent having spent an average of five years working abroad and most were placed in the traditional consulting and general management roles.

Prashant, in his typical special style narrates his one-year long experiences spread over 28 Chapters in this book.  He shares his experiences in and out of the class room as also his encounters with the Profs at IIMA. In the beginning of the book, he lists out the lingo in the campus under the heading "The Lingo Buster" to familiarise the reader with the flip side of academics and students life in the hostels too.  These include Fachhas (freshers), Tuchhas (Second Year students), Lucchas (PGPX batch), Muggon, WMD, Quiz, CP (Class Participation), CGPA, Quant Jocks/Studs, IM/Dbab, TANSTAAFL, and RA/TA. 

What a contrast in the two books from the same alma mater?  More in my next blog report.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Hindu Business Line : New rupee symbol reflects strength of economy

The Hindu Business Line : New rupee symbol reflects strength of economy

Wow. What an exciting news? The Indian Rupee is different now with a new symbol. Almost on par with US Dollar, British Pound, Japanese Yen or Euro as a currency with a symbol. The explanation is also exciting. GOI and RBI as well as the designer Mr Uday Kumar deserve all the appreciation to have shaped this. It will certainly indicate Rupee's distinction over the neighbouring countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangla Desh, etc. May be this step would cost the exchequer a few hundred crores for introduction, but it is worth it. The authorities have not indicated the date from which the new symbol will come into force and mechanism to introduce. We need to wait and watch for developments.

Reserve Bank of India

Reserve Bank of India

Non-Banking Finance Companies in India experienced several ups and downs over the years, and in particular during the financial sector reforms era since 1991. At a time when the commercial banking system was undergoing drastic changes in almost all facets of their working, setting right their balance sheets, NBFCs made merry with depositors and borrowers by operating with high rates of interest. It was in 1998, after the CR Bhansali led NBFC-scam and the recommendations of the Vasudev Committee, the NBFCs sector got streamlined.

Here is some data on NBFCs (as given in the RBI Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India - 2009) under the chapter titled "Non Banking Financial Institutions" the consolidated picture of NBFCs as on March 31, 2009 is furnished. From a peak of about 45,000 NBFCs all over the country (registered or unregistered with RBI), the number came down to less than 13,000 (including those Deposit taking - 336). The table no. VI.14 furnishes the data of NBFCs registered with RBI between the years 1999 (7,855) and 2009 (12,740).

Thanks to the series of financial sector measures by RBI and GOI, all types of institutions viz., Commercial Banks (Public (including SB Group and IDBI Bank), Old & New Private, Foreign, Cooperative, Regional Rural and Local Area Banks), Financial Institutions (viz., EXIM Bank, NABARD, NHB and SIDBI et al), Non-Banking Financial Institutions (Leasing, Hire Purchase, Investment Companies, Housing Financing Companies, etc), Primary Dealers, Stock Exchanges and all other Financial Institutions like Credit Information Companies, Credit Rating Agencies, Asset Reconstruction Companies, Securitisation Companies, etc., have fine-tuned their working methods transparently.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Slump in PE in India

Sliding PE investments in India?

It was in March-April 2005 that I first wrote a paper (with a PGP2 student Ms Pratima) on Private Equity in India when I was in TAPMI, Manipal.  Later in December, 2006 after I shifted to Alliance Business School, Bangalore, I wrote another Conference Paper on Private Equity (jointly with Dr KS Srinivasa Rao) for AIMS International at Hyderabad.  In this paper I raised a few queries and issues on this financial product.  Interestingly, these doubt I discussed surfaced and in 2008 (may be due to global recession and Stock Market trends in India), there was a downward movement of PE funding in India.

Now the captioned item titled "30 PEs exit India, withdraw $ 1.46 bn" appeared in the Financial Express today, is disturbing.  The deal tracking research by VCEdge for the quarter April to June 2010 reveals the above position. It says 30 PE firms have divested stakes worth USD 1.46 billion during April-June this year against 29 PE firms that disinvested USD 820 million in the same period last year. It is time for our policy makers to review the position on an urgent basis and streamline all the rules and regulations pertaining to inviting of foreign investments.  Enough is enough.  Now, India is heading for 12th Five Year Plan with ambitious goals.  There is considerable political stability and investment climate is favourable.  Recently, FDI Policy has been improvised and Stock Market index is moving northwards.  Let us catch up with this trend.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

ATM's stolen : Any Time Money?

Another ATM Stolen in Bangalore

Theft of Bangalore ATM

What an interesting news?  This is the third time an ATM which is not guarded has been stolen with cash.  About a month ago, I read in news papers about a theft of an SBI ATM in Udupi with Rs. 14 lacs cash, which was later found empty about 30 kms away in Kundapur.  On that day, it was heavy rain that fecilitated the thieves.  Now the above news item says in Bangalore an ATM of SB Patiala was stolen with Rs. 10 lacs cash.  Earlier, about three months ago, an ATM was stolen in Anekal, about 35 kms away from Bangalore.

We know about bank robberies before during day time.  There is no record of how these thefts were being tackled.  Some times, the sincere Branch Managers and Staff or Customers used to dare such robberers and risk their lives too.  Now this development of stealing ATMs seems to have become an easy money.  It is time that our Law & Order system and Police to keep an alert of these public money and properties well secured.  While we used to feel very happy over the computerisation that has revolutionised the customer service in Railways, Roadways and in Banks through Internet Banking and Core Banking Solutions, some perverted techies found out way of cheating people through Phishing, Pharming, Trojan and Hacking.

Where are we heading?  With technological advancements, in the twenti-first century, thefts and crimes are not a dignified or intelligent development.  It is retrograde movement that something drastic should be thought of.  Else, all the fruits of reforms and research go waste with perverted individuals resorting to such crimes.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Philanthrophic Banking by Deutsche Bank in India

Philanthropic Banking in India

Deutsche Bank in India has entered into an arrangement with Give India Organisation to extend philantrophy through its high net worth individual customers.  What a noble thought indeed!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Mera Bharath Mahaaaaaaan

Financial Literacy and Indians

I feel great once again to be a proud Indian. Financial Literacy index has proved us far ahead of the citizens of USA in this study by the Fed Reserve. The global recession of 2008 and its effects in both the countries are a testimony about the robust Indian Economy, its policy makers and people at large vis-a-vis the USA. Mera Bharath Mahaaaaaan!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Private banks profitable, but PSBs more efficient in ’09-10

Private vs Public Sector Banks in 2010

One more interesting and analytical article on banking dealing with private vs. public sector banks in India with analysis on their performance for the year ending March 2010.  IDBI Bank, Yes Bank and Axis Bank  (also ICICI Bank) deserve compliments for leading the table.  It is time for Public Sector Banks (particularly SBI, Bank of Baroda, et al) to tighten their belts towards profitability, even if they are more productive and efficient as per the report.  It is surprising that HDFC Bank is at the bottom of a table with data on eight banks.  What is all about their rankings among Best Banks in India carried out by some business magazines.  After all, it is a highly competitive world now.

Customer Service in Banks

Customer Service Committee - 3

It was Raj Kumar Talwar, the tallest of bankers India ever had, Chairman of SBI, who headed the first Committee on Customer Service in the seventies.  The report and recommendations were implemented by the Government and RBI effectively for over a decade and half.  Followed was another Chairman of SBI, Mr MN Goiporia again headed a Committee on Customer Service in early nineties, when the wave of Economic Reforms and Banking Sector Reforms were ushered in by the Government headed by late Shri PV Narasimha Rao as Prime Minister and ably supported by Dr Manmohan Singh as Finance Minister.

Much water has flown since then.   Banking industry underwent radical changes in terms of interst rates deregulation, Balance Sheet management, NPA management, ALM and Risk Management, Computerisation, Prudential Norms, Branch Licensing Policy, Manpower Management, level playing field between public, private and foreign banks and consolidation of the industry at a large scale.

Committee on Reforms were headed twice by Shri M Narasimham (former Governor of RBI and currently Chairman of ASCI in Hyderabad) in 1992 and 1997 followed by Dr Raghuram Rajan, a former Professor in Chicago University and currently Advisor to the Prime Minister of India.  Several other Committees have also have gone into important aspects of banking and finance during the last two decades to bring the Indian Banking industry to global standards.  A new legislation called Consumer Protection Act was also enacted and amended during this period.  Besides, the mechanism of Ombudsman is now functioning for Banking, Insurance and Microfinance institutions all over the country.  Also, a Banking Code and Standards Board of India has been established over fifteen years back to ensure high standards in the banking industry.

The present announcement of a third Committee on Customer Service headed by former Chairman of SEBI, Shri M Damodaran is a welcome development.  The slogans "Customer is King" or "Customer is always right" can not be merely on paper.  They should always be translated into reality.  Long live Customer Service in the Indian Banking!

PSBs vs. Private and Foreign Banks in India

Indian Banks deserve more credit

Seven years back ie., in 2003, a joint research paper was published by me and Dr KS Srinivasa Rao and presented at an International Conference organised by ICFAI, Hyderabad.  The title of the paper was 'Can Public Sector Banks compete with Private and Foreign Banks in India?' and it was concluded that "Yes".

The article appearing in today's Business Line with the above caption proves it.  Even after five years, the Deposit and Credit growth of PSBs during last five years 2004-09 proves that PSBs in India are far above their private and foreign counterparts.  We also worked on two separate papers in the later years 2004 and 2005 evaluating the performance and working of Private Banks and Foreign Banks and their sustainability.  Figures do not lie.  It gives me immense satisfaction that our findings continue to be highly reliable.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

CIBIL and NPA Management

This is a laudable development making the life of Bankers comfortable for NPA management. Thanks to reforms, technology and agencies like CIBIL, now it is possible for all sincere bankers to differentiate between wilful and genuine defaulters. Monitoring of Loans and Advances has become easier now. Such bold initiatives are always welcome.

PSU Banks may link pay with performance!

PSU Banks may link pay with performance!

Unbelievable. That I read a news item in Financial Express today about this radical departure in public sector.  Only two days back RBI took a bold step of monitoring of pay of CEOs of private sector banks in India.  There was huge difference in the pays of private and public sector banks at all levels, leading to large scale dissatisfaction and demotivation among public sector banks.  Research has shown that in no way, these PSBs were inferior to private banks.  In fact, in recent years, thanks to reforms PSBs have also turned around, became customer-savvy, tech-savvy, profit oriented, productive, modern and so on.  They carry out over 80 per cent of the banking business in India.  Comparatively, Private and Foreign Banks were only handful, and were not responsive to handle developmental banking vis-a-vis PSBs. 

Another version of banking...

Visible Banking

Very interesting finding indeed.  In my search for more and more on banking with A, B, C, D..... letters, thanks to (an initiative of today I read about Visible Banking which fascinated me.  With my keen indulgence day by day on the net with Social Networking sites like FB, Orkut, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on, this site gave a new term called Visible Banking using social networking.  I am interested in taking it further to learn more and more of banking even after my four decades of experience!.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Micro Finance and Developments : Networking

Microfinance and Networking

Yet another development for monitoring of Microfinance Institutions in India  through an Ombudsman and Credit Information Bureau.  It is a laudable development that 39 leading MFIs / NBFCs coming together to form a Self Regulatory Organisation (SRO) in the name of Microfinance Institutions Network (MFIN) to observe self-discipline.  Earlier, we had SROs for Banks (IBA), Mutual Funds (AMFI), Merchant Bankers (AMBI), NBFCs, Credit Card Operators and so on. In a healthy financial system such organisations could play a vital and positive role to oversee the working of its members and help build a professional level playing field. 

Big Brother watches CEOs

RBI to watch private banks CEOs

This is an unexpected and much desired development. That the regulator and big brother, Reserve Bank of India is overseeing the performance and pay hikes of CEOs of private sector banks in India.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Paperless Banking now

Hindu Business Line

Financial Express

It is SBI again.  1st July is celebrated as Bank Day by SBI (it is also called Doctors' Day), because it was in the year 1955 the then Imperial Bank of India was converted to SBI, with a heavy responsibility of developmental banking and opening of a large number of rural branches to take banking to grass roots.

Today, the bank advertises itself as The Banker to Every Indian.  We have been seeing a variety of advertisements for over one year with this slogan.  Yesterday, the bank also gave one or two surprises to the public and its customers. One was announcing the Base Rate at 7.5% pa setting a competitive trend in the industry as a leader.  And then, the second was extending the facility of Green Banking, which is also termed as Paperless Banking.  SBI customers can now draw upto Rs. 40,000 on the Debit Card without filling up any slips or forms.  Benefits are also afforded to its borrowers too. More details from the above clippings.