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HDFC plans to expand its rural banking network

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Guwahati: HDFC Bank plans to establish 1,060 branches in semi-urban and rural regions this fiscal year, as the private lender seeks to expand its rural banking network.

HDFC Bank made this decision to expand the reach of its financial products into the countryside. The effort is part of the bank’s “Future-Ready” strategy, which focuses on semi-urban and rural regions, a major portion of which remains untapped.

“We are pleased to provide the bank’s world-class goods and services to India’s most distant corners,” said Anil Bhavnani, Sr Executive Vice President and National Rural Banking Head, HDFC Bank.

The bank has half of its 6,342 branches in semi-urban and rural areas and the other half in metro and metropolitan districts. As an extension of the bank’s branches in remote locations, the bank also collaborates with Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLE) of Common Service Centres (CSC).

“This is a challenge as well as an opportunity, and I am really enthusiastic to take it on. For many years, the Bank’s branches were located in semi-urban and rural locations. With this increased focus, we want to open more branches in semi-urban and rural locations this fiscal year. While branches serve as touchpoints, we are aiming to satisfy rural requirements holistically by developing goods specifically for these areas “Bhavnani explained.

The bank has formed strategic cooperation with the Institute of Rural Management, Anand, to develop a ‘Rural First’ strategy by better understanding the shifting dynamics of consumer behaviour, customer satisfaction, service design, and service delivery.

Furthermore, the bank intends to extend its distribution in rural regions. The bank also intends to develop new products and services relating to rural transportation, forests, agriculture, and other relevant industries.

Furthermore, it will act as a one-stop-shop for small farmers, employees, and traders.

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