Founder’s Speech | August 23, 2020

We are FIVE. What a journey!

I must admit, it feels like just five days ago, that late Shri Arun Jaitely inaugurated Bandhan Bank in a high-profile event in Kolkata. And this has been a journey that all of us at Bandhan Bank feel blessed to be a part of.

Today, we have 4,559 banking outlets in 34 states and union territories of the 37. We are fortunate to have won the trust and love of over 2 crore customers. When we started off as a Bank, we had about 13,000 employees and today our employee count stands at about 42,000.

We have always been privileged with the trust and confidence of millions of people. In my mind, deposits are a true measure of customer’s confidence in the Bank. Our total deposits stand at over Rs.60,000 crore, showing the trust that customers have in us. Our total advances stand at over Rs.74,000 crore and our net NPA stands at a low 0.58%, indicating the good quality of the asset book and, yet again, the strong customer connect that we enjoy.

We have always focussed on creating a high performance bank focussed on strong financials. Our Capital Adequacy Ratio (CAR), which is one of the indicators of the stability of a Bank, stands at over 26%, nearly three times of the regulatory requirement.

I am overwhelmed with what we have been able to achieve in these five years. This would not have been possible without the support and love of all our customers. They are the real reason for our growth trajectory. I thank all the customers of Bandhan Bank, the regulators, investors, board, well-wishers, and all those who have helped the Bank – directly or indirectly – in this journey. Thank you for making this incredible story possible.

In the last five years, Bandhan Bank was focussed on further enhancing its key strength, that is micro credit business, exploring and scaling up the offerings to retail and micro enterprises, and establishing a wide and vibrant branch banking network. While we grew bigger, we remain committed to cater to support the needs and aspirations of an even larger number of customers. In the last five years, Bandhan Bank has lowered its micro credit interest rate by nearly 4.5 percentage points. Today, our interest rate is one among the lowest in the micro credit segment across the world.

In the years ahead, Bandhan Bank will strengthen its position as a pan-India universal bank. We will not only expand our distribution but also add newer products to serve varied audiences

We will continue to grow the micro credit portfolio while moving towards a more even balance between unsecured and secured asset books. Affordable housing and MSMEs will be our other core focus areas. When I say affordable housing, I am also referring to the micro housing segment in rural and semi-urban areas where access to formal credit is still a huge challenge. In MSMEs also, we will focus more on the micro and small enterprises and partner them to graduate to medium enterprises. In fact, with our strong connect with a stunningly large number of micro credit borrowers, we aspire to continue to help a large number of micro enterprises move up to the core MSME segment in the coming years.

Given how the last five years have been, the next five years look even more promising. I am sure, Bandhan Bank will grow many times bigger and continue to change lives of people. In the last five years, we have won many awards and accolades for our business performance but the most important award to all of us in the Bandhan Bank family is the smile on the faces of our customers. We will continue our endeavour to bring joy to people’s lives, stay focussed to serve a varied set of customers, without diluting our passion and commitment to partner the unbanked and underbanked in their journey onwards and upwards.

Today’s circumstances require us to stand by people, to support them in their journey back to normalcy. Bandhan Bank has always been committed to this and our resolve is far stronger now than ever before. We believe in “Sabka Bhala, Desh Ki Bhalai”, meaning, in the welfare of everyone is the welfare of the nation. This is the reason why, this year, we aren’t celebrating our Foundation Day. Yet, we decided to continue with our Anniversary Lecture which we institutionalised in 2017. I am pleased to welcome Dr. Krishnamurthy Subramanian, Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India, as the speaker at this year’s Anniversary Lecture.

Dr. Subramanian has witnessed the Bandhan Bank journey very closely. Prior to the role of the CEA, he was a member of the Board of Bandhan Bank and we were fortunate to have his guidance in the early years of the Bank. It is a privilege to have him deliver the Anniversary Lecture on the topic ‘Post-COVID Indian Economy and the Role of Banking’.

Without any further delay, let me invite Dr. Krishnamurthy to take screen and deliver today’s lecture.

Thank you.
Chandra Shekhar Ghosh