The newly licensed banks will create 25,000 jobs in small towns and villages, half of them in the next 18 months.
Varanasi-based Utkarsh Micro Finance plans to recruit 2,000 people in the next 18 months, and another 2,000 over the ensuing three years. "Our operations are in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh. We have staff strength of 2,200 and our intention is to give jobs to people who want to come back to their home towns," said Govind Singh, promoter and managing director, Utkarsh Micro Finance.
Bandhan Bank has recruited 8,500 people in the past year, taking its workforce to 19,500. Nearly 80 per cent of Bandhan's staff is posted in small towns and villages. IDFC plans to begin operations with fewer branches than Bandhan's 500, yet over the past year it has recruited 2,000 people for its rural operations. An email sent to IDFC on its recruitment plans went unanswered.
Apart from the two universal banks, the Reserve Bank of India has issued licences for 10 small banks and 11 payments banks. All of these are expected to be operational in the next 18 months. Ujjivan Financial Services, one of the biggest microfinance institutions to receive a banking licence, has a requirement for 3,000 field staff.
"It is unlikely we will hire many bankers. A majority of the new recruits will be graduates. Our staff strength is 8,000 and we will take it up to 11,000 by 2017," said Samit Ghosh, founder, Ujjivan. The Bengaluru-based Janalakshmi Financial Services, too, is looking to recruit 2,000 people over the next year.
"It will be a challenge to find the right people. We have to train graduates as field staff," said R Baskar Babu, board member, Suryoday Micro Finance, which has a need for 300 field workers.Ahmedabad-based Disha Microfin said it would need 10,000 field workers in the next five years. "We do not give much weight to formal education," said Rajeev Yadav, director, Disha group. It plans to hire 2,000 people in the next year.
The Thrissur-based ESAF Microfinance will need 1,000 new recruits ahead of its banking foray.
"We will see a lot of new jobs in the digital space as the new banks will be technology-driven. Recruitments in the banking sector will affect the information technology, consumer goods, pharmaceuticals and telecom sectors," said Roopank Chaudhary, associate partner and head of financial institutions, Aon Hewitt.
Payments banks will need 40-45 new people each for digital operations. On average, each of the new banks will have to recruit 500-1,000 people in the next 18 months, according to experts.
Existing banks, too, stepping up their rural operations, sensing competition. "Some of the existing banks have started hiring in rural areas ahead of the entry of the small banks," said Rituparna Chakraborty, president, Indian Staffing Federation.