began my Statement in 2019 with the following words:
"We are living in a dynamic and unpredictable world. There are complex set ofvariables that are constantly changing making it very difficult to visualize stability orpredict the future with any level of accuracy". The events of year 2020 and 2021 haveamply demonstrated what I meant. Little did we know that the entire globe would beblighted by a pandemic so virulent that in the short term there was not much that couldbe done even by an advanced modern society. Fortunately with the creation of a vaccineand a better understanding of the mutations that are taking place we can foresee an endto this pandemic in the not- too-distant future.
Beginning the current financial year in a lockdown was extremely challenging. At DCBBank we had to reinvent the process of execution of our services and operations through"Working From Home" with IT support. We had to provide laptops very quickly tokey staff to enable them to work from remote locations. Banking is an essential servicetherefore branches had a responsibility to remain open. However strong Covid-19 protocolshad to be implemented to ensure safety of staff and customers. Our call centres and backoffice operations had to be reconfigured to ensure customer service. Our senior managementteam worked full time to ensure that guidance and support was speedily delivered and thatoperations could move forward without interruption.
I am glad to report that all of this was accomplished in record time and the entirecredit goes to our staff who worked tirelessly to ensure the smoothest transition to a newwork environment.
Proactively the Bank also called thousands of customers to enquire whether we could beof any service in these troubled times with respect to their banking needs. Acentralized task force was created to monitor the Covid-19 impact on our staff and theirfamilies and to ensure that they received whatever assistance that they required. So farmore than 1000 staff have been infected and unfortunately in the last year or so 6 staffmembers have lost their lives. I on behalf of the entire Board would like to convey ourdeep condolences to their families for this irreplaceable loss.
Unprecedented conditions require a response of equal measure. The Bank has used thisperiod to further intensify its online training of all staff who were at home moveforward on its data analytic capabilities intensify its risk assessment matrix andmitigation actions its compliance framework and its ability to respond to regulatorsand most importantly to upgrade its IT systems.
I am happy to report that the operations of the Bank were maintained with ratiosremaining healthy albeit our having to carry much higher provisions given the economicuncertainties that our customers face for their businesses.
Notwithstanding external challenges the Bank continued to make steady progress in FY2021. Balance Sheet grew to '39602 crore with Deposits at '29704 crore and Advances at'25959 crore. Operating Profit grew by 19.3% to '898.48 crore; Profit after Tax howeverwas weighed down by increase in provisions to meet stress on asset quality due to Covid-19pandemic. Profit after Tax for the year was '335.79 crore against '337.94 crore in theprevious year.
As we look forward the Bank is determined to grow at a healthy pace through a widerbranch network that can offer full services in new regions. Our basic strategy remainsunchanged. We will continue to have a largely secured portfolio in our chosen field ofconcentration - Mortgages MSME SME Gold Loans and Agri / Inclusive Banking.
We will continue to be granular on both sides of our balance sheet. Corporate lendinghas shown modest growth and will continue to do so until the economic environmentimproves and real economic growth begins to be noticed.
The past year has been one that has challenged every aspect of our functioning. It hastaught us many lessons. The world will not be the same again. The Board and its Committeesand the process of governance has worked extremely well with more frequent meetings andfull attendance.
The business model of the Bank has been adapted to create a new operational paradigm.The future possibilities for productivity efficiency and digital analytics have beenenhanced which will be rolled out more fully in the year ahead. What this means is thatthe future could be very different from the past.
It has implications for working from home more streamlined back office operations andcall centres intelligent processes developed through data analytics and new approachesfor customer service delivery. New digital products through the internet are likely toenhance the service delivery platform and offer us an opportunity to create unexpectedcustomer delight. We have been working with fintech companies for over three years and wehope to see new products emerge as a consequence of these partnerships.
DCB Bank has matured during this crisis and demonstrated its ability to respond tounprecedented circumstances. The strong culture of the organization built up over manyyears explains the dedication and creativity of its people. An institution is defined byits culture which is principle centered with an extremely high degree of integrity in itsoperations. People have always been encouraged to feel that they do not just work for theinstitution - they are an integral part of building the institution. In the years ahead itis my fervent hope that this culture thrives and DCB Bank is admired for what it does andhow it does it by the external world that it serves.
May 05 2021