The best of our Bank is yet to come
2020 marks the 26th year of our remarkable journey during which we have won multiple accolades.
This would not have been possible without you. So let me start by thanking each one of you for the immense faith and dedication you have shown in co-creating this great institution. During the course of a quarter of a century India and the world have changed at a breath-taking pace.
And so has our Bank. I'm extremely humbled to be part of this living legacy and take immense pride at being given the opportunity to partner with over 1 Lakh invaluable colleagues who made this possible.
Doing things right. always.
Nearly 30 years ago India opened its markets to the world. In doing so it created exciting opportunities for private sector banks like us. Backed by a strong parent we took baby steps and in 1995 we opened our first branch in Mumbai at Sandoz House Worli. From day one we were clear about our strategy to drive growth.
Integrity: We would always do what is right.
Prudent: We wouldn't take short cuts nor cut corners.
Strategic: We wouldn't take undue risks or blindly follow trends. By adhering to these stringent standards we became the torchbearers of what later came to be known as corporate governance. And this is the origin of our five core values:
Customer Focus Operational Excellence Product Leadership People and Sustainability.
This was also the time when corporate lending was the order of the day. Naturally we started out as a wholesale bank. But then India changed with liberalisation creating a new class of people with disposable incomes. And we did too by shifting
We are pioneers in building a technology-led Bank and we are one of the first to offer NetBanking services 10-sec Personal Loan App Banking and now WhatsApp Banking.
Our focus to retail banking and now we have an industry-leading position in almost every aspect of retail banking including private banking and wealth management. But being prudent we maintained a balance between both segments of our business. This strategy has stood us in good stead. Perhaps not more so than in 2019-20 when wholesale banking has helped counter the downturn in certain retail segments as a result of an overall slowdown in consumption. Backed by our policy of having our ears to the ground understanding consumer sentiments and needs and responding with agility have helped us to continue to lead on the wholesale banking side.
Bringing about meaningful change
Our vision has always been to bring about meaningful change. We did this by adopting technology to power digital transformation in banking focusing on semi-urban and rural areas to drive high growth and creating sustainability in far-flung areas across India. We are pioneers in building a technology-led Bank and we are one of the first to offer NetBanking services 10-sec Personal loan App Banking and now WhatsApp Banking. To our corporate customers we are well positioned with a strong balance sheet and healthy liquidity. Our robust liability franchise continues to be the bedrock on which we will build our future continue to offer the entire gamut of financial services such as Payments Tax Solutions Government Business Trade Finance Services Cash Management Solutions and Corporate Cards through our flagship platforms besides seamlessly connecting our customers through APIs and Host-to-Host services. We are also the first bank to have the digital ability to sanction a working capital loan to MSMEs across the table at the customers' premises based on deep technology integration and AI-led credit risk modelling.
We expanded our footprint to semi-urban and rural areas where we have over 50% of our branches today. Our unswerving commitment to excellence and common sense made all these possible. What makes us prouder is the transformation we have brought in the lives of people excluded from development. Through our social initiatives under `Parivartan' over 10% of our workforce is dedicated to social causes making a tangible impact in people's lives. Our Sustainable Livelihood Initiative (SLI) for instance entails skilling women at the bottom of the pyramid and providing livelihood finance to help them break the cycle of poverty. We firmly believe that empowering women will lead to empowering families. Through our Holistic Rural Development Programme (HRDP) we have touched more than 4 Lakh households across 1282 villages in 17 states.
We continue to stay focused on effecting impactful change through various initiatives in irrigation and soil and water conservation helping build healthcare and hygiene infrastructure. I'm also personally proud of our Blood Donation Drive which entered the Guinness World Records through which we have cumulatively collected over 1.4 Million units of blood helping save lives.
Riding the Storm
We are living in unprecedented times with COVID-19 claiming lakhs of lives globally including India and destroying millions of livelihoods due to extended lockdowns. My heart goes out to the families of all those who have lost their lives. Let me also on behalf of HDFC Bank salute our healthcare workers on the frontline who have risked and sometimes lost their lives in this battle against a raging pandemic. Let us however remember that the darkest hour is always just before the dawn and that dawn is not far away. Be it in riding out the health crisis or recovering from the financial losses that many have suffered faith and hope are our biggest allies. But let us also accept that life has perhaps changed forever. During this period we invoked our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) which has helped us to continue functioning in the `new normal'. We learnt several new things along the way that will help us improve our stakeholders' lives. This includes being efficient while working from home and equipping ourselves to prepare for the tomorrow through e-learning programmes and leveraging this opportunity to further the digital agenda of the Bank.
HDFC Bank has always been strong growing consistently through multiple economic cycles. We have capitalised on opportunities without giving in to greed. We are well positioned with a strong balance sheet and healthy liquidity. Our robust liability franchise continues to be the bedrock on which we will build our future. In April 2020 global ratings agency S&P reaffirmed its international rating for HDFC Bank at BBB-/A3 with a Stable outlook giving credence to HDFC Bank's stability even in these challenging times. And we feel happy to quote S&P Overall we believe HDFC Bank's individual creditworthiness is significantly stronger than the average of the Indian Banking Sector reflected in its SACP of BBB+. So where does that leave us?
Our Best is Yet to Come
What about the future? Let me start by reiterating where we stand today. We as a bank have:
One of the biggest and strongest balance sheets
High capital adequacy levels
Market leadership in most of the products that we deal in
An excellent reputation for delivering value to all stakeholders especially shareholders
Technology that offers an omnichannel experience
The finest people who have made us what we are
A commitment to society that is second to none All this means we are very well placed to ride out the COVID-19 storm. We intend to continue to innovate adapt and disrupt to remain trailblazers. We will continue to collaborate to bring the power of One Bank to our customers. We will continue to invest ahead in technology computing and artificial intelligence to provide hyper-personalised offerings/experiences to our customers to become a Digital First Bank where every customer interaction at any touchpoint is intuitive seamless contextual and predictive. All these collectively ensures that we reduce costs and increase our reach. It is also reflected in the six strategic priorities that we have focused on in the last three years and will continue to do so. These are:
Reimagining the Branch Channel from a banking storefront to a financial services marketplace
Leveraging Bharat's growth potential based on our Semi-Urban and Rural footprint
We intend to continue to innovate adapt and disrupt to remain trailblazers. We will continue to collaborate to bring the power of One Bank to our customers.
A Payments business with a differentiated business model that leverages the Bank's offerings
Digital 2.0 to transform customer journeys into omnichannel customer experiences
Virtual Relationship Management where technology comes alive with a human touch
Our subsidiaries that continue to focus on the segments they operate in And backed by a key intangible asset that is not found in our balance sheet but helps build it:
Integrity!Even after 25 years we have not changed our fundamentals where Integrity remains our biggest asset. And all of this would not have been possible without the trust our customers have in us driving us to deliver what we have over the years. With that trust in place I reiterate that the best of our Bank is yet to come!
|HDFC Bank Limited |