The year gone by tested us taught us too. More importantly it further strengthenedour conviction in our core belief in the idea of Conscious Capitalism' - a practicalguideline that stresses the importance of creating value for all our stakeholders.
To that end ouर 21000+ employees did a phenomenal job in serving oveर 1.1 crcustomers through your Company's extensive network. And as for our shareholders they gotrewarded with the first full year of a top-quartile RoE of close to 18%. The power ofdigital and data analytics and adherence to our basics - Intent Execution Culture -played a very important role in delivering the strong RoE in line with our assurance toyou We also stayed on the path of responsible growth through calibrated strategies acrossproducts.
Additionally our three-pronged strategy of conservative underwriting strong earlywarning signals and prudent provisioning played an important role in enhancing theportfolio quality and strengthening the balance sheet. We also put in place a specialistrecovery and resolution group in order to expedite the turnaround of stressed assets. Withthis we are today in a position to restrict the NS3 at 2.40% with a provision-coverageratio of 61%. Also your Company initiated macro-prudential provisioning to breakprocyclicality and increase resilience during economic downturns.
In line with our philosophy to be a responsible Company we remain aligned to theinterests of our stakeholders while building a cycle-resilient business. Our assurance tofollow ethical and sustainable business practices which aims to improve the lives of themen and the women of our country is a guide to our purpose as a corporate.
That is why your Company through its various life- altering CSR initiatives has alsoserved the multitudes of humanity that live in communities adjacent to our areas ofoperation. One such feather in our cap has been Digital Sakhi an empowering programmeaimed at training women in digital-financial literacy leadership and technology. So farwe have trained oveर 400 women who further reached oveर 1.5 lakh people in rural areas.
Similarly through Jalvaibhav - a water campaign designed by your Company to supportthe communities - we helped at least 62 villages in Maharashtra develop the resilience andadaptive capacity required to deal with climate-related hazards including drought.
Our committed team stood solidly by the communities that managed national disasters inKerala and Tamil Nadu.
While we are proud of the good work we have done during the year it needs to beemphasised that we've achieved all of this despite the turbulence in the entire NBFCsector. As I said at the start the financial year was challenging for the sectorprimarily roiled by the crisis brought about by a series of credit defaults. We actedexpeditiously and boldly to limit the impact and continued to stay good on the promisesmade to you.
The consequent liquidity headwinds had a negligible impact on your Company. As animble-footed Company we were able to keep the lending business on track with the help ofour strong risk-management system and prudent asset-liability management reflected in thepositive liquidity gaps maintained by your Company for the past two years. With a clearstrategy of allocating funds to each business we were able to increase the retailisationof our lending book and ring-fence our growth. All this was done while increasing ournational footprint and customer base.
How did we do that? By working smarter faster and more economically than thecompetitors. Our decision to be in segments where we had a 'Right to Win' helped us. Weused data and analytics to do responsible underwriting and focused on faster turnaroundfor our customers harnessing the power of digital technology. That made us the lender ofchoice for the Rising New India.
Apart from that strategic rationalisation and portfolio diversification are also wellon their way. Growth in our rural business was 50% followed by housing business at 34%whereas wholesale business has de-grown by 1 %. Today with oveर 50% of our book in ruraland housing we are a predominant retail lending player in addition to the non-lendingbusinesses of mutual fund and wealth.
Thus with a rock-solid balance sheet focused ideas to access our served marketsattention to environmental stewardship social responsibility and governance and constantadherence to compliance we look forward to a sustainable future of top-quartileperformance.
The Board and the GEC as a benchmark of leadership intimately share a holisticresponsibility towards our ecosystem. That is why dear shareholders in this era ofshared value we seek your continued support as we embark on our journey to deliver asustainable top- quartile RoE built on the foundation of Assurance.