HDFC Bank has announced its plan to hire 2,500 people in the next 6 months and double its rural reach to 2 lakh villages in the next 18-24 months. The bank planned this expansion through a combination of branch networks, business correspondence, business facilitators, CSC partners, virtual relationship management, and digital outreach platforms.
The announcement of the initiative comes days after Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had voiced disappointment over banking reach and asked lenders to do more to create job opportunities and wealth creation.
Commenting on the bank's rural expansion strategy, Rahul Shukla, Group Head – Commercial and Rural Banking, HDFC Bank, said: "India's rural and semi-urban markets are under-served in credit extension. They present sustainable long-term growth opportunities for the Indian banking system. Going forward, we dream of making ourselves accessible in every pin code.”
He also added that the Government of India through a variety of schemes, plans to transform the country’s rural economy. The company’s digital initiatives will play a big role in deepening the penetration in the remotest corners of India and help the bank extend credit to those who have remained financially excluded despite the progress of India.
This rural initiative will increase the bank’s rural outreach to about a third of the country’s villages and provide jobs to more than 2,500 people in the next few months. HDFC Bank currently offers its products and services to MSMEs in over 550 districts.
The bank offers banking services to 1,00,000 villages and it aims to double this to 2,00,000 villages. HDFC Bank has said that after the expansion, the bank's reach will increase to a third of the villages in the country and would require a lot of workforces to provide and manage the lending services, hence the hiring initiative.