AICAR BUSINESS SCHOOL
“Banking in the new millennium:
Paradigm changes and challenges”
SHAH NITESH B (F.Y. PGDM - 659)
PATEL SNEHA R (F.Y. PGDM - 660)
AICAR BUSINESS SCHOOL
Sr No. Particular
1. Overview of the Project 3
2. Introduction 4
New Changes and Challenges of
banking Industry in India
4. HR aspect in Banking Sector 5
5. Marketing aspect in Banking Sector 8
Other New Challenges in banking
7. Conclusion 14
Banking in the new millennium:
Paradigm changes and challenges
Overview of the project
Banking is a key driver for growth of the economy .In new millennium; the Indian Banking
Industry is passing through rapid changes reflecting number of underlying development. The
most significant has been advances in information and communication technology. Competition
has become keen and banks are required to provide facility of anywhere and every time banking
to their customers.
Human Resource Development is very important challenge of the banking industry. To meet
the new challenges is absolutely essential that each bank undertake a thorough review on current
practices these areas. “HR crunch” is one of the biggest problems faced by PSU banks.
Employees represent increasingly diverse demographic and cultural backgrounds. To gain and
retain the talent pool is the challenge for the PSUs as they do face competition from their foreign
The 4Ps of marketing mix has become the heart of the banking sector. Factors like better and
innovative products, cost of service delivery, market positioning, and quicker and better services
at convenient place will determine the efficiency of banking. The multiple changes happening
one after other has a ripple effect on a bank to graduate from completely regulated sellers market
to completed deregulated customers market. Customers have become more and more demanding
Indian Banks need to reorient their business strategies to retain and to gain new customers.
Totally new approach towards marketing and HR is necessary to sustain and grow in this
“A bank lives on credit. Till it is trusted it is nothing; and when it ceases to be trusted, it
returns to nothing”
Banking is a key driver for growth of the economy. We can identify three distinct
phases in the history of Indian Banking. Early phase from 1786 to 1969 Nationalization of Banks
and up to 1991 prior to banking sector Reforms New phase of Indian Banking with the advent of
Financial & Banking Sector Reforms after 1991.
Banking was never a luxury but always a necessity. Today banking has the element
of luxury with necessity. Post liberalization, several new-generation private sector banks
changed the face of the banking industry. Banking has taken a form of Demand-driven rather
than Supply-driven. Banks have become customer and IT oriented and offer quicker and better
services. Banks are focused on three areas: meet customer's service expectations, cut costs,
and manage competition.
Indian Banking sector is undergoing rapid transformation and is expected to change and
evolve considerably in the near future. Indian banks will have to adopt global best practices in
order to retain their market share and customers as well as to attract new customers for fueling
growth. According to Pricewaterhouse cooper’s report, “India may well be the third largest
banking hub in the world by 2040”.
New Changes and Challenges of Banking industry in India
The banking industry in India is undergoing a major transformation due to changes in
economic conditions and continuous deregulation. These multiple changes happening one after
other has a ripple effect on a bank to graduate from completely regulated sellers market to
completed deregulated customers market. Being a service industry, customer centric
approach has become necessity. Customers are increasingly segmented, literate and
demanding. To provide good services to customer, it is essential to have very efficient
workforce and even to communicate the value to the customers. That is why is today’s
scenario HR and marketing aspects play very important role for success of a bank.
HR (Human resources) Aspect In Banking Sectors
“CHANGE IS A RULE OF NATURE” This sentence is very true with the context of banks.
When foreign banks had come up with ATMs in India at that time SBI, one of the biggest banks
of India took a considerable long time to accept it. Now, SBI has one of the largest numbers of
ATMs in India. In the same way, the importance of HR and Marketing has grown at the same
rate at the banks have grown.
HR - A Major Concern For PSU Banks
In a new millennium, the new challenge faced by PSU (Public Sector Unit) banks is the
“HR crunch”. Years of restricted intake of people has resulted in the thinning waistline of
public sector banks. The government had banned recruitment for 10-15 years. A lot of voluntary
retirements had happened.
Other reason for “HR crunch” could be that the new generation banks are competing for
the same talent. It creates the risk of losing talent not just to their bigger rivals such as ICICI
Bank or HDFC Bank. They also face a threat from BPO firms whose appetite for banking and
finance professional is increasing as Western companies outsource finance and accounting
process. While salaries have started to slow down in outsourcing companies, the wage difference
is still phenomenal.
Because of that PSBs are adopting new criteria for giving promotion and other
motivation to employees for retaining the talented pool. Earlier, promotions were based on
experience; hikes were decided at the top and were applied to employees across organizations.
Employees knew they would get their next promotion in certain number of years, and referred to
HR manuals to see what their salaries are (for they did not differ from person to person in the
Now Faced with the possibility of a middle management talent crunch in the coming
years, public sector banks are putting in place an HR scheme to identify potential leaders,
equip them with top class training, give right exposure and fast track promotion.
Even today, apart from a few major banks, most members of the Indian Banks’ Association
(IBA) have opted for a collective wage revision rather than individual decisions on
compensation. In the absence of this autonomy, PSBs are trying to incentivize the whole
compensation package by including employee accelerated promotions and overseas assignments.
In new millennium there is totally new platform for banks to perform. There are various
changes that have taken place. Employees represent increasingly diverse demographic
backgrounds. On the one hand, banks are grappling with the challenge of aging employees
while on the other hand; there are the young entrants with altogether different cultural,
ideologies. Customers are increasingly segmented, literate and demanding and so are employee
expectations, which are continuously rising as they gain in education and skills. Investors have
become increasingly attuned to and actively concerned about not only financial results but also
intangibles. Competitors come from both traditional large players but increasingly from smaller
private and foreign banks. These trends are affecting all aspects of banking operations from
managing capital requirements of positioning the bank in the customers’ minds and how to
engineer and deliver newer products and services in tune with the fast changing customer
Key HR concerns for Indian banks:
Under this environment, HR departments are also expected to contribute to business
results with HR practices being more and more integrated, aligned and innovative. A recent
McKinsey report on the Indian Banking sector highlighted some of the key concerns on the HR
Core capabilities of Indian banks, chiefly that of the PSU Banks need radical
improvements which get reflected in low innovation in products and services and / or in
organization and performance attributes.
There are critical challenges faced by Indian banks in the following areas, which put it at
a distinct disadvantage when compared with the global best.
-Skilling and Re-skilling
-Recruitment and Retention of top performers
-Motivation of top performer
Indian banks were found to be clearly lagging behind when compared to global best
-Communicating clearly their goals to employee
-Shaping an inclusive working environment which encourages entrepreneurial culture
-Motivating employees through performance linked remunerations and incentives
-Recruiting the best talent regularly from the best sources
-Fostering collaboration among employees
-Building a pool of leaders to achieve grow aspirations
IT and HR
Now, IT is central to banking. Because of new technology coming in to banks, it becomes
a challenge for a bank to provide training regarding new technology and make them
comfortable with the same. The change should be brought in a smooth manner that it does not
create any resistance and negativism among employees. We can have example of SBI bank.
When SBI had started making its branches computerize at that time many employees had taken
VRS (Voluntary Retirement Scheme). The existing old employees were not comfortable with
new computerize system and even they had a fear of making mistakes while using the computers.
This might had created a bad image of bank in the eyes of the employees.
Marketing Aspect In Banking Sector
“The whole focus of marketing in banking today is on ‘customer acquisition’, and so the
communication focus in recent times has been on hammering the ‘competitive edge’. The
banking sector has evolved beyond product attributes as everything is on product parity. It’s
about the service/experience and brand image now. “Banks are trying to create a halo
Now, each branch of bank works as a marketing unit. The whole accounting activities
have centralized and are done at head office. It works as distribution centre (Place) in the 4Ps
of marketing and provides services to the customers.
The Marketing Initiative taken by SBI
SBI carried out various marketing initiatives to enhance its reach. They included
segregating and targeting existing high value customers, cross sales of other products,
setting up call centers and outbound sales force to secure new customers. Plans were also
made to utilize database marketing to pursue large and medium sized corporate, government and
trade finance customers. Database marketing was expected to draw increased revenue from cross
selling, lower costs and increased customer loyalty. SBI also introduced various other ways of
reaching out to customers like extension of hours of work and aggressive marketing through
print and television media. SBI increased daily working hours by two hours and Sunday
banking was introduced...
Do you know your Customers?
KYC (Know Your Customer) is the important aspect in the marketing of banking sectors. As
being a part of the service industry, it becomes very important to know, to understand and
provide value to the customers. Today customers have become very demanding and to retain
them it is required to know what exactly they want and provide service accordingly.
CRM – Do you want to retain your customers?
Banks can leverage on the new inventions of science to develop, design and implement CRM
(Customer Relationship Management) strategies in their business process. Most of the Indian
banks are now turning to CRM as they are increasingly realizing that the cost of acquiring new
customer is far higher than the cost of retaining existing ones. Their quest for more effective
ways to woo and retain customers ends with the implementation of CRM models in their
business practices. They no longer see CRM as an optional and expensive add-on-increasing
Segmentation –An essential element for better service
There is new trend of segregating the customers based on their requirements and
demands. Banks have also divided their activities base on customers’ requirement. Banks'
activities can be divided into retail banking, dealing directly with individuals; business banking,
providing services to mid-size business; corporate banking dealing with large business entities;
private banking, providing wealth management services to High Net worth Individuals; and
investment banking, relates to helping customers raise funds in the Capital Markets and advising
on mergers and acquisitions. Banks are now moving towards Universal Banking, which is a
combination of commercial banking, investment banking and various other activities including
New Dimension of Banking sector
In marketing mix there are 4 Ps. Here how all 4Ps woks in banking sectors are essential to
understand in order to make effective marketing strategy and future plans.
In banking sector the services which banks offer is known as products. Traditional banks
were engaged in only loans and deposits. But today banking products includes totally new set of
products. For example, many banks have entered into Para-banking activities in such areas like
mutual funds, leasing, hire-purchase, consumer finance, credit card business etc., by setting up
Many business models of banking have also emerged. These new services have added the
extra flavor to the banking arena. New services would include models like Venture Capital
Funding, Islamic Banking Services, Portfolio Management Services, HNI (High Net
Individual) services etc.
Here price refers to the cost the customers have to pay in order to gain services. In new
millennium the customers are not ready to pay higher price to its existing bank if he/she can get
the same service at lower rate from anywhere else. So in order to survive, banks have to provide
services at competitive price and always focus on reducing the cost.
Most recently the trend observed in the banking industry is the sharing of ATMs by banks.
Sharing of ATM network will minimize geographical overlap of ATMs and provide better
coverage to customers. At the same time, the sharing helps the banks to develop economies of
scale and minimize the cost of servicing customers. ATM, Net-banking, mobile banking, and
Tele-banking are driving down cost per transaction.
3. Advertisement and Positioning
Ads for Indian banks from the 60s and 70s chose to dwell on the bankable nature of banks —
banks routinely highlighted the better returns they offered on savings, and the element of bank
deposits being safe was never far from the surface.
However, with the rise of retail banking and easy consumer credit, bank advertising
underwent a steady change. First, safety and trust — inseparable parts of the relationships that
customers share with banks — began being taken for granted, and banks, instead, chose to
highlight value-added services. Then, as value added services achieved parity status, bank
advertising began taking the emotional or human route. For that matter, many began
projecting themselves as partners and enablers of their customers’ aspirations. And safety and
trust got buried even deeper — even though taglines of ICICI Bank like ‘Hum hain na’
seemingly hark back to ‘reliability’ and ‘trust’, the accent was rarely on the ‘safety’ of the
But in the light of prevailing critical economic scenario, banks need to once again
assure depositors about their ‘stability’ and ‘safety’. “During these challenging times banks
will have to reinforce their core brand message, and ensure that the tone and manner will lead to
a consumer takeout of trust,” It is important that people know the bank has enough liquidity and
minimal exposure to risky assets. “Trust” and “safety” will have to be the consumer takeout
from the advertising.
Take the case of ICICI Bank. When the bank’s stock plummeted to a new 52-week low in the
second week of October, 2008, it was evident that there were no takers for its Main Hoon Na-
ambassador’s hum hain na assurances. In an unprecedented move, the bank had to SMS its
customers, requesting them not to believe any rumours surrounding the bank. ‘Your
deposits with ICICI Bank are safe. Your bank is well capitalized with good liquidity. Please do
not listen to baseless rumours. Happy festive season’. The bank also released print ads
highlighting its sound financial health by putting financial figures and facts upfront. A degree of
normalcy, though, was restored only after Chanda Kochhar, joint managing director & chief
financial officer, and CEO KV Kamath made several appearances on the telly, debunking
rumours about the bank.
Seeing the global crisis and customers are concerned with the safety of their money, “Banks
should tell people a simple thing: ‘Your money is safe’ — provided it is. And that sort of
confidence and reassurance will work wonders in retaining consumers.”
In banking sector, branches of banks work as distribution unit for providing services to
customers. Even ATM places very essential way for providing services to the customer. In India,
more Indians have mobile phones than bank accounts. Seeing this many banks have started
mobile banking services for their customers. Even Net-banking and Tele-banking are also in.
New Challenges of Banking Sector in other area
In these days of globalization, liberalization and competition conducting banking
business is itself a challenging task. Other than this, there are many internal and external
challenges, which go to, the core of the banking business, may have to be considered in right
First and for most challenge is ever increasing non-performing assets (NPA) of the banks
which has now reached a staggering figure of Rs. 83000 crores. Even the foreign banks
operating in India, have not been able to escape from the phenomena of NPA. According to the
latest newspaper report there has been increase of 25.3% in the volume of NPA. This is indeed
an alarming situation and means and ways to overcome the situation needs to be found.
To retrain the trust of people has become one of the biggest challenges in this new
millennium banking sector. Recently happened City bank crisis has compel the customers to
think about security of their money with the banks. Various scams regarding securities taken
place in Bagpur and financial scam of late Shri Harshad Mehta and urban banks involvement in
stock exchange scam due to unfair practices of a broker and to cap it all the UTI scam has badly
shaken the confidence and trust of a common man in the bank and financial institutes.
According to one survey conducted by Indian Express, out of 10 performing banks only
one is the public sector bank and that also ranks nine. In order to change this picture internal
administration of the banks including man management will have to be drastically improved.
Employees of the banks will have to give efficient customer service. Advertisement like
banking service available on 365 days and day and night customer service even on holidays
is coming from multinational foreign banks. The banking sector will have to develop a new
strategy. The government should take steps to see that process of privatization of banks is
The growing foreign trade in goods and services will have to be financed. Apart from
production credit, financing capital requirement from the cheapest sources will become
necessary. Provision of a whole gamut of services related to integration with the rest of the world
will be challenge. Foreign banks operating in India will be the competition to Indian banks in
this regard. Foreign banks have access to much larger resources and have presences in many
parts of world. Therefore Indian banks have to strive to get funds at competitive rates.
Banking sector plays very important role for the growth of the economy. In the new
millennium Indian banking sector has gone through rapid changes and many more changes and
challenges are likely to come. Whole banking industry has become customer centric. It is very
important to provide value to customer and maintain the trust with them. For that marketing has
gain a lot of importance. Even customers have become more and more demanding and want the
best and quicker services. For that to gain and maintain the talented and customer centric
workforce has become very challenging task for the banks.
So we would like to conclude that seeing today’s economic scenario banking business
itself has become big challenge. But Indian banking is in good condition and there will be many
opportunities to grow. According to Pricewaterhouse cooper’s report, “India may well be the
third largest banking hub in the world by 2040”. So it is very necessary to have right approach
and greater professionalism.
1) New Challenges in Banking Sectors
Publishing House: - Prabohan Prakashan, Mumbai-400 025
2) Bank Quest(Human Resources in Banks)
Publishing House:-Indian Institute of Banking and Finance,
3) The Indian Banking System Challenges Ahead by Dr.C.Rangarajan
Publishing House:-Indian Institute of Banking and Finance,
4) Banking in the new millennium by Prof. Guru Prasad
5) Business Today magazine
Web site: www.businesstoday.in