All-women bank gets branch in iconic Mumbai tower
Oct 27 2013 , Mumbai
Mahila bank on hiring spree, to start ops in Nov
Women employees from other public sector banks have been invited to join the mahila bank on deputation or resign from their current positions to join the bank without interruption of service.
“We have been getting enthusiastic responses from women in all other banks. But we will require only about 250 employees in the first leg of operations,” a finance ministry official closely associated with setting up the bank told Financial Chronicle. The bank would be headquartered in IFCI Tower at New Delhi’s Nehru Place.
It has obtained all licensing and other procedural clearances from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), the official said.
The bank will have 25 branches across eight locations, including the four metros, besides Bangalore, Indore, Ahmedabad and Guwahati. Another official associated with the project said, “Usha Ananthasubramanian, executive director, Punjab National Bank, would be the mahila bank’s first chief executive officer. She is already heading the core committee which is in the process of setting up the bank.” Finance minister P Chidambaram selected her for the role, taking into account her experience in various public sector banks in a career spanning three decades.
The bank will commence operations with an initial seed capital of Rs 1,000 crore contributed by the government. In due course, the bank is expected to secure its own revenue stream by lending to women and encouraging women entrepreneurs. After starting with one branch in each banking region, the bank would expand to 500 branches by the fourth year of operation. It would, however, have to comply with all RBI guidelines and will not offer any concessional rate to women. A five-member panel, headed by former Canara Bank chairman and managing director MBN Rao, prepared the blueprint for the bank.
To start with, the bank would employ 225 women, from other state-owned banks, besides some fresh recruits. Ananthasubramaniam would lead a very diverse group of women, the officials said.
India already boasts an all-women cooperative bank managed by self-employed volunteers from non-profit SEWA that was established in Ahmedabad in 1974. But the Bhartiya Mahila Bank will be a first commercial bank owned by the government.
Two-third of the landmark Air India building in Mumbai has been lying vacant after the company shifted its headquarters to Delhi following its merger with Indian Airlines. The corporate office remains at Nariman Point. Air India occupies nearly six floors of the building and Tata Consultancy, one. The remaining 15 floors have been vacant. The centrally air-conditioned building was the first in India to have an escalator that took customers from the ground floor to its booking office.