Source: The Economic Times India
Sachin Bansal, who acquired microfinance firm Chaitanya India last September after his momentous Flipkart exit, travelled to Jagalur, a small town in Karnataka, recently for a branch visit and decided to check out the competition, a government-owned regional bank.Jagalur, about 250km from Bengaluru, has a population of 25,000. The regional bank’s offices here were packed that day; Kannada-speaking customers, upset about a problem, were shouting at the 25-year-old branch manager, a Maharashtra native who didn’t understand the local language.“There were about 100 depositors in that branch, and the manager did not speak Kannada,” said Bansal, using the episode to illustrate the state of banking in rural India. 73626753 The central government’s mandate is that 33% of branches of public sector banks should be in rural pockets. But Bansal believes the sector needs fresh ideas to serve these regions more efficiently and at lower costs. “Regulators understand that existing players may not be able to solve problems and they need new players coming in,” Bansal said.This is not just a broad, detached observation.