At a time when most private sector and foreign banks are moving towards branchless banking, state owned Bank of Baroda (BoB) is all set to aggressively launch its Gen-X branches to attract the youth. M.D. Mallya, chairman and managing director, BoB spoke to HT on a range of issues, including the bank’s plans of changing its image to make it more acceptable to the younger generation. Excerpts:
How would these bank branches be different from the others?
These branches will sport a “young” look and would have a library, a lounge to relax, a coffee section and internet facility for young customers, who have typically preferred banking with the private sector and foreign banks. Besides, these 'Gen X' branches will also have a small conference room which would allow a small group to hold a meeting. The facilities come free of cost to the customers. We want them to look different and young. With a majority of the country's population below the age of 35, it is only logical for us to open branches that address their specific needs.
What about the staff that would man these branches?
These branches would be manned by ‘young’ officers. Not just that, the age of the branch manager will also be lower than the average age of other branch managers. We want the branch managers to be in their mid-30s, we want to create a different ambience at these branches.
How many such branches do you have?
The bank already has eight such branches in cities such as Pune, Bangalore, Gurgaon and Noida. The branch at Noida has just been launched. We plan to launch more Gen X branches.
How has the response been?
We are targeting the youth, and, so far, we have got a very good response from these branches.
What kind of services are provided at the Gen X branches?
We would provide all facilities that are provided at the other branches which include advances and deposits. We plan to go strong on the retail segment at these branches. These branches have been doing good business so far and the footfall is increasing and we are satisfied.