As the financial sector grapples with the current financial crisis and slowdown, Kotak Mahindra Bank has transformed the problem into an opportunity by moving 250 employees from its crisis-hit broking business to the expanding commercial banking business in the past one month.
“While we need less people in Kotak Securities, the insurance and banking operation are still hiring and so instead of going for external recruitments we transferred people from the broking business,” said KVS Manian, group head, retail liabilities and retail banking, Kotak Mahindra bank. “This is better. Otherwise we would have gone for external recruitment on one side and pink slips on the other.”
At this critical stage the bank is looking to raise the quality of credit along with reducing the cost and managing its people. The bank has decided to remain conservative in the mindset and control cost and not to go for major expansion at this time.
The bank has already gone slow on credit expansion and also on the expansion of its branches.
“We were targeting a branch network of 275 by March 2009 but now we are going sow and look to achieve 225 by that time,” said Manian. The bank feels that this will throw an opportunity to them as the rentals are going down and if they defer their branch expansion it will bring both the rental costs and the people’s cost down.
“Though the target remains the same I would delay the expansion by three to six months in order to benefit from the lower costs,” said Manian.