It is a contrast from banks worldwide in trouble. Thrissur-based South Indian Bank is on an aggressive expansion drive to open 40 new branches and recruit as many as 3,000 employees over the next couple of years.
“The current situation has thrown a great opportunity for us as we can carry on with our expansion plans at the lowest cost, as land, marketing and advertising costs are at their bottom at present,” VA Joseph, managing director and CEO, South Indian Bank told Hindustan Times.
With jobs drying up, this economic situation would also help the bank get the best talent, he added. The bank already has more than 500 branches, most of them in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
Joseph said that the focus would continue to be on strengthening the retail side, while fixing a business target of Rs 75,000 crore by 2014. At present, the total business of the bank is at Rs 27,000 crore.
Joseph also said that he had no plans to merge the bank with a larger entity, dismissing some reports of a buyout.
“The brand has a huge value and we have no plans to alter the brand name just because we are seeking an all-India presence. In fact, our own assessment showed that customers even in the north preferred the current brand name,” Joseph said.