State Bank embarks on a major makeover

Kolkata, Nov 27 | Updated: Nov 28 2006, 09:24am hrs
Better late than never! This seems to be the new mantra in the countrys largest bank, State Bank of India (SBI) which of late is losing its market share in the domestic banking industry. The bank has now embarked upon an ambitious programme of a comprehensive makeover which even entails changing the mindset of its staff from bureaucratic to a business oriented one like the private entities. The bank's news chairman Om Bhatt has initiated a series of initiatives in this regard with the help of global consultants, McKinsey & Co.

McKinsey which for the last two years is charting out business process re-engineering (BPR) of the bank is now working on redesigning the banks branches which would be more customers friendly and where the staffs would be able to communicate with them with greater ease.

Ever since he assumed charge in June this year, he has briefed McKinsey about his thinking on human resources enhancement and is personally getting involved in the process wherever it is required, sources close to the development told FE.

Toward this end, Bhatt has arranged conferences of chief general managers, general managers and also assistance general managers where there has been a great deal of free discussions to improve the business of the bank.

He has listened to their grievances and asked them to directly interact with him over e-mail in case of any problem, something unusual for the Indian public sector banks. Such meetings were held in Hyderabad and Kolkata in the last one month.

According to sources, the entire effort is enhance communication skills of the SBI staff who are still lagging behind their private and foreign counterparts. The junior staff should not feel like outsiders in the bank. This exercise undertaken by the bank is also to convey the message that every person in the bank is important and directly contributes to the growth of the bank, sources added.