HDFC Bank aims to be dominant, go-to bank for startups, says official

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Updated: Feb 25, 2020 4:57 PM

Officials said the bank now has dedicated "SmartUp" zones in 70 branches in 30 cities across India.

hdfc, hdfc bankHDFC Bank on Tuesday disbursed SmartUp grants totalling Rs five crore to 20 start-ups in Bengaluru working in the social sector.

HDFC Bank aims to be a dominant and go-to bank for startups, a key official said on Tuesday.

Close to 9,000 start-ups are currently banking with HDFC Bank, said Smita Bhagat, Country Head, Government & Institutional Business, e-commerce and start-ups, HDFC Bank.

Officials said the bank now has dedicated “SmartUp” zones in 70 branches in 30 cities across India.

“Through the SmartUp programme, we are already engaging with the start-up community to partner with them in their entrepreneurial journey using smart financial tools, advisory services and technology”, Bhagat told reporters here.

“We also have a platform where the start-ups can register themselves and sell their products to our own customers”, she added.

HDFC Bank on Tuesday disbursed SmartUp grants totalling Rs five crore to 20 start-ups in Bengaluru working in the social sector.

This takes the total tally to more than 60 start-ups who have been been given a total grants of Rs 14 crore over the past three years.

“We hope to take this number (number of start-ups awarded grants) to 100 by the end of the next financial year”, Bhagat said.

These grants — part of a larger effort by HDFC Bank to create an ecosystem to nurture the spirit of innovation and enterprise in the start-up space — have been offered under the aegis of ‘Parivartan’, the umbrella name for the banks social initiatives.

The bank works through incubators such as IIT Kanpur, T-Hub, KIIT TBI, Villgro, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and BITS Pilani to identify start-ups in the social sector.

It has signed MoUs with several state governments to support the start-up ecosystem in those states, she said.

“We would like to be a dominant bank and go-to bank for all the startups and start-up community”, Bhagat said.

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