UTI MF, HDFC Bank hit road on financial literacy drive

Our Bureau Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on February 03, 2011

UTI Mutual Fund and HDFC Bank have tied up in a pioneering initiative to launch an investor education drive in the southern States of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

As part of this initiative, called ‘Swatantra Yatra,' two UTI Knowledge Caravans will travel through small towns in the three States to spread financial literacy.


These caravans were flagged off at a function held here on Wednesday by Mr Dhiraj Relli, Executive Vice-President and Head-Branch Banking, South, HDFC Bank.

The initiative aims at creating investor awareness about different financial products and wealth creation options.

Innovative platforms

Innovative formats and platforms, such as mobile, web, Facebook, Twitter, financial calculators and planners, will be used for this purpose.

During the journey, the caravans will cover more than 7,300 km in about 56 days.

Investor meets will be held in at least 130 locations in local languages.


The caravans and the multimedia show on board will aim at spreading financial literacy with a focus on investment options and wealth creation, Mr Relli told newspersons here.

HDFC Bank will, wherever possible, also aim at ‘converting' the visits to the semi-urban and rural areas to drive its own financial inclusion programme and enrol no-frills accounts.

Branch expansion

The bank has 124 branches in the State of which 60 are in the rural and semi-urban areas.

Five more branches will be opened during the rest of the financial year in the State, Mr Relli said.

According to Mr Hari Velloor, Senior Vice-President and Zonal Head-South, Kerala, HDFC Bank, the caravan will have scheduled stops around these branches where the bank officials will interact with the public.


The Regional Head-Retail of UTI Mutual Fund, Mr R. Vijayakumar, said that this is the second ‘Swatantra Yatra' initiative but the first time that the asset management company has tied up with a bank as a partner.

The first ‘yatra' had interacted with an estimated 15 lakh people across the country after covering approximately 38,000 km.

Theme for activity

Financial inclusion was a major theme for activity for UTI Mutual Fund in view of the directive of the Union Finance Minister, said Mr S. Srinivas Murthy, Head-Training.

HDFC Bank is the largest distributor of mutual fund products in the country and feels that the onus lies on it to educate the rural masses, said Mr Nitin Rao, Senior Vice-President, Private Banking group and Third Party Products.

‘Swatantra' is India's journey to financial freedom, said Mr Jaideep Bhattacharya, Chief Marketing Officer, UTI Asset Management Company.

Published on February 02, 2011

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