Money & Banking

CSB chief credits bank's strong show to team work

L. N. Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on March 11, 2011

Mr. V.P. Iswardas, M.D, Catholic Syrian Bank   -  The Hindu



Has Mr V. P. Iswardas, Chief Executive and Managing Director, Catholic Syrian Bank, waved a magic wand to achieve a growth rate which is more than one-third of what the bank achieved in all the 89 years of its existence, within 12 months of assuming charge as MD?

It appears so, but the soft-spoken Chief attributed the achievement to his team: “I know each and every CSBian personally. This has helped improve their confidence in my leadership, in motivating them and making them understand that the bank's very existence would be in trouble if we did not work as a team and improve our service.”

“I told them that CSB stands for ‘Customer Service at its Best' and sought their support in improving customer service.”

Steep growth

“I noticed the change in their mindset and this is reflected in our business. In December 2009, our business was around Rs 9,500 crore, an achievement over a period of 89 years. Twelve months later, our business crossed the Rs 13,500-crore mark, which is roughly more than one-third of what we achieved in the earlier nine decades.”

Mr Iswardas recalled his visit to the various branches across the country, meeting each manager/officer individually, organising customer meets, instilling confidence in his team and customers and explaining various strategies for improvement of business.

Having grown with CSB, he says he was able to connect with almost all major clients well.

He said the credit-deposit ratio improved from 49 per cent in December 2009 to 73 per cent in December 2010. “I ensured that no asset was lying idle. Divestment of liquid funds lying in low-yield portfolios paved the way for growth in the credit portfolio by over Rs 2,180 crore. This, coupled with infusion of capital through rights shares to the tune of Rs 145 crore, helped maintain the CRAR at more than the required level,” he said.

More branches planned

Asked how he planned to take the bank forward from here, he said “there's no looking back. We have to move on, grow. We have sought the RBI's permission for adding another 110 branches to our existing network of 364. We want to make it 475 by March 2012. We plan to add around 150 offsite ATMs as well.”

On capex, he said “the roadmap is expected to be approved by the board, at the April board meeting,” without getting into the details.

Asked is Mr Sura Chansrichwala, the Bangkok investor in CSB, has reduced his holding, Mr Iswardas said “he is offloading it gradually. He still has a 18 per cent holding in the bank.”

Published on March 11, 2011

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