According to a senior banker, the country's largest private sector lender, HDFC Firm, which focuses on the MSME sector, is hiring 500 more relationship managers this fiscal year as the bank expands its coverage to 575 districts. With the new hires, the bank's Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) vertical strength will reach 2,500. The HDFC Bank has roughly 1.23 lakh employees at the end of June.
The bank's MSME vertical now has dedicated relationship managers and supervisors in 545 districts, with plans to expand to 575 districts or more by the end of this fiscal year. “As we grow our MSME presence to 575 districts from 545 now, we are adding over 500 new employees to the MSME vertical's 2,000-strong payroll this fiscal year. Sumant Rampal, senior executive vice-president for commercial banking and healthcare financing, said, "This should bring the whole headcount at the vertical to a little over 2500." MSMEs were recently ordered to re-classify themselves depending on their turnover and obtain an Udhyam registration certificate by the government. Auto components, agri-processing, chemicals, consumer products, fabrication, hotels and restaurants, pharma and paper industries, and textiles are among the sectors covered by HDFC Bank's MSME portfolio, which also includes wholesalers, retailers, distributors, stockists, and supermarkets.
Rampal said the bank has been increasing its focus on the sector for the past two years, and it has only gotten stronger since the pandemic, when the government announced a slew of initiatives to help small businesses weather the storm, with the emergency credit line guarantee scheme (ECLGS) providing the biggest boost, allowing it to disburse 30 percent more loans by December 2020, to Rs 2, 01,758 crore. According to Rampal, the bank has already identified regions for expansion. As a result of their particular demands, MSME financing requires special attention from the bank, he explained.
MSMEs account for more than 25 percent of the loans at more than 1,800 branches, and 4,800 of those branches service this category of customers. His team has also selected the districts that would be enlarged, according to him. Despite the fact that the bank maintains regular branches in these regions, he says that MSME lending need special attention owing to their particular requirements. According to him, over 1,800 of the approximately 5,500 branches have more than 25% of their loans come from MSME accounts, and 4,800 services this group of customers. According to him, the districts to be enlarged have been identified. Because of their particular demands, he says, MSME lending requires special attention even if the bank maintains conventional branches in these regions. A total of 4,800 MSME customers are served by the bank's approximately 5,500 locations.