MUMBAI: Bank of Baroda (BoB) is the first public sector bank to consider work-from-home (WFH) as a permanent policy for a section of its employees. BoB, which recently concluded the integration of Dena Bank and Vijaya Bank with itself, has appointed management consultancy firm McKinsey & Co to help implement a strategy for a post-Covid world.
Explaining the terms of reference for appointment of the consultancy firm, MD & CEO Sanjiv Chadha said that it was to determine how the bank remained ahead of the curve in a world that has changed following the pandemic. “It included things like, if we had our staff working from home, or if they were working from a hybrid environment where they would come to the office for one or two days, how do we implement that? How can we leverage staff resources better, give them flexibility and also open ourselves for hiring talent, which might be there but not available for full-time employment?” said Chadha.
He was speaking about the bank’s strategy while announcing the financial results for the third quarter. BoB on Wednesday reported a net profit of Rs 1,061 crore for the quarter ended December 2020 as against a loss of Rs 1,407 crore in the corresponding period of previous year.
Chadha said that in the fourth quarter, the bank was looking at raising Rs 2,000-4,000 crore by way of equity to support growth. He said that prospects for the bank had improved as it had managed to achieve significant cost savings following the integration.
There was also a recovery pipeline expected because of resolution of cases in the National Company Law Tribunal, or NCLT.
A major objective of the restructuring exercise was to relook at the operating model. “During Covid, the number of people visiting branches had gone down. The prognosis is that habits once acquired will not go away easily and we must be prepared for a world where branches are less central to the BoB network,” he said. Instead of branches, the bank would focus on customer touchpoints or outlets, which numbered 25,000.
“We want a much lighter footprint where we redesign branches, as the reason why people come to a branch in future will be entirely different from what they came for in the past,” said Chadha.
On the corporate side, the bank would leverage existing corporate borrowers to get more fee-based business. It would also try to bring it international business onshore to the IFC Banking Unit at GIFT City.