Barclays sees a huge potential in the mass segment. In fact,
it plans to launch a banking product aimed at the "un-banked
and under-banked" segment in the country.
other foreign banks in India, which started their journey
in the market top-down by tapping high net-worth clients,
Barclays, somewhat of a late entrant, is seeking its fortunes
from the ground up, at the bottom of the pyramid.
According to Barclay''s head of retail banking, Suresh
Gurumani, there is a huge latent demand in the segment.
The un-banked and under-banked segmenet has a number of
people, like taxi drivers and clerical staff, which Barclay''s
is looking at launching to service through a banking product
specially designed for this segment.
That bank, which commenced its India retail banking operations
in May 2007, has launched unsecured SME loans, personal
loans with tenures up to of seven years, and credit cards.
Highlighting the importance of low-cost transactions for
the mass segment, Gurumani says the bank would try to
launch products that could be termed as ''satchet'' banking.
has four operational branches in India, and a fifth in
the offing at Junagadh in Gujarat. Over the coming two
quarters, the bank plans to explore various low-cost retail
models, such as business correspondents, Internet and
mobile banking, and other technology-driven initiatives
that will help it to drive down costs.
One of its innovations includes doorstep banking to high
potential segments such as BPO employees.
says that through Barclays has a downside of low brand
visibility, as a late entrant it does not have legacy
system problems. Of its total advances, 30 per cent have
been towards small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as unsecured
loans, another 30 per cent as long tenure (up to 7 years)
personal loans that help in reducing the monthly equated
monthly instalment (EMI) burden on customers, and the
remaining 40 per cent accounting for commercial lending.
Barclays has so far committed £70 million for the
Indian market, as part of its strategy to generate 50
per cent of its global revenues from outside its regional
stronghold in the UK.
has a sales force of over 600 people, and is looking at
alliances for banking intermediaries and microfinance
institutions as partners to gain market penetration. The
bank is also expanding its feet-on-street, and putting
in place the technology infrastructure which will be the
backbone of low-cost transactions. Barclays sees a trend
in customers moving away from branch banking, and is keen
to adopt new channels like doorstep banking, Internet
and mobile banking, according to Gurumani.