Bank of Baroda Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. S.S. Mundra visited New York from September 16th to 18th. It was his first visit to New York after he took over as Chairman and Managing Director of the second largest public sector bank of India, second only to State Bank of India. Mr. Mundra met with customers and the Indian American community and also launched the internet banking. A reception to Mr. Mundra was hosted by the Indian Consulate where he met the Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay and a cross section of Indian American community.
He also addressed the gathering and spoke about banking industry in general and, the Bank of Baroda operations in US in particular. He spoke about the synergy that can be developed through Bank of Baroda. Mr. S. S. Mundra was born on 18th July, 1954. After completing his Masters in Commerce, he joined Bank of Baroda as a Probationary Officer on 21st March, 1977. In his first stint in Bank of Baroda, he rose to the level of General Manager in 2007. During his illustrious career in Bank of Baroda, he held several challenging assignments which included a stint as Head of Bank’s Maharashtra & Goa Zone and Global Treasury Operations for over 5 years. During his overseas assignments, he served with Bank of Baroda (Uganda) Ltd. and was also Territorial Head of Bank’s European Operations, headquartered at London during the period 2008 – 2010.
Mr. Mundra was elevated as Executive Director in Union Bank of India in September, 2010. During his tenure at Union Bank of India, he handled many important portfolios including Treasury, International, Large Corporate and Alternate Channels. On his elevation as Chairman and Managing Director on 21st January, 2013, he joined Bank of Baroda a premier Public Sector Bank (PSB) in India having a branch network of over 4000 branches including Bank’s overseas operations spread over 24 countries with a global business of over INR 8 trillion (USD 131 bn). Bank of Baroda is second largest Public Sector Bank of India only after State Bank of India in terms of Balance Sheet size.
It has 100 branches/ offices outside India. He is on the Board of many national and international organizations which include EXIM Bank, National Institute of Bank Management (NIBM), Bank of Baroda (Uganda) Ltd., India International Bank Malaysia Bhd, Bank of Baroda (New Zealand) Ltd., BOBCARDS Ltd., India First Life Insurance, Baroda Pioneer Mutual Fund etc. He has remained Director on the Board of The Clearing Corporation of India Ltd. (CCIL), Central Depository Services (India) Ltd. (CDSL), MITCONConsulting and Engineering Services Ltd., BOB Asset Management Company, India Infrastructure Finance Corporation (UK) Ltd. (IIFCL), Star Union Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company Ltd., National Payments Corporation of India Ltd (NPCI) and Bank of Baroda (Kenya) Ltd. He has also served on many Committees of RBI, IBA, NIBM, CII etc.
He has also attended many training programs, seminar/ conferences both in India and abroad, in the area of Banking and Finance. He has widely traveled abroad. The countries he visited include UK, Belgium, France, USA, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, various African countries etc. With the blend of wide overseas and domestic banking exposure at top management level, he has immensely contributed to the improvement of policy framework of the banking industry. As recognition of his contributions in the field of banking, finance, industry and commerce, he has won many Awards and accolades, latest being his inclusion in the list of India’s top 100 CEOs in CD-ET (Corporate Dossier – Economic Times) Survey after a stringent process of selection while Bank of Baroda is also ranked as 20th Best Indian Brand by Brand Equity – Economic Times.
The Indian Panorama chief editor Prof. Indrajit S Saluja interviewed Mr. Mundra. Here are excerpts from the interview.
Q. You have launched internet banking. How does it help your customers?
In today’s wired world, customers should have the right to have information in real time. At the moment, we are providing to our customers viewing facility. As of now, we are not providing transaction facility, which is a little complicated affair. However, there is no fee for the facility we are providing.
Q. When, do you think, you will provide the real time transaction facility?
There has to be an enhanced security level. Also, there has to be a higher comfort level for both the customers and the bank before we can go in for providing this facility. Q. Are there any legal or procedural difficulties in providing transaction facilities? Not so. Internet banking is an internationally accepted practice. There is no legal problem, as such. Yes, there could be procedural problems. There has to be a robust procedure that ensures the comfort level of customers. After all, the facility is meant to give comfort to customers.
Q. What are your impressions of your meetings with customers here?
I am glad our customers spoke highly of the services being provided by New York branch. All felt very happy with the staff and the cooperation they were getting.We look forward to long term relationship with our customers.We believe in making and cementing relationship. Of course, some suggested that we start retail banking. But then, there is no plan with the bank as of now.
Q. We hear of banks in India committing irregularities and being pulled up. Did your bank ever face this kind of situation?
We are a conservative bank, so to say.We are acutely compliant. There has never been a complaint about our not being compliant. However, there could some times be some small and inconsequential matters. But there always is room for improvement. Please remember, we are the second largest public sector bank, after State Bank of India.We have 42,000 employees and a customer base of 50 million. The total business of the bank, as on 31st march, 2013 , was 8 lac 50 thousand crore.
Q. What do you think about the future of Indian economy?
I believe the fundamentals of Indian economy are very strong. From a distance, the Diaspora may some times not be able to see the clear picture and have misgivings about the strength of the economy. But let me assure the Diaspora that Indian economy is strong and has the capacity to withstand knocks.
Q. Your message to the NRIs?
Indians abroad are doing very well. They are doing good to their genetic mother and also to their adopted mother. India is proud of them. And India looks up to them with great expectations.